Sunday, September 2, 2007

Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge 1 Sept 2007

Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge is the downstream component of the Accotink Creek. The refuge is on the grounds of Ft Belvoir, Va., accessible from the Tully Gate on US Rt#1.

This refuge is best known for viewing bald eagles from the lower Wildlife Refuge point of the Archery Range during the dead of winter. In January of this year, we observed three full sized bald eagles and three immature bald eagles flying between tree tops and holes in the ice.

I walked about 8 miles of trails. I viewed great white egrets flying around [pictures below] and many types of butterflies [also below]. I was unable to capture pictures of the dragon and damselflies, however.

Trails on the west side of the creek tended to be less maintained and marked. I found the southern part of the Accotink Creek Trail to be impassible--totally overgrown with brambles and wild grape leaves. The Great Blue Heron Trail, though covered in waist high grasses and shoulder high brambles, brought many good pictures and a raised blind.

The McCarty Loop Trail and the Cemetery Loop trails just dissipated; I ended up instead in the W-1, W-6, and W-7 hunting range areas of the base.

The Bay and the Upper Creek would be quite interesting to view from a canoe or a kayak.

This is a butterfly I have not seen before.

Geese flying overhead.

This swallowtail butterfly just landed at my feet.

This was one of at least a dozen spider webs I encountered on the trail.

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