Friday, July 22, 2011
It was almost two months into the 2011 sea turtle season (which started the first of May) before I saw Common Loons resting on the beach again. Prior to that it was 2009 when I observed them or heard them calling before dawn as I readied my vehicle for patrol.
I'm not sure why they weren't around last year. The easy answer is that they were affected by the oil spill in some way, possibly just by the number of people on the beach helping with the clean up. Whatever the case, it is great to see and hear them again.
Loons are excellent swimmers and divers, but their legs are located farther back on their bodies than most birds and it makes them very awkward on land. If you see one struggling on shore or trying to get back in the water, don't assume they are injured, just quietly leave the area. Remember, when I get these pictures or video on patrol, I am quite a distance away and it is our purpose to complete our patrols with as little impact on wildlife as possible.