The boat landing at Howardsville not only provides access to the James River for birding and viewing wildlife on the water, it also supports an active patch of woodland. Upon arrival, check the river for roosting herons, egrets and waterfowl. Wood ducks are likely to show up year-round, while hooded and common mergansers, common goldeneye and other diving ducks could appear in the winter months, depending on how iced-up the river is. The small creek that opens into the James, just upstream from the boat landing, is a good spot to search for eastern phoebes.
The boat landing area is popular with American crows that are occasionally joined by the bigger and hoarser common raven. Check the larger trees around the boat landing for red-bellied woodpeckers, and in winter, yellow-bellied sapsuckers. These trees are worth paying particular attention to during migration when scarlet tanagers, American redstarts, and a variety of other neotropical migrants stop in to join the resident northern cardinals and Carolina chickadees.
With its location on the water, the area is also worth searching for dragon- and damselflies such as American rubyspots and eastern amberwings. Also check for butterflies such as pearl crescent, red-spotted purple and the confusingly similar question mark and eastern comma.
Note: Yield use of this site to those launching boats.
Physical Address: 3555 Baber Ln, Howardsville, VA 24562
Coordinates: 37.7331, -78.6455
From Rte. 626, turn right on Howardsville Turnpike/Rt. 602 and proceed 0.1 miles to the boat landing.