Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MRV03: Whispering Pines Park
Elevation: 1248 ft. Explore the baseball diamonds and open fields around the park for open area species such as eastern phoebe, American robin and American goldfinch. The large grassy expanses host a variety of small butterflies, which can be seen by carefully walking through the grass and watching what flies up from your feet. Many species will often alight close by after an initial flurry of flying in circles. A variety of crescents, blues, hairstreaks and skippers can be found this way. For the more adventurous spirit there are a myriad of trails running through the white pines that surround the park. These sandy trails allow access to a different assemblage of wildlife. Walk the trails slowly and keep and eye open for eastern cottontail and eastern box turtle, which are often seen crossing the trails or hiding nearby. Common whitetail dragonflies cruise the paths as small flocks of Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse and white-breasted nuthatch roam the treetops. On occasion pine warbler or downy woodpecker may join in these flocks, while a greater variety of warblers, vireos and tanagers could turn up during migration.
From Carvins Cove main entrance, return to US 11 South and turn right. Follow US 11 South 1.2 miles to Plantation Road/SR 115. Turn right and follow 1.0 mile to I-81 South. Follow I-81 South 5.0 miles to Exit 141/SR 311. Turn left onto SR 419 and go 0.3 miles to SR 311. Turn right and follow SR 311 for 3.1 miles to Rt. 912/Absalom Smith Road. Turn left and continue 0.4 miles to the park on the right.