The Stamp Act Walk has been set for the 17th of August. The walk generally takes about two hours and starts sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 with two groups going out. To reserve spaces for the walk, click this link. Please only take spaces for your group if you are certain that you will attend.
The Stamp Act Walk will start at the North Beach and visit the eagle trees, look at the Black Gum Swamps and also the swamp where the Heron Rookery was.
In Loon News, there seem to be at least two nesting pairs. Remember to stay away from them a respectable distance, 50 yards is respectable. If the adults show any strange behavior, then you are too close. We want the loons to stay on their nests and then also be able to raise their chicks. Stress can kill the chicks or make the adults abandon them. If you see loons with chick(s) swimming. Try not to force them to where boats will hit them (chicks can’t dive). Don’t go between them and the shore or them and an area or rocks similar to those near Governor’s Rock.
The two nesting pairs seem to have nests high enough so that any rise in the lake level won’t be catastrophic. That is a good thing. There are also a number of “non-nesting” loons around and they seem to travel as a group.
In other birding news, it seems as if there are some hawks around. The grackles and red winged blackbirds were quite irritated about a hawk that had landed in a swamp. It may have caught one of their friends so they wanted it to go away. They were dive bombing the hawk and he/she eventually left.
It is probably a Cooper’s Hawk but it is hard to tell. Below is an immature Bald Eagle departing a tree branch. There seem to be a number who are around and because the nesting pair doesn’t have any chicks this year, they are not as worried about their territory so the immature birds aren’t scared off as much.
The Stamp Act Committee (below) met to address their annual business. They approved the walk on the island on the 17th of August and signed up to monitor the island and encourage people to obey the rules. Dogs continue to be an issue because people think that “their” dog is not a problem. The issue is that if one dog can be on the island, then all dogs can be on the island. A continual complaint from people using the North Beach is that dogs are there and causing problems. While most of us love dogs, they penetrate the woods which disturbs the island. Additionally, having them relieve themselves on the island isn’t good for wildlife, the lake, or humans that are allowed to use the beach. Dogs need to stay in boats or, perhaps, stay home.
Finally, we always have to look at the skies from time to time. Sometimes sunsets or sunrises are what we look at but at others, the sun comes down between the clouds. These are called crepuscular rays, sometimes called “rays of Buddha”. Enjoy the lake, be safe and keep our loons safe.