Friday, July 10, 2009

Loon Center- July 10

Finally we had a warm dry and sunny day. Driving to the Loon Center I saw a sign which said:"Holy Frappe,a sunny day!". I think there were a lot of people besides us a bit disgruntled with the weather. Anyway, we learned all about loons today. The Loon Center is located on the northern edge of Lake Winnispesaukee. Not far from this lake is Lake Squam,where "On Golden Pond" was filmed. At the Loon Center we saw a movie on loons and discovered that they are not ducks and are also unique in many ways from all other birds. They live for eight months of the year on the Atlantic Ocean. They come to our northern lakes when the lakes have thawed. Here they mate and raise their young,this occurs during the months of June and July. The center has a loon nesting hike,which we did follow along the lake. It was a very wet and somewhat rocky walk with many insects,mainly mosquitoes, dive bombing us. We saw the area on the lake,just off the shoreline, which the center had roped off for the nesting birds. Not too far off from this spot we saw a rather large fishing boat. We did learn that the loons have learned to live with the intrusion of humans,but still their numbers are going down. One big problem for them are leaded fishing lures which they accidentally swallow when diving for food. And,as a general rule,for every two eggs which are hatched(the usual number of baby loons at a time),only one makes it to maturity. We did not see any nesting on our walk but did see a couple of them off in the distance on the lake. We did hear some of their haunting calls.

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