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Monday, 7 May 2018

Loon at Milliken Park This Spring!

It's been a while since I've posted anything new. Life's been pretty busy. There's work, and my painting, and my photography and design stuff, as well as lots of family and friends things going on.

I'll jump to the weird but exciting highlight of this Spring so far, bird wise. Not your everyday sighting to say the least. I've only seen one a couple times as a kid, and always at dusk, almost in silhouette, once canoeing with my Dad at Bon Echo Provincial Park, and maybe once at my kids' Dad's parents cottage one year. I don't even recall if I've heard one before. But, there was actually a Loon in the pond waters at Milliken Park a couple weeks ago!

We'd heard about people seeing it and we figured, hey, let's just venture up there and see, and if we don't see it, well, we will walk around and enjoy the park anyway. I will be honest, I did not expect to just park, get out of the car, walk over to the wooden walk way that sits on the parking lot side of the oval body of water, and look out and there the Loon would be floating around in the centre. But, lo and behold, that is exactly how it went down. I'm like, "no way, that's gotta be a cormorant!" when I spotted a low laying black bird in the water. As we got closer though, you could see the white markings. It was indeed the Loon, and he was hunting for crayfish. He dove and brought up about 3 or 4, then he must have gotten full, because he stopped sitting so low in the water, and started cleaning himself. He then floated around, and at one point he lay his head on his back and was resting.

We watched him for about an hour, talked to another person there for a bit, walked around the entire oval pond on the path, then we headed back to our car and home. I kept looking back at him, further and further away, I was reluctant to leave him as I knew I'd never see him again, nor likely, a Loon again, for a very long time, if ever.

Later, after we looked at the images I took, which weren't great, but at least we got to see him, we read that someone else mentioned they thought he had a fishing line caught in his beak. But, there wasn't, and I saw better images of someone else's, and he had no fishing line present. He was behaving normal, eating, cleaning, sleeping, content, so I feel confident he was fine, no harmful fishing hook and line in him. I did see a small piece of weed hanging from his mouth in a couple shots, and I believe the person who thought they saw the line, also had taken shots the same time as I did, so that is most likely what they spotted.

By now, he has probably headed further north, now that the water surfaces are not frozen over anymore.

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