Birds on the Brain

In Front of Cabin Loon

Anne got me up early today and we walked the beach before breakfast. On our walk, we first heard the loon and when we went in search of it, it dove and circled around behind us. It wasn’t until we had turned and were almost back to the cabin that I spied it and then captured this distant, but still decent picture of it. It dove again and can hold its breath for a long time and was not seen again.

The loon was serendipity. They are relatively rare around here, but what are more plentiful are mergansers. The following also distant, but still decent picture shows a mother merganser, with her about half-dozen chicks on her back. She and they were in the mist of fending off a seagull attack at the time.

Mother Merganser with Chicks on Her Back

The one unique to here large bird that I have not been able to capture yet are the Sandhill Cranes. I need to begin intensifying my search for them, because soon they will begin departing. We’ve seen a few, but circumstance have just not permitted our photographing any of them yet. Anyway, we’ll keep looking.

We have a new spotter scope that we’ve bought, but its unwieldiness combined with all of the mosquitoes that are about have made it relatively useless so far. Expeditions to Seney NWR are on the agenda. We did some excellent birding there last year and I hope for a repeat this summer. 

I am always surprised that I have taken up birding as a hobby. I always thought of it as an old person’s activity, but then, I’m an old person now. So, I guess I was right. Except that this hobby makes me feel young again, plus there is a community to participate in, which only enhances the experience and the community frequently includes real young people. I love sharing the thrill of the hunt. Be it just Anne and I or a whole throng of birders.

Today, we waded the short end of the beach. We scared most of the mergansers off the rocks, at the end of the beach, but were able to come quite closely to the one that remained. Having enjoyed the thrill of the hunt, plus the cooling lake water that we were wading through, we backed off before spooking this last bird. It is better to runaway to then hunt another day.

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