Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MSC11: Rivers Edge Sports Complex
Elevation: 922 ft. This 28-acre park complex offers riverside and open field habitats within the confines of an urban setting. In addition to tennis courts and athletic fields, this park offers a hiking/running trail along the Roanoke River. In the summer, birders will find an abundance of eastern bluebird, indigo bunting, and American goldfinch. Belted kingfishers hunt the river from perches above the water, whereas waders such as green and great blue herons, and spotted sandpiper can be found at water's edge. In the summer, visitors may also find yellow warbler and/ or yellow-throated vireo, as well as an occasional yellow-crowned night heron and fluttering ruby-throated hummingbirds. Wood duck are year-round residents. During migration, however, this site can also produce passerines such as willow flycatcher and various riparian-loving neotropical migrants. On the river, look for pied-billed grebe during migration, and hooded merganser and bufflehead in the winter. Osprey may also be seen flying overhead, fishing the river in the fall. Butterflies are abundant, attracted to the numerous bankside wildflowers in bloom. Look for a variety of skippers, eastern tiger swallowtail, and red admiral. Dragonflies and damselflies color the banks in hues of blue and greens: look for eastern pondhawk, blue dasher, fragile and Rambur's forktail, and blue-ringed dancer. Site MSC12 Fishburn Park
From Wasena Park, follow Wiley Drive over the bridge on the one-way road through Smith Park for 0.5 miles (the Roanoke River is on your right). At the stop sign/intersection, follow Wiley Drive to the left. Park along Wiley Drive and the sports complex is on the right.