"Locals" on Wassookeag Lake participated in Maine Audubon Society's 20th Annual Loon Count on Saturday, July 19, 2003 from 7:00 AM to 7:30 AM. Wassookeag Coordinator, Diane Herring, reports that 10 adult loons and 1 chick were observed during the morning of the count.

Most residents agree that the numbers on this lake vary significantly from day to day, but the only way for Maine Audubon to get a "statewide snapshot" without double counting, is to isolate a "window of time".

Interestingly, a loon was observed nesting on the big lake on the morning of the count. The next day however, remnants of the egg at the nest site were visible through binoculars and nearby, the baby chick was riding on the mother's back, appearing happy and healthy.

babiesWhen discussing this most recent hatch with Susan Gallo, Wildlife Biologist with Maine Audubon, she advised Diane that the normal range for hatches is anywhere from mid-June to mid-July. Susan explained that a few days earlier or later isn't unusual and doesn't normally pose a problem. Participants in this year's count on Wassookeag included Diane Herring, Sally Thompson, John & Elaine Salley, and Susan Bogie.

If anyone has items of interest or concern regarding local loon activity, Diane Herring welcomes, and would appreciate, any input (924-3286 summer and 848-0762 after Labor Day).

Since the "official count" on 7/19/03 when one chick was observed on the little lake, 3 chicks have hatched on the big lake. One on the island (discussed in the article above) hatched between 7/19/03 and 7/20/03. This was observed and confirmed by Kay Emory and others. Another hatched "mid-way down the lake on the Shore Road side" on 7/31/03, and the third hatched in the Frye Cove vicinity around 7/31/03 (the last 2 reported by Marilyn McGaffin). (Exact locations of the nests are purposely omitted.)

Loon Count on Lake Wassookeag
Year Adults Chicks
1984 11 0
1988 5 5
1989 9 0
1990 8 0
1991 - -
1992 6 0
1993 13 0
1994 5 0
1995 16 0
1996 17 0
1997 14 0
1998 10 0


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