Snake Season - North Bay - Sandbridge Marsh




Today, I made my first successful visit the year to Horn Point, I tried last week, but the gate was locked. I had no real agenda this trip, just looking to see if the Eagle was still around, and continue to get the hang of the new camera. The water level was up high enough that there were no issues launching from the ramp, and clearing the sand bar, and as usual for Horn Point, I was escorted by Katie the dog...

I headed for the mouth of Hells Creek, and hung around a while hoping to see the Eagle, but I only saw what may have been it off in the distance.

I decided to head over to Sandbridge Marsh to see what was going on there. The was a lot of small bird activity in the area, mainly Red Winged Blackbirds, and Swallows gathering materials for nests and such, I did notice a few larger birds in the distance. In one of the small bays I came across a nest that was not thought out, there were 5 large eggs, I think Goose, partially submerged right along the shoreline. I guess that since the water levels have been pretty low recently it seemed like a good idea at the time.

There appeared to be a lot of activity under the water from what appeared to be schools off small fish, and not a lot but quite a few Gar.

Heading back was pretty uneventful, with about a 10-12 MPH wind on my face, but that changed as I approached Hells Creek. Scanning the trees for the Bald Eagle, and I thought I had spotted it, when as I was pulling the camera out, I spotted a Cottonmouth about 5 feet in front of the boat. The snake was around 3 feet long, and trying to make its way across the channel. As soon as it noticed me, it tried to out run me, but after a very short time it headed back to the shore. This is the first snake I have seen this year, and it wont be the last. So keep that in mind, since the weather has warmed up, pay attention to the surroundings, and avoid a big surprise.

I arrived back at the launch and was welcomed by Katie, waiting at the ramp. For those of you not familiar with Katie she is a dog that lives across the street for the launch facility. She is very friendly, and when she is wet, she is too friendly, nothing like the smell of wet dog. When you launch here she may follow along in the water for a while, but usually only for a 100 yards or so.

Date Launch Site Distance Photos
04/29/2007 Horn Point 6.40 21
Katie the dog (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Katie at the Horn Point Launch


Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse
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Nest flooded eggs (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Initial view of the nest


Nest flooded eggs (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Better view of the submerged nest and eggs


Nest flooded eggs (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Close up of submerged eggs


Nest flooded eggs (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Paddle near eggs for size reference


Nest flooded eggs (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Across the bay about a hundred yards, the white spot in the middle is the nest


Nest flooded eggs (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
A little better picture of the flooded nest and eggs, as wide open as it is, I am surprised that the eggs are intact


Cottonmouth in the channel (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Cottonmouth at the entrance to Hells Creek, this was before it noticed me.


Cottonmouth in the channel (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
I was passing the snake, and it was not sure if it wanted to continue or turn back


Cottonmouth in the channel (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
The snake has had enough, and heads back to shore


Cottonmouth moving (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Cottonmouth making for the shore


Horn Point launch (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Approaching Horn Point


Horn Point launch (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
Channel to the ramp, you can see the sandbar ahead, just under the water


Katie the dog (Kayak Virginia Beach Images © Paul Perusse)
And theres Katie waiting at the ramp




12/07/2019 01:16:51 PM

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