MATHEWS – Join the Northern Neck Audubon Society on the first bird walk of 2014, a winter bird walk on the beach. On Monday, January 13, Frank Schaff will lead a bird walk in Mathews County at Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve and, if time allows, at New Point Comfort Natural Area Preserve or Haven Beach.
Over 185 species of birds have been observed at Bethel Beach, a sandy spit on the Chesapeake Bay. New Point Comfort offers a boardwalk, tidal shallows, mudflats, beach and low woodlands which attract numerous migrating land birds. Possible sightings at both sites include northern gannets, tundra swans, rails, bitterns, and numerous types of waterfowl, including surf scoters, buffleheads, mergansers and lesser scaups.
Participants wishing to carpool should meet in the parking lot of Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock at 7:15 a.m. Those coming from the Middle Peninsula can meet at M&M Building Supply Center (formerly Henley's Do-It-Center), 10859 General Puller Highway (Rt. 33) in Hartfield at 8 a.m. and join the group from Kilmarnock.
Directions for those wishing to meet at Bethel Beach: From the Northern Neck and the Middle Peninsula, take Route 3 south and cross the Twigs Ferry Bridge into Gloucester County. At the T intersection, turn left onto Route 198. When 198 joins Route 14, follow 14 through Mathews. Go approximately 1/3 mile and turn left onto Route 611 (Tabernacle Road). Follow 611 to Onemo and turn left onto Route 609 (Bethel Beach Rd) and continue to the preserve. Plan to arrive at Bethel Beach about 8:45 a.m.
Binoculars, warm clothes, and water-resistant footwear are recommended. Call Frank Schaff at 804-462-0084 to let him know that you are coming in case the walk is cancelled. For NNAS information and activities, visit http://www.northernneckaudubon.org.