One of the birds that may make an appearance during the winter Delmarva Birding Weekend is Canvasback, a species of duck, shown resting in the…

(Jan. 18, 2019) Residents and visitors alike can take in the region’s natural beauty during the winter Delmarva Birding Weekend.

The fourth annual event is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 27, with trips taking place throughout Maryland and Delaware.

There were 108 species of birds spotted during last year’s 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.

There are several trips that 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

• Berlin Falls Park and Golden Quarter Farm, 8-11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26

• 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

Birding weekend

Birders wave from the Thelma Dale V during a sold out boat trip in Lewes, Delaware, during the 2018 Winter Birding Weekend. 

Visit the event’s website for a full description of each trip.

Fellow birders can have the opportunity to socialize after bird watching. The Berlin Tally Rally will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 25 at Burley Oak Brewery in Berlin. The Lewes Tally Rally will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Jan. 26 at Irish Eyes on 213 Anglers Road in Lewes, Delaware. Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Jim Rapp, the event’s co-organizer, 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 noted waterfowl, birds of prey and seals are the typical creatures visitors can expect to see during their adventures.

“We’re going to see them pretty much at the best time of year,” he said. 

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. 

The area’s natural beauty is a draw, and Rapp said there have been nearly 400 species documented in Worcester County.  

“Worcester County, particularly, has the highest number of species recorded of any county in the state,” he said.

Rapp added attendees signing up for the winter birding weekend would be able to catch a glimpse of something they might not see during the high season.

The event is geared toward novice and experienced birders and attendees will be paired with knowledgeable guides, but Rapp stressed the importance of having fun on the trips.

“Sometimes birding can be a chore,” he said. 

As a bird aficionado, Rapp said it’s important for everyone to have a good time, and after a few hours exploring some of the natural riches the area has to offer, people can socialize over food and drinks.

Rapp also emphasized the economic development opportunities that the event brings during the winter months as people stay in area hotels.

“We enjoy such a big difference in bird species in winter and spring that it just makes sense to host winter birding trips,” Worcester County Tourism Director Lisa Challenger stated in a press release.

Rapp said between 170 and 180 individuals attended the 2018 Delmarva Birding Weekend. Some birdwatchers travel from as far as Florida, while others are local. 

He said braving the cold would be well worth it.

“When you put on your coat and your hat and your gloves, holy cow, it’s so cool,” Rapp said. 

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.

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