Snowy scan of Huntley Meadows

February 1, 2010

Monday evening I had a pleasant visit at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, but didn’t have much in the way of wildlife sightings.

With an abundance of snow still along much of the path and entirely covering the ground within the woods, I thought it would be simple to notice wildlife. Generally speaking, I was wrong.

While the contrast of the animals against the snow was working in my favor, the fact that several inches of powdery snow on a wooden boardwalk creaks did not. Keep in mind that anytime I venture out, I make it a point to be as quiet as possible.

Early on in my outing, I had several geese fly-bys.

Shortly after making the above image, I noticed another photographer ahead on the boardwalk intently watching something nearby. As I approached, I noticed it was a Virginia Rail. While I couldn’t grab a decent shot of the animal, I was intrigued by its footprints.

Last time I saw a Virginia Rail I wasn’t able to study its feet much. Tracking is something that I enjoy and while I’m not great at it, I always like to add to my mental list of species.

Finally, I’ll end with a small challenge. If you haven’t already, don’t scroll down until I tell you to. During the outing, I found a hawk across the water. See how long it takes you to find it in the image below and then scroll down even more to see it at full resolution.

Do you see it?

Here’s the full resolution crop of it:

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