Related: Adirondack Chronicles

Adirondack Chronicles 2013.3

 
 

loon wingspread

Had enough of loons?  Me, neither.  Yep, I keep hunting them down…. albeit with a very long lens so as to keep a respectful distance.  I was out on Follensby Clear Pond, a lovely small lake that’s part of the Saranac chain.  Thunderclouds were threatening overhead — as they have done every day I’ve been up here — but I decided to venture forth on the lake anyway.  My reward soon appeared in the form of this mother loon and chick paddling about on one of the back bays:

follensby loon and chick

Suddenly, the heavens opened and there I was in the middle of a torrential downpour in the middle of the lake!  I shoved my camera into a dry bag and paddled as quickly as possible to a small cove where I could wait out the rain.  Got soaked anyway.  But after about fifteen minutes the rain stopped, and as I looked across the pond I saw four mature loons surfacing in the mist:  (click the link for a short video)

http://youtu.be/527VEZlcSPE

three loons

loon splash 2loon follensby

Later that afternoon, passing another one of my favorite ponds, I spied this mother merganser and her chicks:

merganser and chicks

The presence of only two chicks told me that her brood must have been picked off by predators, probably eagles or foxes.  Common mergansers usually have very large broods.  She raced with her two chicks across the pond to a safe spot where she kept watching out for danger…

merganser shelter

But soon she obviously decided that all was safe so she perched on a rock and stretched her wings while the kids frolicked…

merganser wingspread

Predators abound in the back country.  I happened to spot this juvenile bald eagle swooping across Raquette Flow near Tupper Lake, catching a fish with his immense talons and then snacking atop a dead birch tree …

eagle 1

After taking a bite the eagle turned and glared directly at me as if to say, “Get your own sushi!”

eagle 2

Finishing lunch, the young eagle (eagles don’t grow their classic white heads and black feathers until they are 3 or 4 years old) spread its wings and flew off to look for dessert….

eagle 4 eagle 5 Now I’m flying off as well to search for wildlife on other ponds…. more to come!

 

 

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: president@trinitydc.edu