Common Loon Photography Trips


Small group Common Loon trips

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

Two hour, half day and full day 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.

Common Loon photography trips are regularly offered on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for either two hours, four hours and full day trips during the summer months. With advance notice I can schedule a workshop of any length on days other than those listed above. Group size is limited to three people. All care is taken to minimize the impact on the birds.

Ground transportation is included in all trips. Transportation on the water is by either canoe or kayak (single or tandem) depending on the wishes of the client and conditions. Canoes and kayaks offer a less intrusive way to observe the birds and get closer to their level on the water. During two and four hour workshops we will stay closer to the Rangeley area on smaller lakes and ponds that are home to Common Loons. On full day trips we can travel to lakes and ponds further from Rangeley. All itineraries are subject to weather and wind conditions.

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

If you have a larger group or are not comfortable in canoes or kayaks, I can arrange early morning trips aboard the Oqussoc Lady II, a large comfortable boat operated by Rangeley Region Lake Cruises. The Oquossoc Lady II can accomodate 14 people. Trips  can be arranged with a minimum of 24-48 hours notice.


However the birds are still around for a while and the chicks are getting larger. Anyone interested in a small group Common Loon photography experience this season or Common Loon photography trips next year aboard the Oquossoc Lady II please contact me.

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


Full day: $245.00 per person.
Half day: $125.00 per person.
Two hours: $65 per person.

Includes boats, life vests, and ground transportation. Lunch is included in full day trips. Snacks are provided on half day trips.

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Common Loon Tours

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