Michigan Loon Preservation Association: Supporting Michigan Loonwatch: Michigan's Official Statewide Loon Monitoring, Research and Protection Group
Michigan Loonwatch Operates Under the Direction of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Following the Guidelines of the Michigan Loon Recovery Plan

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

State Coordinator's Corner: Wintering Loons in Maine: November 2010

November 23, 2010: From Joanne: Hello Everyone! I am once again in Maine this Autumn for a short stay. I am in Winter Harbor, a small fishing village located on Acadia National Park's Schoodic Peninsula. Every time that I visit here I enjoy walking down to Sand Cove, which is nearby, to see the loon pair that stay here year-round. This cove is their territory. The Atlantic coast off of New England is a major wintering area for loons, and this pair is one of the lucky ones that never need to migrate to get here. They, are, of course, in their winter plumage; and though not as bright as their breeding plumage, still exquisitely beautiful to my eyes.

When I went to see them early in the morning a few days ago, one of the pair was feeding out where the cove widens to the open seas, at the point where the morning mists drifted over the land and the blue-gray waters: the ever-changing ocean, now in its late Autumn cloak. The day was sunny, cold and windy, but the cove was a calmer landscape than out in the open water, and the second loon nearer shore fed lazily in the early morning. He came up closer to me as I stood silently watching from a small hill, as if checking me out, but otherwise seemed unconcerned.

As I watched the birds at their undisturbed early morning feeding, a small duck paddled by, dipping along the shoreline for food. He, too, was unconcerned, going about his daily work. Many gulls swooped overhead, some landing on the water, gathering together in a small rafting group. Overhead, one of the resident Bald Eagles circled; nearby, chickadees chattered as they hopped about in the old, weathered pine. It was a simple and comforting beginning to a good day, filling me with gratitude, and to rest the soul and to know that all is well here. . .the way it should be.

Joanne C. Williams, State Coordinator MLPA-MLW