Saturday, February 2, 2008

January 20 2008 Eagle Watching at Accotink Bay

Accotink Bay is an outstanding location to view adult and immature bald eagles in the winter. Accontink Bay is best accessed from the Archery Range on Ft Belvoir.

We arrived at the Archery Range in the early afternoon and were immediately welcomed by an immature bald eagle flying right above us. We observed a total of approximately 15 adult and immature bald eagles--most in Accotink Bay, and 4 - 5 across the way at Pohick Bay (small boat put-in at Pohick Bay Regional Park).

The eagles were particularly active--the morning temperature was in the teens.
We shot most of our pictures through the front window of the Honda Element--whose curvature presented some problems in focusing. I used my Canon Rebel XTi with a 2x TC and a 300mm IS lense. Use of the 2x TC made my camera operate in a strict manual mode--even the AF points would not light. It is hard to manually focus and track a moving overhead eagle. Thus, not all of the pictures below are crisp--but I wanted to show some of the content anyway.

Eagle on a water object. A second eagle leaving the water.

Five eagles in a tree across the way from the Archery Range.

Eagle snatching a fish out of the water

Common merganser

Eagle soaring above

Three eagles soaring above

Unknown Duck--note ring at base of bill

Another unidentified duck
Soaring immature bald eagle

Glorious immature bald eagle straight overhead

Same immature bald eagle soaring above

Sea gull in the nearby mud flats


Nick-dog said...

Hi! I discovered your blog googling for images of Signal Knob.

This is a great picture journal and I've enjoyed checking out your journeys (so I can get some ideas of my own).

I have an (albeit relatively short) adventure recommendation for you if you are in the Front Royal area and haven't done it already: the Browntown Road. Right after the northern entrance to Skyline starts the Browntown road, which paralells Skyline at a lower level. The road dead-ends after Browntown, but you can head west from Browntown to Bentonville to pick-up 340.

The reason I like this drive is for the amazing views, of course, but also it gives you a great feeling of life in the valley foothills.

Good luck if you decide to check it out.


John's Outdoor World said...

Nick, thank you very much!

I've been traveling and hiking around the Massanutten since the 60's when my dad took me up there. I have hiked up to Signal Knob once--a tough trek.

Back in the early 70's I did explore ari=ound Browntown and Bentonville--and I would like to go look around again. With your suggestion, I will probably do that! Thanks, John