Wachapreague Interpreted Marsh View

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWTBefore heading out to visit a site on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail, be sure to check if that site has any COVID-19 policies or closures in place. This information is typically posted on a site's own website.

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.

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)

  • Clapper Rail
  • Laughing Gull
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Caspian Tern
  • Forster's Tern
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Snowy Egret
  • American Crow
  • Common Grackle

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

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