Chincoteague NWR > November 2012
|Our November 2012 visit,
timed to coincide with Thanksgiving's
Waterfowl Weekend, found
Chincoteague NWR much the worse for wear following the October
Hurricane Sandy off the East Coast. The refuge was hard hit,
downed trees and and significant
beach erosion. The stretch of beach access road between Swan
Cove and Little Tom's Cove was
heavily damaged, and as a result refuge staff blocked vehicular
traffic short of
Swan Cove. (Thankfully the famous
Chincoteague ponies made it through unscathed!) Nor had the
usual abundant late November
waterfowl population put in an appearance.
Consequently, there was little to photograph on the refuge during the long Thanksgiving weekend. There are almost always yellow rumped warblers in the wooded stretch on the back side of the Wildlife Loop and a few ruddy ducks were hanging out in Shoveler Pool, but that was about it. The one highlight of the trip was the resident bald eagle pair. Their long term nest tree had been toppled by Sandy, and they were busily engaged in constructing another. As a result, I was fortunate enough to capture the pair of flight images below. The eagles were at great range, stressing the capability of both gear and photographer to the maximum!