Saturday afternoon was great for reptiles at Huntley Meadows Park.

Near a familiar type of bush was a Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus aestivus) like I’ve seen in the past. This guy was smaller than the one I saw last time, with a body about the thickness of a pencil. Read the rest of this entry »

Between the seasons and the life cycles, one of the only things that’s certain in nature is change. Monday in Huntley Meadows I was startled to see the mother Merganser all alone standing on a log. Her young, five at last count, were nowhere to be found. Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday’s trip to Huntley Meadows Park was dominated primarily by snapping turtles.

When I initially arrived at the park, I was concerned when I saw a full parking lot, including a school bus. I hate heavy weekend traffic. Luckily on the trails I found a fairly loose distribution of visitors that allowed for some relatively effective shooting. Read the rest of this entry »

What I thought would be a bust turned out to be a day of great shots.

Thursday evening in Huntley Meadows I began the outing with my usual scan of the boardwalk area. I found very little until I rounded a corner and saw a familiar sight. Read the rest of this entry »

Rain and relaxation

May 13, 2010

Wednesday’s time in Alexandria’s Huntley Meadows was rainy and mellow. So mellow in fact, that I nearly fell asleep on the boardwalk.

Initial scans yielded little results, but off in the distance were the highest number of egrets I’ve seen to date. I counted six in all, but there could have been more that I missed. Read the rest of this entry »

Rainy Merganser visit

May 12, 2010

Tuesday was another day of clouds and rain in Northern Virginia. Huntley Meadows was relatively quiet, but I did get some great face time with a female Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) and six of her young.

The day began with a scan of the woods, were I found a Pileated Woodpecker, but distance prevented the shot. On the boardwalk, I initially didn’t have much better luck, though I was able to watch some of the dive-bombing birds that I’ve mentioned in the past. In conversation with another shooter, we figured them to be Barn Swallows. Read the rest of this entry »

Day for the birds

May 11, 2010

Monday was a pleasant outing, without any major activity in Huntley Meadows.

The snakes from previous outings were nowhere to be found and the limited sightings were mostly dominated by birds.

A group of Mergansers with young in toe was milling about in the water, but never got closer than a hundred yards or so. Read the rest of this entry »

Ducklings vs. goslings

May 11, 2010

Baby ducks and geese. They are just about guaranteed to make you smile (unless you are actually a robot).

From the fluffy appearance to the awkward waddle and worldly curiosity, they’re just awesome. But how do you know if you’re looking at a Canada Goose gosling or a baby Mallard? It’s actually pretty easy once you know what to look for. Read the rest of this entry »


May 10, 2010

Sunday in Alexandria was windy and cool, but apparently it was still warm enough for some cold blooded company.

I arrived in Huntley Meadows around 11:30 in the morning, hoping the change from my typical evening visits could yield some new species. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday evening was a simple relaxed visit to Huntley Meadows without any emerging theme during my time there.

The woods yielded little in the way of wildlife, and I initially saw very little on the boardwalk as well, although there are emerging signs of animals like the one below.

Don’t ask me what it is, because I honestly don’t know. I would be interested to find out, but don’t quite know how to research that one. Read the rest of this entry »