I kayaked Lake Rescue in 29 degrees this morning to see how it looked with its trees, some still fall-tinged, cloaked in soft early snow, and encountered an astonishing 25 loons swimming together back and forth in the south end.
I assume they were a migrating group that came from the Adirondack lakes and were gathering up others on their way migrating to the Atlantic coast. They made no sound, just swam together, occasionally craning their necks or ruffling their wings.
In the end, they took to the air, flying together in three or four glorious circles around the lake, sometimes, right over my head, before heading off to parts unknown.
Goodbye, loons. Safe travels. Thanks for the memories. See you next year!
Addendum: I have since learned that these birds are in fact not loons but white-winged scoters. Still stunning.