I enjoy taking photographs of anything , but wildlife tops the list .
An article written about a loon and me , well not just any loon .
For two years I have been away from Miners Bay, away from my beloved loons, and their habitat. It’s a place where ski boats fly around, wake boards and their deep hull boats stir up the water, and power boats of every kind zoom across the bays and open spaces of Gull Lake. In spite of having few places safe for rearing young, and waves from water craft washing out their nests, Charlie and his mate, and two other pairs of loons persist in staying on this over populated lake.
On the point next to where I used to live, a photographer has his cottage. One rarely sees him, because like me he favours the quiet times, when speed boaters are sleeping or away in the city. Last week I received an email from him; attached were two beautiful pictures of Charlie babysitting two rather large young loons. In the many years I watched this pair of loons and recorded their lives and baby production, I had come to know Charlie’s appearance. I have some good photos of him also, but nothing like the two I received from my former neighbour.
My partner asked how I knew for sure it was Charlie, and I gave her quite a few clues. First of all the territory is Charlie’s. Second, he has a chip out of his upper beak. Third, his head is slightly squared off, not completely curved as lots of loons are. But the most obvious clue for me was the fact that he was watching the chicks, as he’s done for years.
His mate always shared nest sitting duties with him, but as soon as the babies were hatched, Charlie took over, and Claire, as we called her, took a vacation. Once in a while you’d see all of them together, but for the most part Charlie was the baby sitter.
These pictures made me happy, and brought back the wonder of my loon survey days. It has always astounded me that these huge birds can fly the distances they do, dive as deep as they do, live in fresh and salt water, and most importantly, survive in spite of the human beings on their lakes with all their engine driven toys. Loons have adapted to having people in their habitat better than any species I know of in this area, and these 2009 pictures show me that they are still here, and thriving.
Added to the thrill of receiving these photos was the knowledge that this thoughtful man acknowledged my interest in loons and took the time to send pictures to me. I like knowing that someone is still watching over Charlie and his family.
Written by Margot Roberts, Author and nature lover .
Now how cool is that .
Anyway most of my pictures come from the Gull Lake area or Miner's Bay near Minden On.