Today I canoed past a common loon on the Ottauquechee River in Hartland. This is the first one I have seen in Hartland, where I've spent summers since 1968. I also saw a black-billed cuckoo in a willow shrub on the edge. A great blue heron rookery had 8 nests at least four of which had herons in them. I enjoyed watching an eastern kingbird repeatedly fly down to the water from a perch and splash for a second or two. It looked as though it were bathing, rather than catching insects off the surface. l also saw two mallard families, a belted kingfisher couple, crows, tree swallows, a common yellowthroat, a spotted sandpiper, a northern flicker and heard ovenbirds, blue jays and a scarlet tanager. I watched two muskrats swimming with mouthfuls of green plants and carrying them under water.