BEWARE SNAKES!!! Upper Occoquan Water Treatment Plant


My friend Mike and I went over to check out some of the migratory birds that visit this facility.  There were hundreds if not thousands of common as well as hooded mergansers, and ring billed gulls, and mallards. These were the dominating goups. Other species included other types of gulls, in fact there was one unfortunte  hearing gull with a broken wing, a couple of  kingfishers, and in one cove we counted 7 great blue herons a red tail hawk and few american crows.

To me the most unique experience of today was the newly installed signs warning people of venoumous snakes. Although the sign doesn’t mention the word venomous it does however clearly illustrate the heads of two vipers -(snakes with fangs) which to anyone who didnt know better that there were dangerous reptiles lurking near shore. Crazy!

Turkey Program at Walney


This morning went on a Wild Turkey Program led by Eric Malmgren. We covered the lenght from North to South of the park boundary looking for tracks or signs of the wild beast. Eric went as far as baiting certain known areas of previous sitings hopping to attract some birds for our visitors. Unfortunatley didn’t see any but did see evidence they had been in the area mainly in the form of scratches in the places where Eric baited with corn.
The over all hike was at least 2 maybe 3 miles long with no complaints or winers. Weather was excellent temp in the 50’s and sunny.


Below possble wild turkey scratch


Cub Run Stream Valley. Below crushed spotted salamander a casualty of the Pipeline construction. 


Pathway created by the dozers downstream of Cub Run rte 29 bridge.


After the walk My friend Mike and I went overto Cub Run stream valley to check out the construction of a new pipeline. The pipeline project is pretty harsh on the ripparian zone of the stream-especially in areas 2-300 yards up and down stream of the rte 29 bridge.

Walney Park Today. Barred Owl North Loop Trail


After my feeding program Mike and I were gearing up to go out and patrol trails.  As we prepared to leave, a visitor arrived with a worm snake stuck in an insect glue trap.   Just as we were able to free the animal from a slow miserable death another visitor walks in this time with a female garter snake stuck in a similar trap. As with the worm snake,  Mike and I were able to free the garter snake with minimal injury.   Both appear to be doing much better but are somewhat inhibitied in their movements from remaining glue goo residue on their bodies.

Finally we were able to get underway for a quick walk along the north loop trail. That’s when we stumbled upon this Barred Owl in the thick pines and cedars (photo above)