Established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974, the Great Dismal Swamp is comprised of more than 112,000 acres of rich ecological importance. Here, more than 200 species of birds have been recorded using the diverse habitat.There is a never-ending movement of birds in the Swamp.The massive numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds and American Robins that winter-over, head elsewhere, and the warmth of the sun signals the nesting birds to come for the summer.April begins the height of bird migration and 96 species have been recorded to nest in or near the Swamp.
If you want to see Warblers, this is the field trip for you. A Swamp specialty is the Swainson’s Warbler which can be quite vocal.We’ll have the opportunity to see Prothonotary Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Northern Parula, Black and White Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, and more.If you missed our Owl Prowl, you might have another chance as it is not unusual for a Barred Owl to tune-up near the Jericho parking area.Scarlet Tanagers, Blue Grosbeaks, the Vireos, Woodpeckers, and Indigo Buntings should be around, too.A warm day will bring out an abundance of butterflies, and we may chance upon a snake or mammal (bear?).
As always, bring bug spray with you and water/snacks for this walk. A quiet, gentle breeze is generally enough to keep the bugs down, but be prepared.In advance, we would also like to thank Tony and Darol Wood for leading this trip.
Directions: From Norfolk/Portsmouth area, follow I-64 or I-664 to Bower’s Hill, then proceed west into Suffolk on Rte13/58/460. After passing the SPSA landfill, bear right to take the local exit to Suffolk, then turn south onto Rte 337 (E. Washington Street). Proceed to the second light and make a hard left turn onto White Marsh Road (Rte 642). Go .7 miles and turn left onto Jericho Lane. Follow the lane through the woods to a steel gate & park.
Field Trip Inclement Weather Policy
Since the Cape Henry Audubon Society outings have no scheduled rain dates, we try to conduct all of our field trips…rain or shine. For most weather conditions, this has worked well and will continue to be our goal. However, if on the night before a field trip, severe weather i.e. torrential rain, heavy snow, dangerous wind, flooding, etc. is forecast, and you have doubts about the trip being held, call 484-7398. If the field trip chair doesn’t answer, a recorded announcement will inform you of any changes or cancellations.