Common Loon Photography Trips


Please note:

Effective August 8, 2022 I am limiting the number of Common Loon photography trips to two a week with a maximum of one person per trip. Days I am regularly available for these trips are Monday and Thursday. 

With advance notice I can schedule you a trip on a day either than Monday or Thursday.

Come explore the world of the Rangeley Region’s most visible and heard avian residents.

Two hour and four trips with wildlife and nature photographer Nick Leadley, editor of the recently released publication Gavia: Tales From Loon Country will take you into the heart of Common Loon territory. With a large number of lakes and ponds supporting a substantial loon population, the western mountains of Maine offer great chances to see and photograph loons in their natural surroundings.

If you are hoping to photograph adult Common Loons with chicks I recommend scheduling a from early- to mid July onward.


Kayaks offer a less intrusive way to observe the birds and get closer to their level on the water.

Ground transportation is provided on all trips. During two and four hour workshops we visit smaller lakes and ponds in the Rangeley area that are home to Common Loons.  All itineraries are subject to weather and wind conditions. It is possible to split four hour workshops in early morning and late day sessions to take advantage of the best light.

A percentage of the proceeds of each loon photography workshop are donated to Common Loon conservation and research efforts throughout New England.

Here are recent reviews from clients who joined me for Common Loon photography trips.

After doing a 4-hour kayak session with Nick on July 24 and 25 to photograph loons, I highly recommend Nick's workshops if you are a nature photographer wanting to get your own loon images or just a nature lover wanting to spend some quiet time on a lake with these beautiful haunting birds.

With Nick's extensive knowledge of the area and of loons and their behavior, he was able to quickly put us on loon pairs on three separate lakes and get us close to the loons without intruding on their space. With his experience observing and photographing loons for many years, he was able to anticipate their preening, wing flapping, and social behavior to put us in position for great shots.

Overall, spending a few hours of quiet solitude on a Rangeley area lake in close proximity to beautiful loons was a magical experience and left me wanting more.

Ray Bednar, Texas

I spent an amazing day in a kayak with Nick Leadley. The weather was fine, and it was as if the birds were on call! Nick was a grand host, knowledgeable, quiet, and extremely competent. I brought home a huge number of keepers, great photos of loons and landscape. It was a super day, and I came away having made a great friend. Thanks, Nick!!!

Michael Dimen, New York

Our Common Loon photography trip with Nick Leadley greatly exceeded our expectations, It was fantastic. We took some great photographs of loon families from sunrise to sunset in coves, ponds, lakes and rivers around Rangeley. We observed Common Loons tending their young, flying overhead, feeding and swimming underwater. We also saw Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Mergansers and a hawk carrying its prey across the water. Nick did a great job of teaching us to use our cameras and lenses to photograph the loons in different light. As a certified Maine Guide he was able to much more than give us tips. He explained the loon's behavior which both deepened our appreciation and helped us improve our photography. Nick's expertise also ensured our safety on the water. We felt totally secure getting in and out of the kayak with our camera gear. He helped position our kayak to photograph the loons from different angles. One of the biggest bonuses is Nick himself. He's fun, flexible and responsive. He made an effort to customize the trip by meeting with us before the trip to talk about our goals and asked for feedback periodically. He was attentive to details from packing a delicious lunch, bottled water, bug spray and even remembering toilet paper for a bathroom break. We can't wait to return next year for another Common Loon adventure.

Susie Dorr and Greg Kniseley, Rhode Island


Four hour workshop: $125.00 
Two hour workshop: $65 

Includes boats, life vests, and ground transportation. Snacks and water are also provided.

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Common Loon Tours