Common Loons on Lake Monona

Lakeshore-Monona Loons 3-27-16-30

I really love Common Loons and look forward to their spring and fall migration every year. Madison is a bit too far south to be a breeding location but they do spend time on our lakes during migration. Lake Monona is a great place to view them because there is a steep drop-off right off shore which can, at times, bring them pretty close to shore.

The following sequence is of a loon that caught a crayfish and spent time removing its claws before swallowing it. The lighting was not so good on this day but I was happy with some of the images I was able to get.

I am pretty sure I look like a mad man as I run up and down the shoreline with my camera and tripod, trying to anticipate where one will pop up next.

March 27th

Lakeshore-Monona Loons 3-27-16-6 Lakeshore-Monona Loons 3-27-16-7

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All gone!

Lakeshore-Monona Loons 3-27-16-26

April 3rd

The sun was out today but I was actually shooting more into it than not so the glare was a bit harsh at times. I was still able to get a few decent pictures and was able to get that beautiful blood red eye.

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I got lucky enough to witness a territorial dispute between two loons. The glare is pretty bad in most of them but there is enough to get the idea of what is happening.

Monona Loons 4-3-16-18

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One of the trickiest things for me is to capture loons diving and get some of the action. The time between them floating on the surface and being completely submerged is minuscule so getting them mid-dive is not easy.

Monona Loons 4-3-16-8Monona Loons 4-3-16-7

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The spring migration is great because they are in breeding plumage when they arrive. In the fall they are rather drab and plain looking but still fun to chase around.


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