Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MSC01: East Gate Park
Elevation: 891 ft. East Gate Park encompasses 59 acres with most access restricted along Tinker Creek. However, this site offers woodland edge habitat, grassy shorelines, and shrubby wood habitats that are conducive to wildlife-watching. As a riparian corridor, this site is probably best birded during migration; however, this quiet spot is remarkably active in the summer. Broad-winged hawks nest above the creek, and black-crowned and yellow-crowned night-heron can be found hunting along the banks during the day. Eastern kingbird perch atop trees, flycatching above the creek bed. Pileated woodpecker can be heard calling from deeper within the forest, occasionally making an appearance along the woodland edges. Damselflies are in abundance as well. Look for blue-ringed, blue-fronted, and variable dancers, and Rambur's forktail. Northern watersnake can be seen in these waters, and muskrat may occasionally be seen scurrying about.
Take Exit #143/I-581 off of I-81. Go south on I-581 for 5.8 miles to Exit #4E/US 460 East/Orange Ave. Turn left and travel 1.0 miles on US 460 East to 13th Street. Turn left onto 13th Street and travel 0.5 miles and turn left onto North Avenue; East Gate Park will be on your left.