Loon Report, End of season, 2007 (October)
On one of what will be my last visits to the pond before the ice sets in, I watched the young loonling practice his flying techniques on the south end. He would pick up speed by running and wing rowing across the water and then lift up off a few feet and crash land back down. It seemed to me when watching him that it was must have been tiring. It took about 20 minutes after his crash landing then he would try again. He did this several times during the afternoon. I could hear him wing row across the water, I would stop what I was doing (raking leaves) to stand on the dock and watch. With no parent around to teach and guide him, he must have felt somewhat lost and lonely. . I wondered what his fate might be. Protected by his parents, then left alone on its own, just a few weeks ago, he or she has learned to feed and care for themselves. To feed and gain strength and to teach itself to fly, for the first of what I hope will be many migrations. I couldn't help but compare his life with that of our children, we rear them then they learn how to live on their own, we hope for the best. They will make mistakes and learn from them, and life will go on.
The loon statewide population did ok again this year. New nesting sites were up by a few, we lost some eggs due to the high flooding in July, and lost some loons for a varity of reasons, accidents, illness and ingesting of hooks and lures is still of concern. A final report will be made later.
(On Groton Pond)
I received an unconfirmed report of a young loon carcass seen floating, the day the ice went out this spring. It was highly probable that it was our chick from last summer. Our conclusion, (Eric's and mine) that the chick got caught in the ice and therefore froze to its death. I would make a plea with the LAKE RESIDENTS to give me or Eric Hanson a call if you see a loon carcass, anytime of the year, retrieve it if you can and we will come get it. It's important !
If anyone sees any loon (s) around as the ice begins to form PLEASE keep an eye on the situation and if one does get caught in the ice or a open area with ice forming around it, please let us know. Eric Hanson, 802-586-8064 or Darlene Sprague 802-476-6096 (toll free from Groton). There may be the possibility of rescue, if we know soon enough. Its hard to understand, but loons make mistakes too and why this young one didn't migrate with the rest of his kind is not known or understood. It's a sad thing but part of nature.
Darlene Sprague Groton Pond