So Much Rain!


I was so worried about my loons all weekend.  The idea for Cooper and Packrat, didn’t come out of thin air, you know.  Lower Range has risen to flood the loon nest three times in the last twenty-two years.

Nesting Loon 2013 008 (1280x859)

2013 Loon Nest
(2013) Tamra Wight

This weekend had all the ingredients for history to repeat itself.   Days of downpours coupled with thrashing winds.  But I wasn’t really worried, until one of my campers mentioned seeing both loons together.

They’re never together when the nest needs sitting on.

“They were pretty agitated,” he told me.

I quizzed him some more.  He told me he hadn’t wanted to get to close, but he did notice they’d taken off for the other end of the lake.

Another camper came in mid-morning.  “I saw the loon alone,” she told me.

Still another told me the pair had been circling the island.

So when 3 o’clock Monday afternoon arrived, I was out of that office, with a kayak paddle gripped in both hands.  Wind whipped down the lake, practically lifting my kayak out of the water and pushing me back toward shore.  But I had to see for myself.

The kayak rocked.  The sun shone in my eyes.  I paddled past where I knew the loon had been, then let the wind drift me backward as I lifted the camera to look through my telephoto lens.  And there I saw her . . .

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I think I smiled as I was pushed all the way back to the eagle nest.

What a relief!

One of the adults sat off-island, but close enough to watch the nest.

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Can you see her talon?  *Shudder*  It’s so sharp.  She sat poised on her branch until another kayaker paddled underneath her, then she flew back into the nest.

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My new friend Lisa, who’s a wildlife photographer , was out on the lake too.  She was worried because she hadn’t seen two eaglets.

“Oh, I’m sure they’re there,” I assured her.

But I’m sorry to say, I didn’t see two.

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I only saw one.  In all one hundred photos, there’s only one.  He’s big and strong, and stretching his wings.

Big gusts of wind cut across the lake every few minutes or so.

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I’m hoping one was brave enough to come up high into the nest, while the younger of the two stayed hunkered down.

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Maybe Lisa has some proof for us!  Or another camper?  At any rate, I’ll be back down at the lake tomorrow to check again!

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5 Responses to So Much Rain!

  1. Lisa Dixon says:

    Tammy I never saw the other the eagle in my photographs. Please keep me informed if you end up spotting the other one. After I left your area I paddled around the lake a bit and I was over where I told you I saw the Greater Yellowlegs and an Osprey flew right passed me going for the nest!!! Dad Eagle flew back just in time. The osprey swooped down a few times at him and the nest. He puffed up and was tense guarding the baby. I was a distance away but seen it all. I don’t know.. I kind of could of went without seeing that… I sure hope the other eagle makes an appearance to.

    • Tamra says:

      Lisa, I’ll check again this afternoon after I get home from school and post here. There’s still a good chance he’s just hunkered down due to the winds. Keep your fingers crossed!

      • Tamra says:

        I’m so sorry to report, I’m still only seeing one eaglet. Sigh. I’ll keep looking though. I’ve been wrong before . . .

        • Lisa Dixon says:

          🙁 I don’t believe the other one survived. After talking with some folks tonight I believe the bigger one who is left behind is the female and sometimes when there are two the female is the dominate one in the nest and they have been known to kill the smaller one in the nest. Of course, we had high winds, heavy rains, predators…. and human encounters… Not sure what happened. That osprey went right for the baby eagle the other night. Dad flew back to the nest just in time. The osprey swooped down at Dad a few times. I watched the Dad tense up and lean to his side protecting the eaglet as he puffed himself out. It was quite scary to watch.

          • Tamra says:

            I’m 90% sure there’s only one too, Lisa. It makes me sad, as well. But since 2003, even earlier, this pair have nurtured and protected two eaglets with the exception of two years, when only one survived. And of course there was last year, when all three triplets fledged! These eagle parents have done a fabulous job. I suppose we’ll never know what happened, but the timing of the storm has me leaning that way . . . a huge gust of wind . . . and eaglet too high in the nest . . .

            Thanks for describing the osprey interaction. Scary! But interesting too . . .

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