Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MIO01: Craig's Creek Recreation Area at Oriskany, VA
Elevation: 1020 ft. The drive into Craig's Creek Recreation Area provides a vista of meadows and woodlands that follow Craig's Creek. A splendid viewshed creates a prime opportunity for visitors to see the flora and fauna of this wildlife-rich habitat. After passing the signboard at the entrance look to the fields on the right. This area is specially managed for the northern bobwhite that can be heard giving their characteristic ‘bob-white' whistle at any time of the day. Although more elusive to the eye, a patient observer scanning the fields or prominent perches from where bobwhite males call can turn up a sighting. The mix of annual grain crops, native warm season grasses and native shrubs offer a rich habitat for all types of songbirds as well as birds of prey. Continue on to the parking area and wander downhill to Craig's Creek. This exquisite watercourse supports all sorts of wildlife. Area regulars, great blue and green herons, are occasionally joined by wood duck and belted kingfisher. Examine stream banks for roosting dragonflies such as black-shouldered spinylegs or roosting damselflies such as powdered dancer and American rubyspot. In the spring, the creek bank offers a spectacular vista of blooming blue bells, one of the best in the area. The area around the picnic area hosts both open country and woodland birds, with indigo buntings and chipping sparrows appearing side-by-side with Carolina wrens and tufted titmice.
From I-81 in Salem, take exit #140 for SR 311 north. Follow SR 311 for 22.0 miles to New Castle. In New Castle, turn right on Rt. 615 and follow it northeast 12.1 miles to Rt. 817. Turn right and go 0.5 miles. Veer right onto the gravel road and continue 1.3 miles to the parking area at the end of the road.