29 June 2017: We have Baby Loons on Clary Lake!

DSC_4367_compressedWe have baby loons on Clary Lake! For the first time since 2008 our resident Loon family has successfully nested, despite a falling water level that has threatened to strand the nest too far from the water. Yesterday afternoon there was a loon sitting on the nest, so the eggs must have hatched sometime today. I first spotted the nest back on June 7th and I estimated at that time that the eggs had been laid on or about May 31st. That date turned out to be right on the money. Fortunately, and no thanks to the dam owner who left the dam gate wide open all month, the lake level has not fallen as fast as expected, having dropped only about 11″ (0.36″ per day) since the nest was started. Given the lack of rain in June and with the dam’s gate wide open, I expected the lake to have dropped twice as much or about 3/4″ per day. I’m still struggling to explain that discrepancy.

DSC_4366_compressedWhen I went to check the nest tonight after supper, as I approached I saw the two loons hanging out near the nest but I didn’t see any chicks. I didn’t want to get too close so I hung back a couple of hundred yards, took a few pictures, and watched them through binoculars. Not seeing any babies at first, I feared the worst. It wasn’t long however before I spotted first one chick swim out from behind a parent, and then finally, a second one emerged. I stayed a good ways off so as not to disturb them and was able to get a few reasonably good pictures with a telephoto lens before I turned around and headed home.

It will be fun watch the loons this summer, and I expect to get some great pictures which I will post here. If you’re out and around on the lake in a motor boat or on a personal water craft, please give the loons and their babies a wide berth. Even if you’re paddling a canoe or kayak, don’t try to get too close. Thank you for your cooperation.