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This marsh front viewing area is a great place for birding in Wachapreague, the “Little City by the Sea,” also known as the “Flounder Capital of the World.” In winter, diving ducks, mergansers, loons, snow geese and brant can be seen in Bradford Bay. Spring and fall can provide glimpses of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. In summer, swallows and purple martins visit the area while American oystercatchers, terns and three species of gulls can be seen along tidal creeks and bays. In the adjacent marshes you might hear several clapper rails, even if you never see one. The marsh is a former phragmites-filled dredge spoil site, owned by The Nature Conservancy. It was converted into an interpretive natural area in partnership with the Town of Wachapreague, which maintains the area for public use. A boat and kayak launch ramp is available at the Wachapreague Town Marina.
Another nearby birding stop of note is the Machipongo River Bridge, which you’ll cross on your way to Wachapreague. The birding here is tidally dependent. Grassy flats border the edges of the channel, and when the tide goes out, these become mudflats that provide optimum habitat for migrant shorebirds searching for a quick meal and a place to rest. Quinby Harbor is also nearby, which provides some aquatic access for those wanting to view the local marsh flora and fauna while cruising in a canoe or kayak.
Location: Atlantic Ave, Wachapreague, VA 23480
From US-13 in Keller, turn right onto VA-180 E/ Wachapreague Rd. and travel 4.3 miles. Turn right onto Atlantic Ave. The saltmarsh overlook is on the left in 0.3 miles.
Location & DirectionsView on Google Maps
- Site Contact: The Nature Conservancy: (757) 442-3049; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Access: Free, Daily
Birds Recently Seen at Wachapreague Interpreted Marsh View (as reported to eBird)
- Black-bellied Plover
- Semipalmated Plover
- Semipalmated Sandpiper
- Short-billed Dowitcher
- Laughing Gull
- Herring Gull
- Forster's Tern
- Barn Swallow
Seasonal Bird Observations
- Kayak/Canoe Launch
- Viewing Blinds
- Observation Platform
- Boat Ramp