[va-bird] Mystery at Sunrise Valley Park

  • From: "Ron Staley" <gannet@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 13:37:02 -0400

I stopped briefly at Sunrise Valley Park in Reston and walked the bridge over 
the pond.  I observed a lone female Ruddy Duck which was a first at this 
location for me.  After watching it for a few minutes I walked the rest of the 
bridge. As I started back I noticed that the duck was no longer visible and 
assumed it had flown off.  In a minute or so it resurfaced in the same 
location.  I watched it again until it dived.  I took a quick glance at my 
watch being curious how long it would stay down.   Well 20 minutes later it had 
failed to surface.  Those of you familiar with this park know that the pond is 
fairly small and not more than about 2 feet deep.  I saw no water movement that 
would give away its presence or show that it swam off out of view.  I have seem 
at few large snapping turtles in this lake over time and suspect this as a 
possible fate for the duck.  Again there was no sign of disturbance of the 
water that might have resulted from a struggle between the turtle and the duck. 
 Thus the mystery.

Ron Staley
Herndon, VA

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  • » [va-bird] Mystery at Sunrise Valley Park