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Best Places to Go Birding Around Captain’s Cove

Oct 24, 2017

Captain's Cove is close to many of the area's best places for animal lovers to go birding, with its location along Virginia's Barrier Islands and near two of the state's National Wildlife Refuges. We've rounded up our favorite places to go birding near Captain's Cove and some of the species you can expect to see this fall.

Chincoteague Island National Wildlife Refuge
8231 Beach Road, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336

Chincoteague is home to beaches, dunes, shrubland, maritime forest, freshwater wetlands, and salt marshes, making it one of the most diverse birding locations. More than 320 species are known to use the refuge regularly during migration, and at least 100 species of birds are present at any given time. A visitor center, bird checklists, beach access, and an array of wildlife species make this one of the nation's premier sites for easily accessible wildlife viewing.

The fall and winter months provide the best time to see large varieties of geese, ducks and swans. Almost 200 sightings of Canada Goose have been reported in just the last 3 days.

Kiptopeke State Park
3540 Kiptopeke Dr., Cape Charles, VA 23310

At the southern end of Virginia's Eastern Shore, Kiptopeke State Park is a great place for fall migrant birds of all sorts, as they're funneled toward the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula on their southward journey. Five miles of hiking trails provide plenty of wooded and open habitat for wildlife viewing.

Kiptopeke State Park is established as one of the most important fall hawk-watch sites in the country. Hawk Watch began here in 1977, and has accumulated a list of 19 species, having recorded 750,000 individual birds. Observations begin annually on September 1 at the park's Hawkwatch platform and Hawk Watching there is one of the premier events at the annual Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival in early October.

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge
32205 Seaside Road, Cape Charles, Virginia 23310

Located at the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most important avian migration funnels in North America, making it an ideal place for bird watching. In the fall, southbound waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and songbirds pass through the refuge, where they pause to rest and feed before continuing their journey.

The refuge's beautiful salt marsh is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the National Wildlife Refuge. The abundance of water is ideal for water-loving birds, like egrets, ibis, rails, and the beautiful Blue Heron seen above.