Bird

Tourism
Guided Opportunities

Smith Island

Delmarva Birding Weekend
Website:  www.delmarvabirding.com
Find them on:  Facebook
Description:  The last weekend each April, birding enthusiasts flock to the area to take part in walks, cruises, kayaking, and more.  Trips are led by knowledgeable guides, who will help with identification by sight and sound. 

Here in Somerset, join the Nature of Smith Island trip.  The boat departs Somers Cove Marina at 8 am, cruises over and through Smith Island.  The tour stops at the heron rookery at Ewell and continuing to Tylerton for lunch (crab cake and Smith Island Cake, anyone?) and island exploration.  Registration and more information on additional trips in the link.

Smith Island Pelican Tours
Website:  www.delmarvabirding.com
Description:  Guided tours of small groups travel to Smith Island to view an active brown pelican nesting site from the water.  An excellent opportunity for photographers and nature lovers alike.  Registration and more information in the link.

Self-guided Opportunities

Crisfield

Cedar Island Marsh Sanctuary
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Managed by the Wellington Wildlife Office
Phone:  410-543-8223
Website:  dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/cedarisland.aspx
Description:  Because of its nearly 3,000 acres of tidal marsh, ponds and creeks, black ducks flock to the island located in Tangier Sound near the town of Crisfield. Other tidal wetland wildlife species are also attracted to the area, but its attraction for black ducks is legendary. In the 1960s, wildlife biologists became concerned about the black duck, which seemed to be declining in numbers. Loss of habitat was thought to be the primary cause. Today, black duck populations are on the mend and Cedar Island WMA is one of Maryland's best winter habitats for these beautiful birds. 

The island can only be reached by boat.  A nearby ramp at Crisfield is available for public use.  US Rt. 13, take MD 413 to Crisfield and Somers Cove Marina or Jenkins Creek Wharf.

Janes Island State Park
26280 Alfred Lawson Drive
Crisfield, MD  21817
Phone:410-968-1565
Website:  dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/janesisland.aspx
Description:  With the exception of four primitive sites on the island, the bulk of camping at Janes Island is on the mainland.  The island portion of the park – Janes Island – includes over 2,900 acres of saltmarsh, over 30 miles of water trails, and miles of isolated pristine beaches. Although people have harvested the resources of the island for thousands of years, today the island is wild and seemingly untouched. A haven for birds, fish, crabs, and other saltmarsh dwellers.

Access to this area of the park is by boat only.  Launch from the park marina boat ramp or public boat ramps in Crisfield.

Deal Island

Deal Island Wildlife Management Area

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Managed by the Wellington Wildlife Office
Phone:  410-543-8223
Website:  dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/dealisland.aspx
Description:  Expanses of tidal marsh, frequently broken by open water, characterize most of the habitat of this WMA.  The 13,000 acre property also contains forested wetlands and 2,800-acre man-made pond or "impoundment."  The water insects and crustaceans, as well as the abundance of widgeongrass, horned pondweed and other favorite waterfowl foods makes Deal Island one of the best places in Maryland to watch, photograph, and hunt ducks and geese.  **Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.**

Marked parking areas located off Deal Island, Riley Roberts, and Drawbridge Roads.  Boat access via St. Peter's Creek, Dames Quarter Creek, Wenona, Big Sound Creek and North & South Impoundment public boat ramps.

South Marsh Island Wildlife Management Area
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Managed by the Wellington Wildlife Office
Phone:  410-543-8223
Website: dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/southmarsh.aspx
Description:  On South Marsh Island, the emphasis is on "marsh." This 3,000 acre island, located within the Chesapeake Bay, is entirely comprised of marshlands, punctuated by ponds and creeks. The marsh was once a convenient hiding place for "picaroons," or pirates, who harassed unprotected American ships during the Revolutionary War. In Kedges Strait, south of the island, the Maryland Navy once engaged the picaroons in a definitive battle. Today, the marshes are home to a multitude of waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.  **Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.**

Access is by boat only.  Public ramps are available at Deal Island via MD Rt. 363 and Crisfield via MD Rt 413.  Access both of these roads from US Rt. 13.

Fairmount

Fairmount Wildlife Management Area
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Managed by the Wellington Wildlife Office
Phone:  410-543-8223
Website:  dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/fairmount.aspx
Description:  Typical of river habitat on the Chesapeake bay, Fairmount WMA's 4,000 acres are mostly marshland.  It is located between the Manokin and Annemessex Rivers.  Forested wetlands occupy a small portion of the area.  Two man-made ponds, or "impoundments," have been created.  This habitat, as well as the lush wetland plants, including widgeongrass, horned pondweed, and saltmarsh bulrush and a dense population of invertebrates make Fairmount attractive to many species of waterfowl.  **Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.**

Marked parking areas are located off Fairmount Road, Lower Hill Road, and Fords Wharf Road.  Boat access via Rumbley, Frenchtown, and Coulbourne Creek public boat ramps.

Marion

Maryland Marine Properties WMA
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Managed by the Wellington Wildlife Office
Phone:  410-543-8223
Website:  dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/marylandmarine.aspx
Description:  The Maryland Marine Properties WMA is a great place to watch boats go by.  Recreational craft join fishing, crabbing and other work boats sailing in and out of the adjacent Pocomoke River in southeastern Somerset County. Mostly marshlands with forests, forested wetlands and fields, this 1,130 acre tract supports the unique ecology along the mouth of a great river entering the Chesapeake Bay.  **Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.**

Maryland Marine Properties WMA is located in southeastern Somerset County off of Back Shelltown Road. From U.S. Route 13, take MD 667 west to Back Shelltown Road and Maryland Marine Properties WMA. Marked parking areas are located off Back Shelltown Road. Boat access is available at Shelltown and Rumbly Point public boat ramps. 


Pocomoke Sound Wildlife Management Area
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Managed by the Wellington Wildlife Office
Phone:  410-543-8223
Website:  dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/pocomokesound.aspx
Description:  Similar to the nearby Cedar Island WMA, Pocomoke Sound is mostly tidal marsh with a few acres of forest. This habitat is excellent for ducks, wading birds and shorebirds. Pocomoke Sound's 900 acres offer outdoor sportsmen and wildlife enthusiasts many opportunities to enjoy the animals native to this unique habitat.  **Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.**

Access is by boat only, via Crisfield and Jenkins Creek public boat ramps.

Princess Anne

Wellington Wildlife Management Area
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Managed by the Wellington Wildlife Office
Phone:  410-543-8223
Website:  dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/wellington.aspx/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/eastern/wellington.aspx
Description:  Predominantly forest, the 400 acre Wellington WMA is located in eastern Somerset County. Wellington WMA has one of the largest forested tracts found on Maryland's Eastern Shore.  **Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.**

Located on Dublin Road.  From US Rt. 13, take King Miller Road east to Old Princess Anne - Westover Road, south to Dublin Road and Wellington WMA.

Smith Island

Glenn Martin National Wildlife Refuge
Managed by the Blackwater Refuge
Phone:  410-228-2692
Website:  www.fws.gov/refuge/martin
Description:  First established in 1954 through a 2,569 acre donation by the late Glenn L. Martin, the Martin NWR now covers 4,548 acres, including the northern half of Smith Island, 11 miles west of Crisfield, Maryland and Watts Island, located between the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Tangier Island in the Lower Chesapeake Bay.  Tidal marshes, coves, creeks, and ridges of the refuge provide an important rest area and winter home for thousands of migratory waterfowl and nesting habitat for a variety of wildlife that change with the seasons.

Observation is by boat only.  Landing is not permitted.