BERLIN – Delmarva Birding Weekend will return to the Eastern Shore with several day trips this weekend.
For the third consecutive year, officials with Delmarva Birding Weekend (DBW) will offer eight guided trips throughout Maryland and Delaware to view the area’s winter bird population.
From Jan. 26-28, participants will have the opportunity to see waterfowl, seabirds, shorebirds and raptors at several locations throughout the Eastern Shore.
Dave Wilson, co-organizer for the event, said driving and hiking trips will begin on Friday, Jan. 26, with a morning tour of Chincoteague Bay wilderness landings, followed by two afternoon tours of Assateague and surrounding areas and the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the lower Delaware Bay.
On Saturday, Jan. 27, DBW officials have introduced two new trips to accompany existing tours in both Maryland and Delaware.
The Berlin Falls Park and Golden Quarter Farm tour will allow participants first-time access to a 150-acre private farm, while the Indian River Inlet, Burton’s Island and James Farm Ecological Preserve Tour will offer the group’s first trip to the ecological preserve. The day will conclude with a Lewes boat tour, one of the weekend’s most popular outings.
“We see just a ton of birds and lots of seals,” Wilson said. “People just go bonkers over that trip. The good thing about that trip is if it’s 15 degrees you can still go inside and look right through the window and see everything.”
Both Friday and Saturday trips will be followed by tally rallies, where participants can swap stories and add to the DBW species checklist.
Driving and hiking tours of Newport Farm and Cape Henlopen State Park on Sunday, Jan. 28, will conclude the weekend’s festivities.
Wilson said the winter tours are perfect for those with little birding experience.
“It’s important to remember these aren’t professional birders who go on these trips…,” he said. “Most of the people who do our trips are novices. They are just learning to bird. They have a curiosity in birding and so they really just want to be outdoors and see stuff.”
Wilson said participants will have the opportunity to view several duck species, hawks, eagles and more on the tours.
“What’s good about this time of year, especially for people who are novices, is that there are a lot of large birds to see …,” he said. “People get the whole gamut.”
Wilson encouraged people of all age groups to participate in Delmarva Birding Weekend.
“We have a lot of car trips and we’ll do short walks …,” he said. “Really almost anybody can do any of these trips.”
Wilson said the goal of the event is to get people outdoors.
“We really want people to care about wildlife and open space and have a desire to protect open space,” he said. “Our desire is to get people outside, to get them to appreciate these things, and to have a stake in protecting birds when they are under threat, which is constantly.”
For a complete schedule of tours, tickets or additional information, visit delmarvabirding.com.
“Most of the trips are more than half full, so we are really excited,” Wilson said. “Not surprisingly, people are ready to get outside.”