Thursday, June 18, 2009

Loon nesting count and scrubland research continued

Yesterday I spent the better part of a beautiful day assisting DCR biologists with Common Loon nesting counts at Quabbin Reservoir and scrubland research. We began the day around 6 doing point counts we started last week. A similar cast of characters were seen and heard today. The main addition was at the end of our first counts we passed by a large marshy area which contained both Hooded Merganser and Wood Duck fledglings. The Hooded Merg's were almost as big as the adult female but the Wood Ducks were tiny, very recently fledged. One additional trip this season will have to be made to this plot to wrap up the research for the season. We then went to a new survey plot area which is in a proposed site for a clear cut. Following the completion of this survey we returned to the DCR HQ building to pick up our boat to begin the loon count.

We launched out of the boat area in New Salem and went as far south as Boat Launch area 3. We were on the water for approximately four hours. We found a total of 10 different loons with two definite nests found. Another couple areas were highly suspicious of nesting but nothing could be found. According to the biologist the loons have not had much luck nesting this season with several nest failures noted. We also had two Bald Eagle nests each containing two large nestlings that looked about ready to leave the nest. There were also several Common Mergansers with a least three young. A very productive and enjoyable day at Quabbin on one of the nicest days in weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment