VHS Survey June 4, 2011

 

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Above: That’s me in the marsh looking out over the Occoquan River.

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Five Lined Skink

I sit here typing away at 3:55 am with not one but two swollen hands from bee stings received yesterday while conducting a survey for VHS and the Fairfax County Park Authority. Today was a good day as far as weather was concerned-couldn’t ask for nicer conditions. Clear skies and temp ranged between 70-80 degress.  From the start it appeared that this might turn out to be a species rich site. Almost instantly I recovered a skink and our VHS survey leader a beautiful spotted salamander. Another participant found a worm snake. Worm snakes turned out to be the most abundant finds amond the reptiles recovered today.

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Spotted Salamnder

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Worm snake

Other species found today included cricket frogs, eastern box turtle, mud turtle, black rat snake, black racer snake, american toads.

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Mud turtle found by Michael Gregory

Eastern Mud Turtle
Kinosternon subrubrum subrrubrum

Mud Turtle
Watch this video on YouTube.

This small water turtle was found on land. Unlike other aquatic
turtles, this Mud Turtle will feed out of water. Note the double hinge
and 11 scutes on plastron.

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photo by Michael Gregory:

cricket frog
Watch this video on YouTube.

Above is video of cricket frog we caught within same vicinity of the mud turtle

Other cool sitings included a black widow spider and indian ghost pipe plant and a red breasted chat.

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Black widow spider above and indian pipe plant below

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