Today marks the beginning of the 20th Annual Delmarva Birding Weekend. Touted as one of the most popular birding events in the region, the four-day schedule combines boat trips, paddling treks, and expeditions by foot, all in an effort to help birds by promoting bird and habitat conservation. The event also serves as a celebration of the spring migration of thousands of warblers, shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors. From April 24 through April 27 bird enthusiasts will congregate on the Delmarva Peninsula to traverse cypress swamps, tidal wetlands, barrier islands, upland fields and primeval forest in a collective effort to spot and record bird species.
The Delmarva event is a unique one, developed by a team of non-profits and local businesses in an effort to promote eco-tourism and low-impact tourism on Delmarva. Our resort-heavy area often includes high-impact tourism, but what many people don’t realize is the economic value of birds and their habitats through low-impact tourism. The weekend usually draws anywhere from 150 to 200 participants.
The Delmarva Birding Weekend is organized by Worcester County Tourism, the Beach & Beyond, along with a host of other sponsors and partners, yielding a weekend packed with activities. Birders will find themselves in various habitats across the Eastern Shore, including but not limited to Ayers Creek, Assateague, Deal Island, Shad Landing, Redden State Forest, and Mispillion Harbor. Some of the events we have our eye on are the Owl Prowl at Shad Landing, Warblers on the Water, and the Ayers Creek Morning Paddle on Sunday morning.
Both Friday and Saturday’s activities will culminate with the Berlin and Ocean City Tally Rally, respectively. Friday night, birders will gather at Burley Oak in Berlin from 5 to 7pm for good beer, good company, and a tally of the birds they have seen Thursday and Friday. The evening will also include twilight birding at 6:30pm at Berlin Properties North (across the street from Burley Oak). Saturday, the Tally Rally will take place at M.R. Ducks in Ocean City. Those participating in the Shorebird Explorer trip will be dropped off at the adjacent Talbot Street Pier just in time for the event to start (the tally will run from 4pm until 6pm). Fuel up for you evening trips to Assateague and Snow Hill!
And while you are in the area enjoying the natural Delmarva habitat, take advantage of the 45th Ward World Championship Carving Competition and the Annual Bug & Bud Festival. The Ward World Carving Competition will take place at the Ocean City Convention Center and will include over 100 exhibitor booths, kids activities, demonstrations, classes & seminars, and more. The 2015 Bug and Bud Festival is held in Downtown Milford and includes a costumed parade for kids and pets, live entertainment, arts & crafts vendors, ‘green-themed’ activities, and paddle boat rides.
For more on Delmarva Birding Weekend, check out their site and pamphlet by clicking here.