(Jan. 25, 2019) Birders can experience scenic surroundings while observing different wildfowl during the fourth annual winter Delmarva Birding Weekend.
“Forecast looks chilly, but good for winter birding,” Jim Rapp, event co-organizer, said.
Weather reports show sun and clouds throughout the area with temperatures ranging from the high 30s to the mid-40s.
The event kicks off today, Friday, and runs through Sunday, Jan. 27, with trips in Maryland and Delaware.
Several ventures will take place over the course of the weekend. Each trip costs $25 per person with the exception of the Lewes Boat Trip, which costs $55 per person:
• Chincoteague Bay Wilderness Landings Tour, 8-11 a.m., Friday, Jan. 25
• Assateague & Surrounds day trip, 1:30-4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25
• Prime Hook NWR to Slaughter Beach, 1:30-5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25
• Assateague & Surrounds day trip, 8-11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26
• Lewes Boat Trip, 1-4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26
• Newport Farms Winter Wonderland, 8-11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 27
• Cape Henlopen State Park, 8-11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 27
As of earlier this week, Rapp said some of the excursions had just a few spots open. Visit the event’s website for a full description of each trip.
Participants can also socialize after bird watching. The Berlin Tally Rally will take place from 5-7 p.m. tonight at Burley Oak Brewery in Berlin. The Lewes Tally Rally will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday at Irish Eyes, 213 Anglers Road in Lewes, Delaware. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
Rapp said the types of birds in the area during the winter months are special due to their migratory pattern.
“The birds we’re going to see, we are the south for them,” he said.
Rapp said waterfowl, birds of prey and seals are the typical creatures visitors can expect to see during their adventures.
Since many of the coastal birds arrive to the area by November, they could leave by March or April, which Rapp said is what makes this birding weekend unique.
“January and February are the primo months for most of the birds we’re looking for,” Rapp said.
Rapp added attendees signing up for the winter birding weekend may catch a glimpse of something they might not see during the high season.
“We’re just excited to get outside in the winter with other people who like to explore Delmarva,” Rapp said.
The area’s natural beauty is a draw, and Rapp said there have been nearly 400 species documented in Worcester County.
The event is geared toward birders of all levels, from novice and experienced, and attendees will be paired with knowledgeable guides, but Rapp stressed the importance of having fun on the trips.
“Most folks have no idea how spectacular the winter birding is down here,” he said. “The sheer number of Bald Eagles and ducks is mind boggling.”
He said braving the cold would be well worth it.
“The recent snow and this cold front could push more birds toward the coast, which improves our chances of seeing rare winter visitors,” he said.
There were 108 species of birds spotted during last year’s winter Delmarva Birding Weekend. Attendees had the opportunity to see several types of birds including Snowy Owl, Great Cormorant, Purple Sandpiper, Snow Bunting, Common Merganser, Red-necked Grebe, and 27 waterfowl species
The 24th annual spring Delmarva Birding Weekend is scheduled for April 25-28.
To register for a trip, visit the event’s website at www.delmarvabirding.com.
The Berlin Falls Park and Golden Quarter Farm from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 has since sold out.