Over my Writer’s Camp ‘n Schmooze weekend, two of my friends, Cindy and Mona, went kayaking in the early morning hours to watch the sunrise. They asked me to go too, but I was sooooo tired from juggling teaching, writing and camp, I decided to get the extra couple hours of sleep instead.
After seeing their photos and hearing about how they’d seen the fall loons . . . well, I’ve been regretting that decision ever since.
So when my friend Linda arrived for the weekend, I asked, “Want to see a sunrise tomorrow?”
Of course she said yes . . .
But there was no sunrise. The fog was thick. It danced across the water toward us, around us. It clung to everything . . .
It made it hard to take photos of the ducks and geese, which have begun to gather for their trip south.
We followed the sound of the loons mournful cry to find them.
My how they’ve changed!
Loons molt in September, changing from their brilliant black and white colors to a gray, not unlike a juveniles. After they fly to their winter home, they’ll molt again, this time becoming flightless for a time until their new feathers grow in and they return north.
We watched them for awhile . . . fishing and preening. Then we continued down toward the state park.
Right on the park’s shoreline, we saw a duck-like bird we didn’t recognize. Five of them. Diving, coming back up with little minnows, chasing each other.
It turns out it’s a common grebe! I believe these are all females. They were interesting to watch. A new birding find!
*corrected, thanks to my friend Patty! These are actually red-breasted mergansers, females. See Patty’s and my comments below*
As we headed for home, the fog lifted and the sun came out.
It was going to be a glorious day . . .
but we’d already seen the best part of it.