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Thread: Animal sightings along MVT

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    KLizotte's Avatar
    KLizotte is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Default Animal sightings along MVT

    Figured I'd start a new thread since I saw a *big* brown beaver tonight at 9:30 pm walking next to the trail along the straight-away north of Gravelly Pt. It walked a ways then finally turned and went down the embankment into the water. Didn't seem overly pertubed by my presence or my light.

    I've also seen a freaky not-afraid-of-humans racoon a couple of times along the trail.
    Last edited by KLizotte; 04-13-2012 at 09:05 AM.

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    consularrider is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    I saw my first Washington area swan on the from the MVT between the Wilson Bridge and Belle Haven on Thursday last week - it was just across from the eagle's next. Then yesterday on my commute home a large raptor (don't know what kind, but not a bald eagle) flew up from the water as I was approaching the Humpback Bridge clutching a fish in its talons.

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    None of which you would have seen from a car.
    We truly are lucky to have the trails we have and to be able to use them for our commutes.

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    Default Big Birds

    Bald eagles are my favorite. There are at least three nests visible between Old Town and Mt. Vernon. The Belle Haven nest is about 1/8th mile south of Porto Vecchio on the edge of the golf course. It's clearly visible year round. The Morningside nest is directly opposite the last GW Parkways sign for Morningside. It is between the trail and the river. It appears to be a bigger nest than Belle Haven and seems to be occupied now. Heading south pull over just before the last (new) wooden bridge that is opposite Morningside. The tree is about 80 yards off the trail.

    Last month I spotted a bald eagle near Fort Hunt. He was perched on a branch 15 feet above the trail! There is a bridge that carries the MVT and the GWP over a creek just before the climb to Mount Vernon. Stop there and scan the trees along the water line towards Mount Vernon to find the nest.

    I spotted another large nest last week. It's on its own little bit of an island in the river near where the fishermen do their thing on the bend in the GWP after Tulane. This one could be an osprey nest.

    Ospreys are white underneath. They look big until a mature bald eagle comes along. Then they look like runts.

    There are also lots of great blue herons around too. I saw one take off from a creek near my house last night. It was huge and Seussian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootchopper View Post
    ...There are also lots of great blue herons around too. I saw one take off from a creek near my house last night. It was huge and Seussian.
    Seems like the herons have become so common that I almost expect to see a couple in Four Mile Run or along the Potomac by Roosevelt Island every day. They're very interesting to watch in flight too.

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    KLizotte's Avatar
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    If anyone has pics of the bald eagles nests please post. That along with rootchopper's info above should make them easy to spot.

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    These are from a couple of years ago but the eagles or the tree likely haven't changed much. The tree is near the point on the southbound lanes with the pulloff and no parking signs between Old Town and the river side parking area.








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    Cool. I must remember to bring binoculars the next time I'm down that way.

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    Default Cheating

    The best way to find the nests is to look for people with binoculars or cameras with massive telephoto lenses. That's how I found the Morningside nest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbb View Post
    These are from a couple of years ago but the eagles or the tree likely haven't changed much. The tree is near the point on the southbound lanes with the pulloff and no parking signs between Old Town and the river side parking area.
    Please ignore half of what I said the other day. Only the tree hasn't changed. The new residents are osprey. I rode down there this morning and saw a pair of osprey enhancing the former eagle nest. They are smaller (than eagles) and have a band across the eye.






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