The Storm and a Feast for a Loon

This past week, wind and rain came to the Lake. The winds caused power outages and the rains raised the lake level. This storm produced around 3.5 inches of rain and was on top of a similar amount rain about four days earlier. But the loons and other birds are still around and one loon was seen eating a very large fish.

On the night of October 29th, the storm started and before dawn everyone in Wolfeboro was without power. Food stores and restaurants had a hard time as their freezers and refrigerators were off for too long and many had to throw away lots of food. The business area got power back by late Monday and Wolfeboro Electric kept working as fast as they could to get all things back in order, enlisting crews from other places in NH and also out of state. Typical of the kind of damage was a tree on the telephone/cable wires after it had snapped the power lines. The power company did a really great job given the magnitude of the power outage.

The amount of rain that fell raised the lake level by about a foot over the course of the two storms but it didn’t cause much damage because the lake was being lowered to get to the Winter level which is about 2 feet lower than the Summer level. All the streams were in flood but are now quieting down.

Out on the lake, the birds are still around including a few migrators such as the Buffleheads which are very elegant birds.

Of interest was one loon with a very big fish. It might have been that the eyes (or beak) were too large for the stomach but the loon was successful in downing the fish. It is hoped that the loon didn’t have a stomach ache. The loon was initially seen with bill open, trying to get the fish into the right position for swallowing. The fish wasn’t “doing well and didn’t seem to swim away when dropped and the loon kept working at it, bill wide open trying to get it into position to swallow.

The lower bill is not seen here because it is up against the loon’s neck. Eventually, the loon got the fish into the right position, head first, and swallowed. Obviously, the throat of a loon can expand to allow a fish this size to go down.

It is hoped that all will be well with this huge meal in its stomach and wonder if with this extra weight the loon could get off the water and fly. Well, the lake won’t freeze for awhile and all should be well.