Posts Tagged ‘Loons’

Saturday, August 19, 2023

More loon chicks killed/injured by human predators, witnesses urged to report incidents

Giant swallowtail

Last week had to be the week of rain for the summer. Some [areas got] six and seven inches in just a few hours which washed out trails, roads, and the railroad to Tupper Lake. I talked with one lady up at Twitchell Lake who said the water there came up over her dock and ten feet up on her property. It did some washing out of shoulders along the new paved road to the lake by the outlet. Some culverts were washed out on the snowmobile trail system north of Old Forge, so the system was closed to travel.

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Saturday, August 12, 2023

Bee Balm Going Gang Busters & Butterflies Enjoying Milkweeds

Hummingbird in bee balm.

The heat from Arizona to the east coast hasn’t let up, with [temperatures in] many major cities in the hundreds every day…some over a month now. We are on the cool side, with more rain and thunderstorms passing through. Last Friday [August 4] as we were getting ready to go to the opening of the National Watercolor Show at View [Arts Center in Old Forge] one of those storms had quite a bit of hail in the mix. I did hear of some places across the state that got quarter-size (and bigger) hail in that same storm as it crossed the state.

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Saturday, August 5, 2023

Three nights of loon banding, reminder to give loon families space

Loon banding on Sixth Lake

The temperature here this morning [August 1] was forty [degrees]…much cooler than the folks to the south and west of us are feeling. It rained two and a half inches here on Saturday, [July 29.] [This] got a few wet who thought the rain was coming later and they got caught out in a downpour…which soaked many to the skin. It rained so hard, it washed a little gully going down the road to the pond. [I’m] happy to report the male Loon which had the fishing plug in his tongue is back with his family this week on Limekiln Lake doing chick care as the female worked hard catching fish for their chick.

 

If you’re out and about on our local lakes, there are Loon families out there with you. If you are fishing (using live bait or plug and lures that look like live bait) don’t fish near one of these families as Loons can swim very fast underwater and take a bite at one of your baits or lures. Then you have a problem, and the Loon has a problem…your hook in its tongue. So be careful out there, and don’t fish near a Loon or a Loon family.

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Saturday, July 22, 2023

Checking on loons after the recent rain storms

Loon Chicks First Lake Dog Island

We just got lucky with all the rains, and washouts to the east, north and south of us. I had four inches of rain in my gauge when I came home from the west trip, got an inch the next day and then two days later when most of the damage was done to the east of us, I had three and a half inches in the gauge. Where the flooding had occurred, they were getting six to eight inches that day, and with the ground already saturated it just ran off causing washed out roads and bridges. Places that had never had that kind of water problem were under water for a time until it ran off, taking parts of highways with it and flooding homes and businesses.

Long Lake took the brunt of the flooding, but parts of Blue Mountain also had some damage. The little brook that ran out of the big beaver meadow along Route 28N must have had the big beaver dam blow out.  All that water coming down hill into town washed out the road to into town and then the road by Hoss’s Store in town, flooding some homes along the way. Then all that water going into Jennings Pond behind the ball field and hotel was too much for the outlet into Long Lake, so it ran across the road by the seaplane base before the causeway burst on the pond into Long Lake.

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Saturday, July 15, 2023

Reminder to respect, give space to wildlife & their young

Velvet Green Swallow

With the smoke from the fires in Canada being the big news, people were asking about the danger of fires here in the Adirondacks. Some forgot about all the water and where it runs when you get five to eight inches at a time. I don’t know how many floods I went through in the Moose River Area during my 33 years as a Forest Ranger there (and many times since I retired 24 years ago.) I know we lost the Governor Brook tube seven times…and still no bridge yet, they just fill in the hole.

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Saturday, July 8, 2023

Wildlife sightings out west: Bears, bison, coyotes, mountain goats, moose, deer and elk

 

Coyote

Arrived back in the Adirondacks today [Monday, July 3] after two days of being driven from West Yellowstone to Webster (and another four hours to get home from there today.) Made a stop at the Remsen bog on the way here and some of the showy lady’s slippers were still out. [I] also stopped to check on some of my Loons along the way. Some were still sitting, and others had hatched their chicks and were on the water with their young. So, if you are out and about on the water and see a family of Loons, give them some space and take pictures with a long lens.

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Saturday, June 24, 2023

June 16: Rare finds and odd happenings of past and present

Painted turtles

We got some badly-needed rain this week, mostly at night which was good for my Loon surveys. They don’t mind the rain, but I hate to get wet or wear so many clothes to keep dry [that] I get wet anyway. Some folks from Texas to Florida got much more [rain] than they needed with a foot to fifteen inches of rain in [one] day. Some got tornadoes along with these storms. One in the panhandle of Texas wiped out the town of Perryton with three people killed, one an eleven-year-old boy. Many of these storms had hail (from golf ball-size to baseball-size) as they swept across the south, leaving almost 600,000 [people] without power as winds were up to eighty miles per hour. Looking at the destruction of homes, it’s a wonder that more people weren’t killed.

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Saturday, June 17, 2023

Wildflowers, renesting loons, and blackflies pushing canoes

Yellow lady's slippers.

The smoke has gone away (somewhat) with the recent rain and wind change. With 8 million acres-plus on fire, that makes lots of smoke. It was so bad when I was out on the Cedar River Flow that it hid a thunderstorm because you couldn’t see the real clouds. Suddenly there was thunder booming not far away. I made it back to the landing and just got the canoe strapped onto the truck when the skies opened up. There was hail and a big temperature change of about fifteen degrees.

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Saturday, June 10, 2023

NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame: 12 new members, 3 special award members inducted

From left: Harry and Ann Peck, Gary Lee, Laurie and Alan Rankin.

We need some rain as most of the lakes I’ve been visiting while watching Loons (as well as my pond) are at August-levels. Several of my Loon pairs are on nests already and putting up with the blackflies along with me. I’ve had my bug jacket on many times, but it changes what you see through the binoculars. When the sun shines on the mesh, you can hardly see anything. On May 21 (the day after I got back from the Crown Point Banding Station) Karen and I went to the induction of twelve new members and three special award members into the NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame at Theodore’s Restaurant in Canastota.

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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Witnessing Big Moose Inn fire, banding hummers at Stillwater

Loon on the water

This week there were two mornings with frost here at Eight Acre Wood; both mornings the thermometer read 28 [degrees.] The second morning there was ice on the car, but not on the bird bath. I washed off as many of the blooming flowers and three apple trees in bloom as the hose would reach, which may have saved them…time will tell. My yellow lady’s slippers looked pretty sad, but perked up after the bath of water. The Phoebes are sitting on eggs under the porch and the male was having a [hard] time keeping the female fed those cold mornings. He traveled way up the driveway, foraging for flying bugs and ants. They must have made it, as they are still sitting.

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Saturday, May 6, 2023

ADK Spring: Wildflowers, rain showers & migrating birds

Virginia bluebells

[Locally, the weather] has been April showers that bring May flowers, and it also lessened the fire danger by keeping the leaf litter wet. The outdoor burning ban is still on until May 14. If we get some more warm days, the trees should be pushing out their leaves and flowers. Several wildflowers have popped out from the leaf cover and showed us their beauty. Yellow coltsfoot lines the roadsides in many places and the flowers face the sun as it goes from east to west. It looks like a dandelion flower, but it has little leaves on the stem of the flowers. Wild oats is a single yellow hanging bell, [and] the trout lily is out everywhere with its yellow flower and speckled green and brown leaves.

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Saturday, April 15, 2023

Spying crocuses, banding birds & enjoying Spring weather

Crocus

Our weather has been rather pleasant with nice days up into the forties and fifties, and then cooling down [at] night into the teens. The folks to the north of us got a bad ice storm, knocking out power in many parts of Canada. We had some thunderstorms roll through here on Wednesday [April 5] with some hail, but nothing like the quarter-size hail they got up in Martinsburg by Lowville. I had taken my truck down to Utica for repairs, and they gave me a brand-new [Toyota] RAV4 to take home that day.

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Saturday, January 7, 2023

Legion of nutcrackers take a long winter’s nap, juvenile loon freed from Fourth Lake ice

Loon in the ice

Our New Year’s weekend was a washout for sure, with rain and warmer temperatures taking a toll on what snow we had. What I see out my front window is mostly bare ground where there was over 18 inches of snow a week ago. I had a fisher and a coyote visit the deer carcass on the dam during daylight hours, which meant they were hungry. There were four Ravens and a pair of Bald Eagles waiting their turn in the treetops on the other side of the pond. Now that the snow is nearly gone, I haven’t seen any of them. I still have over fifty Evening Grosbeaks coming daily to the feeders, and the two White-Throated Sparrows are still sneaking seeds and hiding in the brush pile. There are still some new Black-Capped Chickadees coming to the feeders as I’ve banded almost twenty hatch-year birds in the last two weeks.

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Sunday, December 25, 2022

Assisting with loon rescues on First Lake, Brantingham Lake

You skiers and snowmobilers can stop praying for snow, because we have it. [Or at least,] enough to ski and snowmobile on. Looking at the temperatures [ahead,] the bottom is going to go out on the thermometer (except for one day [with temps in the] forties before Christmas with some rain.) [People are] paying more for heating fuel oil or propane, and I hear you can hardly even get kerosene. Not many people heat with kerosene anymore, but tractor trailer drivers cut their fuel with it to keep it from jelling in cold temperatures.

 

Another thing that must be jelling is some local septic tanks, as I see the Egan sewer pumper on the road around here most every day. If you just put a couple packets of yeast down the toilet when you leave it inactive for a few months (or even when you are using it regularly,) you shouldn’t have to call the pumper. The yeast keeps the system working perfectly. Mine hasn’t been pumped in 20 years of use. I heard that at the Fulton Chain of Lakes meeting thirty years ago, stated by a couple local sewer pumpers, Chip Sauer and Rick Hunkins. They had all the work they needed, and they were just trying to save some camp [owners] and homeowners a few bucks. The old wise tale was to throw in a road-killed cat or woodchuck to start the system working when you first put in your septic tank, but you don’t have to do that… just a packet of yeast will do the trick.

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Saturday, October 22, 2022

Reuniting with friends at Adirondack Wild meeting, Old Ranger Tales Lecture Series

I put some miles on the truck (and some on the ground) this week as I [traveled to] Paul Smith’s VIC three times, went brook trout fishing a couple times, and watched Loons on Lake Clear. [I also] photographed fall leaves, did some leaf blowing for several days, caught songbirds when the wind didn’t blow, and caught saw whet owls for four nights. Everyone asks [me] when I get the time to sleep and do all these things. I say, “I nap a lot.” I don’t know if I will get into all these [items in my column] as I must add a few politics this week, which I know you all like to hear just before Election Day.

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