Chasing Darrell

Posted by Jane N on

On my recent visit to the lake, I had planned on focusing on searching for the baby Loon that was seen on Lake Francis near the Rt 3 boat launch. It's not that I doubted the reports, I was just jealous, I wanted to see the baby Loon with my own eyes and I hoped to be able to get a picture to share with the Loon Protection Committee.

So I decided to devote the whole day to searching for the baby Loon (aka Darrell). I started the day out on the water in my kayak along the North shore. I knew this wasn't the area that Darrell had been seen but the lake was calm and I thought I'd give it a try and see how far towards the Dam I could get. I told myself I would paddle for an hour then turn back. I made it to the point where the cove opens up to the main part of the lake, I could see the Dam but it was still a long ways off. I did see one pair of Loons swimming together and a single Loon on the opposite shore but no sight of Darrell.

I headed back to the cabin and loaded up the truck with my spotting scope, a picnic lunch and all my other birding gear and headed to the Rt 3 boat launch to search for Darrell. I pulled in to the far end of the launch area where there were a few picnic tables close to the water so I could set up my spotting scope and scan the water for Darrell. There was a couple there with their dog sitting in lawn chairs by the waters edge enjoying the sun. I asked them if they had seen any Loons in the area and if they had noticed any baby Loons. Surprise! They tell me they hadn't seen a baby Loon today but had seen one last Saturday in this same spot. That was the same day Darrell (the human) & Lynn had seen the baby Loon. Great news now that's four people who saw the baby Loon on the same day in the same area. I just have to find Darrell for my self!

I hung around the area for a while scanning the water. I did see an adult Loon but no baby Loon, still searching for Darrell. I did talk with Darrell & Lynn who were there at the boat launch helping boaters. I told him about the other couple who had also seen the baby Loon last Saturday and I told him I had named the baby Loon Darrell, he was fine with that. Having no success at the boat launch I decide to move on. Thought I would give it a try at the Dam, from the top I could get a good view of the South cove area. Still searching for Darrell.

I park at the Dam and start to pack my gear to take the path up to the top of the Dam. It's an easy trail to the top, nice and wide and smooth, but it was hot, so I decided not to carry my spotting scope with me. I debated should I or should I bring it? Figured I had a 50/50 chance I was making the right decision. I got to the top of the Dam and scanned the water with my binoculars and soon spotted a Loon on the far side close to shore. That was a good sign, if the Loon was close to shore it was possible it was because it had a young with it and was staying protected from any over head Raptors by staying closer to shore.

I focus on the Loon, wait do I see what I think I see? It almost does look like there is a smaller grayish blob next to the adult. Oh could it be Darrell?! I just couldn't see good enough with my binoculars. Yup, I had to rush back down to the truck get my spotting scope and rush back to the top of the Dam! Of course once I finally get back, set up my spotting scope the Loon was gone! Was it only an adult which had dived under water and was gone? Or did the Loon turn into the small cove to the right which was out of my viewing area? Was it an adult with a baby? Guess I'll never know for sure. So I'm still chasing Darrell. I'll keep everyone updated, I'll stay at it and hope to find Darrell soon.

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  • Hello Jane,
    Ruth has sent me many of your bird stories. I simply love reading them, (not to mention, your creative writing skills are terrific.) Happy you now have a venue to share with more readers. Good Luck!

    CAaolyn on

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