Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

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  • Seasons: Spring, Fall, Winter
  • Site Contact: (757) 678-0440
  • Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site CES10: Willis Wharf


Willis Wharf is famous for the whimbrels that pass through on their way to and from their southern wintering grounds. These shorebirds stop for several weeks during spring and fall migrations to congregate on the extensive tidal flats located here. At the peak of migration flocks of several hundred birds may be seen. In addition to the whimbrels, semipalmated sandpipers are abundant here during their migratory passages. While scanning the tidal flats, look for black-bellied plover, marbled godwit, short-billed dowitcher, dunlin, red knot, willet, and semipalmated plover. Summer birds include black skimmer, American oystercatcher, and a rich variety of gulls, terns, and long-legged waders. Check the marshes in winter for saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrows.


From Maplewood Gardens, continue north on Rt. 600/Seaside Road for 0.3 miles. Turn right (east) on Hog Island Lane and follow it for 0.5 miles. Turn left (north) on Willis Wharf Road and follow it north for 0.9 miles. Park in the lot on the north side of the road.

Loop Map