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Things To Do - Birding-Wildlife

PLACES TO GO

CEDAR ISLAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Phone:   Wellington Wildlife Office at 410-543-8223
Email: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/cedarisland.aspx

The island can only be reached by boat. A nearby ramp at Crisfield is available for public use. U.S. Route 13, take MD 413 to Crisfield and Somers Cove Marina or Jenkin's Creek Wharf.

Because of its nearly 3,000 acres of tidal marsh, ponds and creeks, black ducks flock to the island located in Tangier Sound nearthe town of Crisfield. Other tidal wetland wildlife species are also attracted to the area, but its attraction for black ducks islegendary. In the 1960s, wildlife biologists became concerned about the black duck, which seemed to be declining in numbers. Loss of habitat was thought to be the primary cause. Today, black duck populations are on the mend and Cedar Island WMA is one of Maryland's best winter habitats for these beautiful birds.

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DEAL ISLAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Phone:   Wellington Wildlife Office at 410-543-8223
Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/dealisland.aspx

Marked parking areas located off Deal Island, Riley Robert, and Drawbridge Roads. Boat access via St. Peters Creek, Dames Quarter Creek, Deal Island, Wenona, Big Sound Creek, and North & South Impoundment public boat ramps.

Expanses of tidal marsh, frequently broken by open water, characterize most of the habitat of this WMA. The 13,000 acre property also contains forested wetlands and a 2,800-acre man-made pond or "impoundment." The water insects and crustaceans, as well as the abundance of wigeongrass, horned pondweed and other favorite waterfowl foods makes Deal Island one of the best places in Maryland to watch, photograph and hunt ducks and geese.


FAIRMOUNT WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Phone:   Wellington Wildlife Office at 410-543-8223
Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/fairmount.aspx

Marked parking areas located off Fairmount Road, Lower Hill Road, and Fords Wharf Road. Boat access: via Rumbley, Frenchtown, and Coulbourne Creek public boat ramps.

Typical of river habitat on the Chesapeake Bay, Fairmount WMA's 4,000 acres are mostly marshlands. It is located between the Manokin and Annemessex Rivers in Somerset County. Forested wetlands occupy a small portion of the area. Two man-made ponds, or "impoundments," have been created. This habitat, as well as the lush wetland plants, including wigeongrass, horned pondweed and saltmarsh bulrush and a dense population of invertebrates make Fairmount attractive to many species of waterfowl.


MARTIN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Address: Caleb Jones Road - Ewell, MD 21824
Phone:   410-228-2692
Website: www.fws.gov/refuge/martin/

Observation by boat only.

First established in 1954 through a 2,569 acre donation by the late Glenn L. Martin, the Martin National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) now covers 4,548 acres, including the northern half of Smith Island, 11 miles west of Crisfield, Maryland, and Watts Island, located between the eastern shore of Virginia and Tangier Island in lower Chesapeake Bay.

The tidal marsh, coves, creeks and ridges of the refuge provide an important rest area and winter home for thousands of migratory waterfowl and nesting habitat for a variety of wildlife that change with the seasons.



POCOMOKE SOUND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Phone:   Wellington Wildlife Office at 410-543-8223
Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/pocomokesound.aspx

Access is by boat only, via Crisfield and Jenkins Creek public boat ramps.

Similar to the nearby Cedar Island WMA, Pocomoke Sound is mostly tidal marsh with a few acres of forest. This habitat is excellent for ducks, wading birds and shorebirds. Pocomoke Sound's 900 acres offer outdoor sportsmen and wildlife enthusiasts many opportunities to enjoy the animals native to this unique habitat.


SOUTH MARSH ISLAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Phone:   Wellington Wildlife Office at 410-543-8223
Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/southmarsh.aspx

Access is by boat only. Public ramps are available at Deal Island via MD Route 363 and Crisfield via MD Route 413. Access both of these roads from U.S. Route 13.

On South Marsh Island, the emphasis is on "marsh." This 3,000 acre island, located within the Chesapeake Bay, is entirely comprised of marshlands, punctuated by ponds and creeks. The marsh was once a convenient hiding place for "picaroons," or pirates, who harassed unprotected American ships during the Revolutionary War. In Kedges Strait, south of the island, the Maryland Navy once engaged the picaroons in a definitive battle. Today, the marshes are home to a multitude of waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.


WELLINGTON WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Phone:   Wellington Wildlife Office at 410-543-8223
Website: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/wellington.aspx

Located in eastern Somerset County on Dublin Road. From U.S. Route 13 ,take King Miller Road east to Old Princess Anne-Westover Road, south to Dublin Road and Wellington WMA.

Predominantly forest, the 400 acre Wellington WMA is located in eastern Somerset County. Wellington WMA has one of the largest forested tracts found on Maryland's Eastern Shore.


SPECIAL EVENTS

April 27-30, 2017
DELMARVA BIRDING WEEKEND

Website: delmarvabirding.org
Handicap Accessible: Limited ADA

Cost: Trips range from $15 to $85


Migration of shorebirds, waterfowl & nesting birds. Guided & self-guided tours. Advanced registration recommended. The Delmarva region possesses an extensive variety of environments including barrier islands, coastal bays, tidal wetlands, cypress swamps, upland fields and primeval forests. More bird sightings have been recorded here than in any other region of the state. The weekend combines boat trips, canoe treks and expeditions by foot. While you participate in the activities, you will be helping birds by promoting bird and habitat conservation.

Opportunities to view wildlife, both migratory and indigenous, abound in Somerset. Don't forget your binoculars and/or camera.

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Little Blue Heron
(Gerald Gerlitzki Photography)