Sunday, August 23, 2009

Birding Trip to Cape Charles/ Eastern Shore of Va April 2008

My wife and I spent several days birding on the Chesapeake Bay side of the Va Eastern Shore, focusing on Kiptopeke (Va) State Park and the town of Cape Charles. These two places are located at the very end of the Delmarva Penisula, just before your cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to Va Beach.

We parked our RV at Kiptopeke State Park, which offers full hookups including sewer. Unfortunately, while the place has wonderful hiking and walking trails, fishing pier, and boat access, the park is operated by staff (and probably management) with a poor attitude. The men's bath house was disgusting...

A feature of this park is the collection of sunken "hulks" or old WW-II ships, which form an underwater reef below the surface and a place for birds to nest and congregate above the surface. I was told by a fisherman that when I got to the pier just before sunset, that I had just missed the dolphins swimming up the Bay. For any future trips, we will probably stay at a commercial campground such as Cherrystone or go further north to the town of Chincoteague and stay at the Maddox Family Campground.

Our last birding was on the rest area and restaurant on the final southern piling of the Bay Bridge Tunnel as you go south--that is where we got to see pelicans flying majestically as well as a rare, solitary mandarin duck.

Common Loon

Black Vulture greeting me on my way to the fishing pier

Common Loon, another view

Red breasted Merganser

Osprey with some nesting materials; an eagle knocked a fish out of its talons earlier

Male red-breasted merganser

Male and female red-breasted mergansers

Female red-breasted merganser

Osprey at the nest

Sunset over the hulks at Kiptopeke State Park, Chesapeake Bay

Deeper sunset

Birds against the sky

Sea gull against the sky

In-bound ducks

Unusual Mandarin Duck, as seen from the rest area on the Bay Bridge Tunnel

Pelicans passing by the rest area

Pelicans departing the rest area

Finally, some plovers


P Politickin' said...

your sunset pics are fresh

John's Outdoor World said...

Thank you! I stayed after the actual sunset to capture the colors!

Sean Cronin said...

Great shots. That 'Unusual Mandarin' is actually a Harlequin Duck. Nice find.