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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge, Thanksgiving, 2012

Winter is here, and I'm already missing those unusually warm November days. The photo of the wild ponies, below, was taken on Thanksgiving weekend at the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.

Shayna and I had gone down there for the Waterfowl Festival, an annual event for visitors to enjoy the annual bird migrations as well as to see the famous wild ponies. Not exactly a warm weekend, but clear and bright, Chincoteague was in the midst of recovering from Hurricane Sandy, and "sandy" is exactly how it was: huge piles of sand had been bulldozed off of the main beach parking lot which provides access to to the beach. Yes, that's the sand piled up near a "yield sign" so maybe six feet of sand?

Chunks of the roadway were missing and being repaired, and many of the freshwater ponds had turned brackish because of the influx of salt water from the storm. Consequently, we saw few birds, and especially missed the large gaggles of snow geese that typically descend every year on their migration south.

Birds were in short supply, maybe because of the windy days, but I did see the eagles. Funny, here I am 3 and a half hours from Washington, and I see eagles and herons, when those same birds visit us regularly here in Lake Barcroft. Oh well. Here's a few eagle shots. I'm not sure what that one eagle came down and grabbed. It may have been a turtle!

Yet, the beauty of the refuge remains, despite the storm.

Swan's Cove
Swan's Cove Lagoon

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