Wintering Loons

I just love surprises . . .

Last weekend some friends took me on a little walk into Perkins Cove.   I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It was a frigid day after a major snowstorm and I’d only brought my sneakers.  I had no mittens.  No hat.

But I did have my camera.

As we slowly made our way along the shoreline walkway, we saw duck-like birds bobbing  on the water  in the distance.  I zoomed in.  “Oooooooo!” I cried.  “Winter loons!”  I snapped a boat-load of photos even though the loons were only specks through my large lens.

We continued to follow the path, enjoying each others company.  We rounded a corner to find a gorgeous after-a-snowstorm scene.

Perkins Cove (21)

Perkins Cove (56)


Perkins Cove (55)

Everything was picture perfect.

Even the pudgy seagull seemed to be posing for me . . .

Perkins Cove (140)

I  heard a friend gasp- then call me to the top of the footbridge that would take us over the waterway. She pointed down.

Perkins Cove (45)

Luckily, I have patient friends, for they hung out with me on the footbridge as I took photo after photo of the loon below us.

Reluctantly, we continued on our way, chatting, laughing until the cold worked its way through our coats. We stopped for coffee and treats, and when warmed up, headed home.

We spied a fox statue in a shop window.  Thinking of Cooper and Packrat’s series and the plotting I’d done on the fox story just that day, I joked, “All I need is to see an eagle now!”  Secretly though, I scanned the treetops.  Alas, no eagle appeared.

As we crossed the footbridge again, I caught a gorgeous photo of what I now know is a male Common Eider –

Perkins Cove (90)

Isn’t he striking?

A loon popped up out of the water nearby, a flash of orange caught my eye, so I trained my lens on it.

Perkins Cove (106)

I’m not sure what it caught . . .

Perkins Cove (103)


but it dunked it, rolled it and swished it before opening wide . . .

Perkins Cove (107a)

to swallow it whole!

Perkins Cove (108)

Whatever it was, I hope it was good.

Perkins Cove (109)

It was nice to watch the loons for awhile.  In four short-ish months, they’ll arrive on Lower Range Pond and begin nesting once again. I wish Springtime would hurry up  . . .


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4 Responses to Wintering Loons

  1. Lynne Richard says:

    Lovely photos! It looks like the loon had an egg-laden green crab for lunch. Good on all counts; the loon enjoys a meal and fewer green crab eggs will hatch. I used to live on Peaks Island and we loved watching winter loons as we ferried back and forth every day. However, they are mostly mute all winter and as your photos show, somewhat drab. I much prefer my current view from Middle Range- where I can hear the calls, enjoy their striking summer plumage, and watch loon chicks grow and learn. Thanks so much for sharing these!

    • Tamra says:

      Lynne, thank you! No matter how I zoomed in on the photos, I couldn’t figure out what it had eaten.

      There’s something special about our Range loons, isn’t there. This past summer, for the first time in a long time, our Lower Range loons did not have viable eggs. I’m fairly certain they re-nested as well. I’m very hopeful for this year. Only time will tell.

  2. Scott Campbell says:

    Amazing photos Tami

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