Trekking through wetlands, marshes, mud and heavy underbrush is never easy. However, during the winter, this task is even more difficult. For three-days, eight members from The Regal SwanTM braved cold weather, high winds and uneven terrain to hike through northern Virginia in search of migrating Tundra Swans.

As the guests of Ft. Belvoir Garrison Commander, Col. Thomas W. Williams, team members hiked around the Accotink Wildlife Refuge located on Ft. Belvoir to observe a flock of 300 Tundra Swans. Ft. Belvoir is the strategic sustaining base for the U.S. Army. It is home to three major Army headquarters, more than 25 agencies of the Department of the Army and numerous Department of Defense Agencies. The military installation is located 12 miles south of Washington, DC.

The team also hiked through Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge and Leesylvania State Park researching the natural resources available to the swans during their annual migratory trip to the area. The last day of the expedition was spent at Airlie Center in Warrenton, Virginia, where Dr. William Sladen provides environmental studies on swans including endangered Trumpeter Swans.

Team members participating in the expedition were:
Dr. Geoffrey R. Gardner; veterinarian, Dr. Christopher W. Brown veterinarian; Dr. Fanchon F. Funk, director of curriculum development; Sheila A. Bolin, researcher; Rebecca Webb Wilson, photographer; Shirley A. Bolin, photographer; Spence Wilson, logistics/technical advisor; and Charles Huggins, logistics/transportation specialist.

Tundra Swans
Ft. Belvoir
Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge
Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge
Leesylvania State Park
Washington, D.C.
Airlie Center
Warrenton, Virginia

Copyright © 2009. The Regal Swan®, Inc. All rights reserved.
Photos
by: Shirley A. Bolin and Rebecca Webb Wilson