For me, getting in the boat to go fishing is just a ploy to get a little closer to some of the many Common Loons that nest in the area in the spring and summertime as well as other birds. While slowly trolling or drifting with my fishing line and bait in the water, my camera was nestled between my feet inside of two sealed dry-bags. We weren't seeking out the Loons, because my fishing partners came to fish. So if we happened upon a Loon, or had one swim up near us I would scramble to unwrap my camera and try to get a few quick photos before the bird dove and disappeared (sometimes forgetting about my line in the water). They are incredible swimmers and can easily swim 60-100 feet in just a few seconds popping up out of easy camera range. Hand-holding a camera with a big lens in a moving, bouncing boat is a bit of a challenge so I had to compose and focus quickly, use a fast shutter speed and fire off as many shots as I could before the bird disappeared. There were some Loons sitting on nests, and it is a little easier to take pictures of them, but we kept a healthy distance so as not to disturb the birds. In addition, we saw several nesting Bald Eagles, American White Pelicans, Canada Geese, Mallards, Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, Cormorants and more. The forest was full of smaller birds but because of the rain I did not take any pictures.
Click on any of the images below to see them larger in a slide show. (You can listen to Loon calls on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site.) [More Loons here...]