Spring at Lake Shenandoah

March 24, 2009

Monday evening as the sun hung low in the sky, I took a stroll around Lake Shenandoah in Rockingham County.

Aside from the usual ducks, geese and sparrows, I noticed something odd in the distance and moved in for a closer look. And there it was, a goofy little bird that looked like a cross between a penguin and a blue jay holding an entire fish in its mouth. For several minutes it whipped its head back and tried to devour its meal.


After making a few frames, I attempted to move in closer and the bird got spooked and took off (with its trophy). I have no idea what species that could have been.

As I continued around the perimeter of the lake, I noticed some early signs of spring in the form of insects and minnows. I’m going to miss the gnat and mosquito free days.

After returning to the parking lot, I sat for a minute on the end of the dock and popped one last frame of a duck drifting by.


Unfortunately nothing from this outing stuck out enough to make the cut for the book, but it was still a nice walk. This weekend I should get some park time in, so I’m excited about that. I’ve been missing the mountains.

5 Responses to “Spring at Lake Shenandoah”

  1. Renee Says:

    My first guess was a kingfisher (since it’s the only tufted bird I know of that eats fish) and I found this on whatbird:

    Nice catch!

  2. Renee Says:

    Though yours looks bigger than the ones in the whatbird photos, so I could be wrong… coloring is the same though!

  3. Christa Says:

    I lived right on the bank of Lake Shenandoah before any of the houses were built out there. I can tell you with certainty that it is indeed a Kingfisher.

  4. Evan Dyson Says:

    That’s pretty cool. Maybe I can get a better frame next time I’m out. Thanks for the ID!

  5. […] seen a kingfisher only once before in Rockingham County, but that was a Belted Kingfisher. Kingfishers are panicky little fish eaters […]

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