The other day I went down to one of my favorite little walks, Bells Neck in Harwich. I got out of the car and walked towards the herring ladder. There is a pool of water above the flume, a little smooth inlet away from the main pond. I saw a bird between the parking lot and the water, a largish bird. Not eagle big, or Great Blue Heron big, but something with the body the size of a Canadian Goose but a much shorter neck.
I walked pretty close, and it only half watched me. But then I got Fiyero out of the car and it lifted it’s head and kept a sharp, red eye on the dog.
I wasn’t sure what it was, but it looked familiar. I thought “Loon”, but it was the wrong color. Besides, I had never seen a Loon on the Cape. In Canada and northern Maine, sure, but Cape Cod? Nope.
When I returned from the walk, the bird was still there. I took a few photos and went back to the cottage. I followed my hunch and Googled ‘Loon’. Sure enough, it looked like a Loon. There are a few species that have similar coloring, but I decided it was an immature Common Loon.
Next I did a search for “What do I do if I found an injured bird on Cape Cod”. Yes, you can type questions into Google. One place stood out, Wild Care of Cape Cod. It was Saturday, but I had to try. No answer. I waited a few minutes and tried again. A person!
I talked to the woman at Wild Care and described the bird and location and such. She wanted me to go back and see how close I could get. I stood right over that poor little Loon and it didn’t try to get away or strike at me. She said she was going to call around and find a volunteer,
About 10 or 15 minutes later, I got received a call. The volunteer wasn’t exactly sure where I was, but knew the bike trail parking a quarter of a mile away. So I drove over to the bike path and waited about 45 minutes or so for her to arrive. Not a big deal – she had to prepare and I have no idea how far she had to drive – parts of Cape Cod are almost an hour drive away. P-Town might be farther. I was just happy someone was coming.
Anyway, long story short(er), we went back and the woman who had volunteered put a towel over the bird and picked it up. The poor thing seemed pretty weak and only feebly tried to fight back. She put the bird in a container and secured the top. The volunteer was very efficient. It was obvious she had done this before.
I don’t know what has become of “my” poor little immature Loon, but I know I left it in very good hands. I can only hope for the best.
So that was my excitement for that trip to Cape Cod.
Note – I love loons. I once posted about a special encounter with a loon and the calls that reverberated across a small lake for almost a minute.
Photo below is two mature Loons in Canada: