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Wachapreague Interpreted Marsh View

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDWR encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail for any COVID-19 policies or closures. This information is typically posted on a site's own website. Remember to maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.

Description

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.

Directions

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.

From the Previous Site on the Eastern Shore Loop of VBWT:

From Willis Wharf, continue north on Rt. 603/Willis Wharf Road to Rt. 600/Seaside Road. Turn right on Rt. 600 and travel 7.0 miles to SR 182/Quinby Bridge Road. Go 2.3 miles on SR 182 to Rt. 605/Bradfords Neck Road. Turn left on Rt. 605 and proceed 4.0 miles to SR 180/Wachapreague Road. Turn right on SR 180, proceed 0.4 miles, and turn right onto Atlantic Avenue. The saltmarsh overlook is 0.3 miles past the intersection on the left.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: The Nature Conservancy: (757) 442-3049; jmcgowan@tnc.org
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at Wachapreague Interpreted Marsh View (as reported to eBird)

  • Bufflehead
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Herring Gull
  • Great Black-backed Gull
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Turkey Vulture

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Information
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch
  • Viewing Blinds
  • Observation Platform
  • Boat Ramp