Just to the southwest of Turkeycock Mountain, near the North Carolina border, the City of Martinsville offers numerous wildlife watching opportunities, including parkland filled with wildlife. The forests are at their best in migration when neotropical migrants can congregate en masse. The woods and fields east of Martinsville have become perfect areas for breeding birds such as northern bobwhite, indigo bunting and prairie warbler. While in Martinsville, drop by the Virginia Museum of Natural History for an in-depth introduction to the area’s history, which dates back several million years. The Dan River winds itself north out of North Carolina eventually joining the Roanoke River in the John H. Kerr Reservoir. The City of Danville straddles this river as well as derives its name from it. On the southwestern edge of city, Dan Daniel Memorial Park affords access to the woods and fields along this lovely river. The park is bisected by a riverside trail that provides access to numerous viewpoints along the river as well as some open forest and shrubby fields. The variety of open country and eastern woodland species found in the relatively small area help make this a prime area for wildlife watching. Birds in this area include mourning dove, yellow-billed cuckoo, chimney swift, ruby-throated hummingbird, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, eastern wood-pewee, eastern kingbird, eastern bluebird, cedar waxwing, red-eyed vireo, indigo bunting, song sparrow, and eastern meadowlark. Careful observation can lead to interesting natural history. In mid-summer, once young birds have fledged and are beginning to fly, check family parties of American robins or eastern bluebirds for parasitic brown-headed cowbird chicks trying to get a free meal. The true excitement in the park is to be found on the river. Great blue and green herons stalk the shallows while purple martin and tree and barn swallows fly-catch overhead. The numerous exposed rocks on the river are outstanding for a variety of damselflies. Search for American rubyspot and

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