I set out early after waking S. to let her know that I am going. She asks where I am going and I tell her, "just up the shoreline, the tide is out and I can't go anywhere interesting".
It's calm and sunny and I am outnumbered by fishermen hunting pogies by 20 to 1. The sun reflects off of an undulating surface in a pattern that suggests code, or sinister mind control....the blinking that should have a warning label about seizures.
I head north and pass the flag rocks, and I pass the Oyster River, its mouth far too shallow at this tide level to even get near to, and I stop and turn at the next point, for which I have no name. I haven't found any distinctive features to name it with other than the nasty chop that forms here on a south wind. A black bird surfaces, its head held at the wrong angle for a cormorant. Cormorants hold their heads chin high. This bird looks loon. It dives and I watch for about a minute before it comes up for air, a hundred yards south of where it went down. This also looks loon. Then, as I sit, I hear three individual "oooop"s...not the familiar loon call, but entirely in the distant swallowed echo voice of a loon. I follow, aiming each time it dives, for the point where it disappears and scanning the surface for its next appearance - a minute five, a minute ten, seventy five yards, a hundred yards between breaths. Whether by intention or not, it doesn't let me closer than two hundred yards. I pass it near the flag rocks while it is busy preening two hundred yards seaward of me.
It is the first loon since they left in the spring.
17 hours ago