On July 15, from 8-9 AM, New Hampshire held its Loon Census. Volunteers observe and tally loons for one full hour and send their results/observations into the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC). This information is critical in keeping records for New Hampshire's loon population as well as reporting osprey.
This morning I reported seeing our two adults with one chick. I can confirm that we have lost one chick in the past 24 hours. Yesterday, I saw both adults and both chicks between Stella's Beach and the island. The chicks were exactly 14 days old. You might remember that last year when the chicks were 14 days old, Chris Hobby reported seeing an adult loon (one of the parents) kill one of our chicks. I have not heard of reports this year of anyone actually seeing what happened since yesterday morning. We might never know. If someone did hear or see something on the lake, please send me a report.
I have also reported to the NHLPC a pair of Merlin. I confirmed this during the Loon census. Both were seen on the island. The female was feasting on a small bird she had caught. The wide dark bans across their tail distinguish the Merlin from the Kestrel. They have been observed on Highland Lake for several summers now. Merlin is much rarer in these parts than the Kestrel so we should feel privileged to have them!