CBBT and Eastern Shore (Photo ID required on CBBT).
This trip includes birding the four islands of the CBBT in the morning
and continuing northward in the afternoon to sites on the
Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail,
including stops at
Eastern Shore NWR,
Kiptopeke State Park,
and several Cape Charles sites.
This trip should yield Brant, Harlequin and Long-tailed Ducks, all three
species of scoters, King Eider, Great Cormorant, and possibly rare gulls
such as Little Gull. Wildlife refuges and harbors north of the CBBT may
yield additional prizes. Foraging flocks of kinglets, chickadees,
woodpeckers, creepers, and nuthatches may be found in woodland habitats.
Many species of wintering sparrows will be found in nearby fields.
Marshland may yield Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows, plus
Due to security policy, birding on the CBBT requires payment of
additional fees and is governed by strict rules. Be sure to
pre-register as early as possible by
mailing the pre-registration form
plus an additional, non-refundable fee of $25 (cost
per participant for van, gas, CBBT toll, and CBBT security guard).
Space is limited to approximately 45 birders. CBBT security policy
requires each participant to complete and sign the form. Once
pre-registered for one of the four vans, participants may not switch
days or vans and refunds, substitutions, and additions cannot be
Breakfast is on your own; however, a quick breakfast will be available
at the CBBT coffee shop on Island 1 (opens 7 am). Bring your own lunch
Trips 2, 13. Eastern Shore and CBBT (Photo ID required
on CBBT). These trips are mirror images of trips 1 & 12.
Birding will start at Cape Charles in early morning and move
south to the CBBT for the afternoon. Pre-registration and
other requirements are the same as above. Breakfast is on your
own; however, we will stop at McDonald's in Cape Charles.
Bring your own lunch and beverages.
Trips 3, 14. Pelagic Trips. Brian Patteson will offer pelagic trips out to the Norfolk Canyon, over 60 miles offshore, from Virginia Beach on Friday and Saturday. Sunday will serve as the weather date for both trips. Based on previous history, birds may include: Northern Fulmar, Iceland Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Dovekie, Razorbill, and Atlantic Puffin, plus, the possibility of a Great Skua. Details on departure location and time and breakfast locations will be announced later. Each trip is limited to 27 participants. The additional cost per participant is $125, with the possibility of a fuel adjustment to be added later if required due to fuel cost increases.
Trips 4, 8. South Chesapeake. This trip features stops along the
South Chesapeake loop of the birding trail,
including Oak Grove Lake Park, Chesapeake Arboretum, North Landing River Natural Area, and Northwest River Park. Oak Grove Lake makes up about half of the park and the remainder includes dense growth pines, maples, and tulip poplars. North Landing River contains 3,000+ acres of riverside marsh, swamp, and forest. A short trail winds through wet hardwood forests and swamps and culminates at tidal marshes on the scenic black-water river. The Arboretum consists of gardens and the farmhouse headquarters building, plus woodlands and mulched trails. Northwest River Park wildlife watching opportunities feature forests interspersed with wetlands, swampy ponds, and open lake edges. The Deer Island Trail is good for birding.
Trips 5, 17. Back Bay. This trip includes
Back Bay NWR,
Little Island/Lotus Gardens Parks,
and False Cape State Park.
These sites are located on a barrier island, flanked by the ocean and the fresh water bay and contain beaches, dunes, woodland, wooded swamps, maritime forests, farm fields, and marsh. Nearly 300 species of birds have been observed here and, in winter, it is the only reliable site in Virginia for LeConte's sparrow. The best LeConte's site, however, is a 10-mile round trip hike for birding on your own.
Trips 6, 11. Seashore (Photo ID required on Fort Story).
First Landing State Park,
Fort Story/Cape Henry, and other ocean and inlet sites are included on this trip. First Landing features beach, large dunes, upland forest, tidal marsh, cypress swamp, and a maritime forest community. Several miles of trails include a boardwalk through the cypress swamp. At Fort Story, boardwalks provide overlooks to Cape Henry Beach. The old and new Cape Henry Lighthouses are also on this site. The Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first public building authorized by the new federal government in 1789.
Trip 7. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
This site contains a museum, aquarium, and an interpreted wetland trail on the banks of Owls Creek. An elevated tower and several decks extend out over the water and marsh. A boardwalk meanders through woodlands. A staff member will conduct a before-hours bird walk and visit to their aviary. The remainder of the museum/center will open at 9 am. An admission fee of $8.50 per person is required if you choose to stay and view the other attractions. Rudee Inlet and other nearby sites may be visited if time permits.