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Loons on the Pond

The summer of 2022 brought a loon couple to West Harbor Pond.  They mated and produced a chick that spent the summer cruising the Pond with "mom and dad".  They might be spotted in any area of the Pond, and often could be heard making themselves known at any hour of day--or night.  By late summer the chick had grown to a teenager.  We look forward to seeing how the family leaves the Pond in the fall, and to see if they return next year!

WHPWA member Lois Glaser took a number of wonderful photos of the family escorting the chick around the Pond.  These can be viewed in gallery form on the page "Loon Family 2022".   As many people know, most loons avoid the proximity of humans, and tend to keep their distance. These close up photos were possible for several reasons: Because WHP is small and boating activity is quiet (mostly kayaks and canoes) the loons seemed to gradually habituate to human presence. As a result, respectful paddlers could sometimes get a bit closer than expected, or the loons would show up nearby, to the surprise of the kayaker or canoeist! The photographer has a good DSLR camera with a 400mm telephoto lens, enabling her to zoom in on the loons from afar. Many images were also cropped, making the loons appear much closer than they were in reality. 


In giving the loons the space they need, we are hopeful that the breeding pair will return again in 2023. We hope that all loons spotted on any body of water will be given this same respect.

For more information about loons, you might also want to look at the website About Loons – Loon Preservation Committee

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Resumption of Water Quality Testing

The WHPWA suspended its monthly water quality testing in August 2021 while waiting to obtain a new dissolved oxygen meter ("DO meter") capable of testing to the deepest part of the pond – about 37 feet deep.  This spring, an anonymous donor made a generous contribution that allowed us to purchase a new, state-of-the-art YSI ProSolo meter. The new meter, which we used for the first time in April, measures all the parameters that we test for – temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and salinity – and displays the measurements on a single screen.  Previously, we needed two meters to take these measurements. The new YSI meter also has a 30-meter (98 ft.) cable that allows us to take measurements in the deepest part of the Pond. The new meter not only saves time and effort but allows us for the first time to monitor that part of the Pond of greatest concern: the deep hole, where the water quality remains degraded.

Remembering Pat Farrin

When Pat Farrin passed away on Saturday May 14, 2022, West Harbor Pond and its residents lost a friend and a benefactor. Pat’s generosity and good works went far beyond our tiny Pond to touch the larger Boothbay community in many ways, and others are better suited to paint the full picture of Pat’s kindheartedness. His obituary in the Boothbay Register may be viewed here.

WHPWA BOD President Merritt Blakeslee prepared a photo remembrance of the many ways in which Pat impacted West Harbor Pond.  It can be found here


Filling in the Old Siphon 

One of the most important News areas for West Harbor Pond in recent years has been the funding and development of the new Pond siphon.  The new siphon replaced the Pond's original siphon from 1880 that had failed and was essentially not repairable.  Since the time of that failure the old siphon has been allowing occasional salt water to splash into the Pond.  The WHPWA worked with the Town of Boothbay Harbor and the Maine DOT to eliminate this problem.  For the details of how the fill-in was accomplished, see Merritt Blakeslee's Boothbay Register article on the subject.

For much more news and information about the siphon, click here to go to the Siphon page.

Pat Farrin working on the West Harbor Pond siphon project (Photo courtesy Merritt Blakeslee)

A native Asian bird makes a visit to West Harbor Pond -
The Steller's Sea Eagle

January 2022 brought winter weather to West Harbor Pond, and with it a Steller's Sea Eagle, a large bird native to coastal northeastern Asia that is rarely seen in the western hemisphere, according to numerous sources.  Its visit to the Boothbay Harbor area and West Harbor Pond continued through at least  January 16th.  Many bird watchers flocked to the area to see this rare bird.  For more information see the article in the Boothbay Register and the daily log posted by Maine Audobon

Image Courtesy of Jodi Lynne Photography, Massachusetts
Image Courtesy of Jodi Lynne Photography, Massachusetts
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Bird watchers from both inside and out of the Boothbay region came to the West Harbor Pond causeway to attempt to get a glimpse or a photo of the visiting bird

Image Courtesy of Molly Cole Hutchins.

Notes from the WHPWA Annual Meeting

A well-attended Annual Meeting was held on August 8th 2021 both to carry out the organization's regular business and as an outdoor social activity for the WHPWA membership.  The notes from this meeting can be read here.

"Do Not Anchor" Sign

The Maine DOT gave its permission to erect a “Do Not Anchor” sign on the bank of the Highway 27 causeway above the point where the harborside siphon pipe enters the harbor.  The Boothbay Harbor Department of Public Works kindly undertook to install the sign in early November, 2021.  This sign is the counterpart to the seasonal, floating “Do Not Anchor” sign installed during the summer months just beyond the outfall of the siphon.

© 2022 by West Harbor Pond Watershed Association.

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Loon Photo by Lois Glaser

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