Category Archives: Wildlife

04 March 2020: Volunteer for the Maine Turtle Roadkill Survey

I received an email about an Interesting program from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. I’m always stopping to help turtles across the road. This is the first I’ve heard of this particular program!


Volunteer for the Maine Turtle Roadkill Survey

Our partner Maine Audubon is embarking on an exciting effort to identify where turtles might be at risk of harm from traffic as they move across the landscape during the active season, and we are hoping you will help! 

We are looking for volunteers who can commit to walking along pre-selected road segments, documenting any roadkill or live animals at risk of harm from the roadway. The routes are all less than one mile long, and we are asking for data to be collected once a month, at least 3 times during the active season of May through September. Continue reading

04 August 2019: Loon Nest Update

loon-on-nest-4-august-2019-Medium

Sitting Loon. Photo by Carolyn Curtis.

It is hard to believe at this late date that the loons are still sitting on the nest, but that is the case. I was convinced the nest had been abandoned so I picked up my new neighbor Carolyn Curtis and we boated over to look at the nest site today, not sure what we were going to find. On our way over we saw 3 loons swimming. Imagine our surprise to arrive at the nest to find a loon sitting on it! We got to within 3-4 feet before we were able to spot the bird. While I quickly 2019080495195217reversed oars and started to pull my boat away, Carolyn stood up and snapped this picture with her phone. It’s a great shot. You can clearly see the loon’s head and back. Very well hidden. The picture at left is a blow up of the original picture that Carolyn sent me, it clearly shows the loon’s back, head, and red eye.

Last year the loon chicks were first spotted on June 24th which was if anything a bit early. Early July is more normal, and late July not too uncommon. But still sitting in August? I’ve never heard of such a thing! Given the late date, the prospects for the loon family being able to raise chicks to flying age before winter are not good. It will be tight. Stay tuned.

28 July 2019: Maine CDC confirms case of Powassan virus

One more reason to hate ticks, as if we needed another.

Maine CDC confirms case of Powassan virus

July 24, 2019
Human Services

AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has confirmed a case of Powassan virus infection in a Maine resident, the first case of the tick-borne illness in the state since 2017.

Maine CDC received notification of the case this week from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. The adult individual resides in southern Maine and has been hospitalized in New Hampshire. It is believed that the individual contracted the illness in Maine. Continue reading

01 June 2019: The Loons Are Nesting!

DSC_6353The Loons are nesting in the traditional location in the deep inlet on the north shore of the lake, the same place they nested last year, but deeper in the cove because of the higher water. I spotted the location on May 30th, and it is well hidden: if I hadn’t seen one of the loons hanging around the area, I’d never have known it was there. I was able to get one (not very good) photograph of the loons on the nest (below). In previous years, fluctuating water levels have made successful nesting a real challenge with the biggest risk being flooding due to a rapid rise in water level. The good news this year is the lake level is already at the High Water Mark and stable, so even if we get heavy rains, the lake level won’t rise enough to flood the nest. Continue reading

29 April 2017: Midcoast Conservancy Info-Session on Browntail Moths

Browntail Moth Caterpillar

For those of you who are interested in learning more about Browntail moths (which should be pretty much all of you), the Midcoast Conservancy has finally posted the video of the program on Browntail Moths that they put on back on April 4th at the Edgecomb Eddy School. You’ll find a link to that video along with other useful information about these insect pests.

Browntail Moth Info Session

02 April 2019: Midcoast Conservancy to Offer Informational Meeting on Browntail Moths

We have a growing Browntail Moth problem in our area. Several people around Clary Lake have recently brought the problem to my attention. They’ve been around a while, so you may be familiar with them already. If not, you should familiarize yourselves with these critters. They’re nasty. Besides being bad for the trees (primarily Oaks, but they infest other varieties), the caterpillars have tiny hairs which can cause serious problems for people. Our area has until recently been considered a “Low Risk” area for Browntails, but from my recent observations it sure looks like they’re rapidly becoming a significant problem. Continue reading

04 July 2018: Loon Chicks Missing

Both loon chicks have apparently gone missing, nobody has seen them since sometime late last week. I took some photographs of them one week ago, on Wednesday June 27th and I haven’t seen them since. They were spotted last Thursday, but I’ve received no reliable reports of sightings since then. Outlook not good. If you see them please email me.

Loon babies face many challenges growing up. Of those, predation by Bald Eagles and Snapping Turtles pose the greatest risk, and we have a healthy population of both predators in and around Clary Lake. Motor boats also pose a risk if the driver is inattentive, but so far, there haven’t been a lot of speed boats on Clary this summer. Even when they avoid death or injury from those common sources of danger, one loon chick all too often falls prey to its sibling as the result of competition for food and attention. Mother Nature can be cruel.

Incidentally, the 35th annual Audubon Loon Count will take place Saturday July 21st from 7:00 AM to 7:30 AM. The results of the count will be presented at the Annual Meeting on August 11th. We hope to see you there.

27 June 2018: Loon Family Pictures

DSC_5610Well it turns out the loons had two chicks this year, not one as I originally thought. I went out this evening to get some pictures, and the loons cooperated happily. Even when I knew there were two I could often only see one. Having two loon babies is good because it increases the chances of one of them surviving to adulthood. On the downside, one almost always fails to thrive…

24 June 2018: Loons Have a Baby! [UPDATED]

DSC_5594For the second year in a row, our resident loon family has successfully hatched a baby loon. Just one this year rather than the usual 2. I noticed one parent or the other hanging around the nest area today and saw one loon, presumably the male, chasing another loon around in a classic loon “get out and stay out” territorial battle, and suspected  that hatching was near. Please give them a wide berth.

[27 June UPDATE]: We have 2 loon babies! No idea how the second baby escaped notice this long, but it did. No pictures yet, but I clearly saw two babies when over visiting our Treasurer this morning.