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Fall Birding on Virginia's Eastern Shore

Program Number: 11641RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/6/2013 - 10/11/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Cape Charles, Virginia
Price starting at: $825.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Follow the annual autumn migration as millions of songbirds, birds of prey, butterflies, and dragonflies travel along Virginia’s Atlantic coast heading to warm winter climes. Experience for yourself why there is nothing like examining “a bird in hand” that you thought you knew. Wildlife enthusiasts of all levels will enjoy this fascinating learning adventure.




Highlights

• Actively observe migration research that has taken place on the lower Delmarva peninsula since 1963.

• During field trips to Kiptopeke State Park, the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge and Brownsville, learn first-hand the intricacies of bird and insect migrations.

• Experience songbird and hawk banding, butterfly tagging, and diurnal counting of migrating birds of prey.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day over uneven terrain.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our Birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Cape Charles

An outstanding example of an early planned community, Cape Charles is situated near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The town is on the National Register of Historic Places and boasts one of the largest concentrations of late-Victorian and turn-of-the-century buildings on the East Coast.



Accommodations
Resort hotel with private beaches, gazebos, outdoor pool, lounge. Plated or buffet hotel meals, plus an outing to an area restaurants for a taste of Chesapeake culture and cuisine.
Meals and Lodgings
   Sunset Beach Resort
  Cape Charles 5 nights
 Sunset Beach Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: Situated on 38 acres of land, it has a private beach, picnic areas, gazebos, and an outdoor pool, restaurant and lounge. Located just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in a prime birding area.
  Contact info: 32246 Lankford Highway
Cape Charles, VA 23310 USA
phone: 757-331-1776
web: www.sunsetbeachresortva.com/
  Room amenities: hair dryers, coffee makers, iron and ironing board, color TV with cable, wireless hi-speed Internet,
  Facility amenities: Private beach, waterfront dining, beautiful sunsets over the Chesapeake Bay, bicycle and kayak rentals, gazebo and picnic area
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: approximately $70/night The hotel is usually SOLD OUT before the program due to the Birding Festival. Plan to stay in Norfolk or Virginia Beach if you are arriving early.
  Check in time: 3:30 PM
  Additional nights after: approximately $70/night The hotel is usually SOLD OUT before the program due to the Birding Festival. Plan to stay in Norfolk or Virginia Beach if you are arriving early.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00pm Program registration begins at hotel/ 4:00pm Check into your room/ 5:15pm Start of Prgm. You will be staying at Sunset Beach Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with box lunch for trip home. You will be staying at Sunset Beach Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cape Charles
  Nearest city or town:  Norfolk
  Nearest highway: I-64 will take you to Highway 13
  Nearest airport:  Norfolk International
  From End of Program
  Location: Cape Charles
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Norfolk or Newport News

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
phone: 800-736-8222

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on car rental company; toll required on bridge
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about 1-1.5 

 

Distance:

 

about 30 (from Norfolk)

   

Exit the Norfolk Airport and take Norview Avenue travelling one mile west to I-64. Take I-64 East to Northampton Blvd. (Highway 13). Get in the right lane to exit I-64 and at the end of the ramp, turn right onto Highway 13. Stay on Highway 13 and you will cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (toll is $12.00). Continue on Highway 13 when you exit the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel for about 2 minutes.

 
Driving Directions
  From New York: Take the New Jersey Turnpike South. When you get to the Memorial Bridge (Delaware) cross it. As you come off the bridge, go straight, following the signs to Baltimore. This route will save 20-25 minutes travel time. Watch for signs to Highway 1 (it will be an exit to the right). Get off at Highway 1 South. Stay on Highway 1 (you will pass the Dover Airforce Base) to Highway 113 South (to the right). Take Highway 113 to Pokomoke (about 30 miles). When you get there, you will see Highway 13 (at a major stop light). Turn left and travel South on Highway 13. Stay on Highway 13 after you cross the Virginia border. You'll continue down through the Eastern Shore, passing signs for Parksley, Onley, Painter, Exmore, Nassawadox, Eastville and Cheriton. Just before you reach the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, you will come to Sunset Beach Resort. Sunset Beach Resort will be on the right.
  From Norfolk International Airport Exit the airport and take Norview Avenue travelling one mile west to I-64. Take I-64 East to Northampton Blvd. (Highway 13). Get in the right lane to exit I-64 and at the end of the ramp, turn right onto Highway 13. Stay on Highway 13 and you will cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (toll is $12.00). Continue on Highway 13 when you exit the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel for about 2 minutes.
  From Richmond & Newport News: Take I-64 East out of Richmond or Newport News. Continue past Williamsburg and Norfolk. After you notice signs for the Norfolk International Airport, watch for the signs for Northampton Blvd. (aka Highway 13). You will be exiting onto Highway 13. When you see the signs... Get in the right lane to exit I-64 and at the end of the ramp, the road will bear to the right onto Highway 13. Stay on Highway 13 and you will cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (toll is $12.00). Continue on Highway 13 when you exit the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel for about 2 minutes.
  From Washington DC: Leave DC via Highway 50, traveling East. Continue to Highway 13 South (it is well marked). It will bear off to the right. Continue travel on Highway 13. You will go through Salisbury. Follow the signs for Highway 13. Stay on Highway 13 after you cross the Virginia border. You'll continue down through the Eastern Shore, passing signs for Parksley, Onley, Painter, Exmore, Nassawadox, Eastville and Cheriton. Just before you reach the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, you will come to Sunset Beach Resort. Sunset Beach Resort will be on the right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Registration/Program Overview
(Sunday, October 6)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival Check-In Welcome Road Scholar Introductions and Program Overview
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Class: Making Sense of Migration: This will be a discussion of the dynamics of why and how birds migrate, the obstacles they face as they complete their journeys, and the strategies researchers employ to investigate migration.
   
Accommodations: Sunset Beach Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Kiptopeke State Park/Birds of Prey
(Monday, October 7)

Note: The field trip will be on upland hardwood forest and beach trails with some boardwalks. The footing can be uneven and there are some very gentle inclines.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your Leisure
 Morning: Field Trip: Kiptopeke State Park Birding This first trip into the field may include a stop at the banding station and the Birds of Prey Watch Tower, staff and conditions permitting.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Class: The Eastern Shore Is for the Birds: This lecture presents an overview of the diversity of the bird species found on Virginia's Eastern shore and why the area is internationally important for avian migration. Class: An Introduction to Identifying Diurnal Birds of Prey: Participants will experience a hands-on approach to understanding the details of visually sorting out the various groups of diurnal raptors. In so doing they will develop a common vocabulary for describing the features used to identify each group and the species within the groups. Class: Diurnal Birds of Prey-Up Close and Personal: Through the use of photographs, participants will extend and apply their understanding of diurnal raptor identifications and along the way be introduced to the natural history of these birds.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Class: Do You Hear What I Hear? in this lively presentation, participants will listen to and identify bird songs and explore how and why birds vocalize.
   
Accommodations: Sunset Beach Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve; Owl Prowl
(Tuesday, October 8)

Note: The ground for both field trips will be similar to Monday's trip.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: Field Trip: Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve. This preserve is found on the Bay side of the Eastern Shore. Its 29 acres feature coastal beach, dune, and maritime forest habitats. During fall migration, the forest abounds with migratory songbirds and raptors resting and feeding before continuing their journey across the Chesapeake Bay.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Class: The Colonial and Beach-nesting Water Birds of the Virginia Barrier Islands: This two-part presentation is based on more than 30 years of field work and will give participants an opportunity to learn about the population trends and natural history of birds which nest in colonies on the Atlantic barrier islands of Virginia. Class: Owls of Virginia: The afternoon's speaker will conclude with a brief discussion the unique characteristics and biology of Virginia's owl species in preparation for the evening field trip to Kiptopeke State Park.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Field Trip: Owl Prowl. The group will return to Kiptopeke State Park for a star-lit tramp through the woods. The focus of the evening will be on identifying owl calls and perhaps spotting a few of these hunters of the night.
   
Accommodations: Sunset Beach Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field Trip: Brownsville Preserve (The Nature Conservancy) and Barrier Islands Center
(Wednesday, October 9)

Note: The terrain will be similar to previous trips in the field. The Center is handicapped accessible.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: Field Trip: Birding in Nassawadox and Brownsville. Birds and other wildlife abound at Brownsville Preserve. From the boardwalk and trails traversing this historic farm, you may see deer, fox, raccoons, blue herons, bald eagles, wild turkeys and many other species of birds. The Conservancy manages Brownsville to enhance bird habitat, and the farm serves as headquarters for the Virginia Coast Reserve. Field Trip: Barrier Islands Center. This collection of three historical buildings interprets the history and daily life of the 19th century rural inhabitants of these barrier islands. The site includes furnished room, gardens, and a working farm.
 Lunch: Enjoy a special Eastern Shore lunch at one of the area's most popular crab shacks.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Performance: A Musical Interlude. A talented local musician provides a lively evening of nautical and historical music on a variety of instruments, some familiar and some surprising.
   
Accommodations: Sunset Beach Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Fisherman Island NWR
(Thursday, October 10)

Note: The island includes upland forests, brackish ponds, and salt marshes along with sandy beaches and grass-covered dunes on a wind-swept island. Walking will be limited because of the fragile nature of the habitat.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: Field Trip: Fisherman Island Located at the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, this area is one of the most important avian migration funnels in North America. Each fall, like colorful clockwork, the refuge is the scene of a spectacular drama as millions of songbirds and monarch butterflies and thousands of raptors converge on their voyage south. Protected habitats such as these provide critical stopover areas where birds and butterflies can rest and feed before resuming their arduous journey.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Class: The Geological Development of the Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore. Discover the fascinating geological history of this region of bays, marshes and barrier islands. Learn about the rise and fall of the ocean level in the Susquehanna River estuary and the impact, literal and figurative, of a meteor on the geography of the Eastern Shore and Virginia Tidewater.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Free evening
   
Accommodations: Sunset Beach Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: VA National Wildlife Refuge/Departures
(Friday, October 11)

Note: The ˝-mile interpretive Wildlife Trail loops through mixed hardwoods, past an old cemetery, and out to the salt marsh overlook. A climb to the top of a WWII bunker affords a panoramic view of refuge marshes, barrier islands, bays, inlets, and the Atlantic Ocean.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast
 Morning: Birding Field Trip: Eastern Shore of VA National Wildlife Refuge. The southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula is an important migratory bird stopover location along the Atlantic coast. This narrowing peninsula created by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean causes a funneling effect on the birds as they fly south. The current bird list of 406 species, found in and around the refuge, is a great resource for planning a bird watching visit. Program Wrap up and Final Farewells
 Lunch: Box Lunch for trip home End of Program
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Eastern Shore/Exmore Eastern Shore/Exmore
When you come to our Road Scholar program, you'll find the schedule filled with classes and extracurricular activities; your free time will be limited to only a few hours a day. Free time opportunities include visiting any of the quaint towns and villages nestled just off the main highway, where you will find vineyards, beaches, kayak adventures, antique stores, and many other points of interest. Access www.easternshorevisitor.com for additional ideas. For additional information, visit www.wm.edu/Elderhostel
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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