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Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Description

Effective October 1, 2017, the southernmost island of the CBBT and its fishing pier will be CLOSED to the public to allow for the construction of the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel. The scenic overlook at the northern end of the CBBT remains open. To access the northernmost island (referred to as the “fourth island”), individuals or groups must make application for permission and pay a fee in advance of their planned trip. To obtain an application, visit the CBBT birding website or write the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, 32386 Lankford Highway, Cape Charles, VA  23310, (757) 331-2960.

This birding habitat consists of manmade islands located in the open water with views of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. The islands, which are constructed of concrete, steel, asphalt and rock, support the underwater tunnels and provide rest stops for migrating shorebirds during spring and fall. The site also picks up numerous unusual or locally rare sightings due to its position in the Chesapeake Bay. Northern gannet, brant, king eider, little gull, great cormorant, purple sandpiper, and rarities such as black-tailed gull make this the best winter birding site in Virginia. The presence of occasional harbor seals and wintering whales add to the allure of this venue.

The jetties and rocks surrounding the 4th island are a gathering place for gulls, brown pelicans, and overwintering purple sandpipers. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease

The jetties and rocks surrounding the 4th island are a gathering place for gulls, brown pelicans, and overwintering purple sandpipers. Photo Credit: Lisa Mease

Notes:

  • Click here for the current toll schedule.
  • The scenic overlook is more easily accessed traveling southbound.
  • Bathrooms are available at the rest areas 1 mile north of the overlook.
  • Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel project updates are available here.

Directions

Scenic Overlook Coordinates: 37.121183, -75.969401

From I-64, take exit #282, Northampton Boulevard (Route 13 North), which will lead directly to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: 757-331-2960, marketing@cbbt.com
  • Website
  • Access: See Description

Birds Recently Seen at Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (as reported to eBird)

  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Great Black-backed Gull
  • Northern Gannet
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Black Vulture

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Fee
  • Accessible
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Restrooms