Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 163

loon with chick by DA

Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 163

A little rain kept my garden growing and flowers blooming. My bee balm has come out, giving the hummers a new place to eat in both the front and backyards. Karen and I sat on the front porch yesterday and the hummer feeders were a beehive of activity all afternoon. 

In the morning, we had a mother bear come through with two of last year’s cubs checking out the bird feeders, but walked around the electric fence. One of the cubs got confused as to where the others went and it tried to go through the fence, but took a shot and backed off, then circled around looking for mom and hit the fence again. It left in a hurry that time and probably will not try that again. A few minutes later, there was a doe with twin fawns who were nursing together out in front of the house. It would have made a great picture as they were right in a sunshine spot, but the camera was in the truck.

Many birds have been bringing their young ones to the feeders for a snack. Several Blue Jays with young have been coming everyday, so I set the Potter traps yesterday and caught five of the young ones. I also caught an older jay that I had banded as a juvenile in July of 2014, which made that bird 8 years and two months old. That is one of the oldest returns I’ve had of a jay. They usually eat and run, never to be seen again, but not this one. I also caught some juvenile Slate Colored Juncos who were still sporting some pin feathers. 

The Loon Census was Saturday from 8 to 9AM on a lake of your choice or one that no one else was doing. On some big lakes like Raquette Lake, they have several watchers on various parts of the lake. On the Adirondacks League Club, they also have several people who go to different lakes and ponds on the club to check for loons and chicks. 

I do three interior lakes and one pond in the Moose River Area. This year I cut back on doing Mitchell Ponds which I had done in previous years that day. It takes me a little longer than the hour provided but no one else gets to see these lakes that day and most birds don’t move around much when on territory. I biked into Little Indian Lake early that day and got there just before eight with a stop at Muskrat Pond on the way in. Normally I just see a family of Ring-necked Ducks or Hooded Mergansers on the pond, but not on Saturday, as there was a big Loon out there fishing. This was only the second time I’ve seen a Loon on this pond. Then on to Little Indian Lake, I  saw fresh moose tracks along the way. Got there right at eight, even though I moved a few debris out of the road along the way as I hate to have to stop on the way out on some of the down hills. Right out in front of the campsite, there was a Loon calling as I walked out into the open, but no chicks, just a single Loon. I did canoe the entire lake looking for nesting sites as I hadn’t been there yet this year, but found none. I did get a Ring-necked Duck with five babies and a few songbirds with food for young, including White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Belted Kingfisher. There were some Cedar Waxwings bugging around the shoreline, as a green drake hatch coming off the water. 

I biked back to the old trail down to Squaw Lake and walked out to Ledge Rock Point where you can see most of the lake. My Dad’s ashes are there, so we have a little visit and catch up on things and I had to tell him of the new Great Grand Baby Milly that he was missing. We had some great fishing days right in front of that rock ledge that we visit about each year. This year there was a Loon right off the ledge which said nothing as it swam to the far west end of the lake and met up with another loon that had a chick following it. I watched them fish together for a while under the big dead pine with an Osprey nest on top which also had a young bird in the nest. All kinds of excitement as these Loons hadn’t had a chick in three years on the lake. Back up to the bike and out to the truck where I had lunch, a couple granola bars and an apple. Drove over to the Beaver Lake Trailhead and then biked the two miles into the lake. Passed four hikers and two dogs near the big pine tree. I asked if they had seen any Loons on the lake and they said they were there for about an hour and hadn’t seen or heard anything. I got there about one and saw a Loon fishing down in the pond lilies at the west end. Looking further, I could see a Loon on the nest on a bog at the far west end of the lake. I sat on shore and watched for a while as the bird on the nest got off and cooled itself in the lake and got back on the nest, which ended my Loon Census Day. I can bike out of Beaver Lake in less than 15 minutes if I don’t stop to admire the big triple white pine which is in the stages of dying. I sure hope it doesn’t fall across the trail, as we don’t have saws big enough to cut it out. Two other big pines fell just down the trail a year before I came here in 1966 and luckily, they fell parallel to the trail.

Wild parsnip is taking over the road shoulders and even fields on the way to Utica, but that’s another story. See ya. 

Above Photo:  Loon and chick by Don Andrews

IMG 1587
Hummer in the Bee Balm by me



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  • Debbie 26/07/2022 4:45pm (13 days ago)

    I am in love with all your postings!! What a wonderful life you have lived. I would love it if you could give me some ideas of where to go kayaking? My husband and I purchased a blow-up kayak. We are more interested in sticking close to shore and staying in a river or creek. We went back into the Moose country preserve last year but couldn't find a place to launch. We did eventually find something over by Helldivers pond but then it started to rain. Bummer! I so would have loved to paddle down the creek that runs along the road.
    Could you recommend a stream or river we could have an adventure on? Neither one of us is in great physical shape... that kayak weighs a ton! So if there was something close to a point where we could park our car and into the stream that would be so helpful!!
    Keep up with all of your wonderful postings! I am having a great time reading through them all!
    Thank you in advance!
    Warm regards,
    Debbie

  • Debbie 26/07/2022 4:45pm (13 days ago)

    I am in love with all your postings!! What a wonderful life you have lived. I would love it if you could give me some ideas of where to go kayaking? My husband and I purchased a blow-up kayak. We are more interested in sticking close to shore and staying in a river or creek. We went back into the Moose country preserve last year but couldn't find a place to launch. We did eventually find something over by Helldivers pond but then it started to rain. Bummer! I so would have loved to paddle down the creek that runs along the road.
    Could you recommend a stream or river we could have an adventure on? Neither one of us is in great physical shape... that kayak weighs a ton! So if there was something close to a point where we could park our car and into the stream that would be so helpful!!
    Keep up with all of your wonderful postings! I am having a great time reading through them all!
    Thank you in advance!
    Warm regards,
    Debbie

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