Herring Creek Nature Park

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Late winter and early spring birding is a real treat at the Herring Creek Nature Park in West Ocean City.

This is one of the newer parks in Worcester County. It was built in 1997 with open space funding from several state and federal agencies. This was at the height of a building boom and the local government was looking for ways to offset the environmental impact of development.

The result is a delightful trail which passes through five different kinds of habitats:
There is a Wildflower Meadow, a Pine Forest, The Scrub-Shrub Forest, The Frog Pond, and a
Salt Pond

There are interpretive signs and birdhouses throughout the park. During this time of year birders can see winter favorites like cardinals, and woodpeckers. This is an excellent place to look for American Bluebirds, Eastern King Birds, and the migratory neo-tropical birds who visit the Eastern Shore each spring and fall. Hawks and osprey are seen regularly here. And it is not uncommon to see an eagle as well.

During the Delmarva Birding Weekend (the last weekend in April) this is a great spot to visit between other trips. No guide is needed and the park is free.

As the weather warms, in late spring the wildflower meadow will come alive with color. During summer and early fall you will want to be sure to bring your bug spray. But, song birds can be seen feeding on the blossoms that have gone to seed.

The park is not only a great place for seeing wildlife. The park has a flat easy walking trail that is the perfect place to ease into an exercise regimen. It’s a nice place to take the dog for a walk. And there is a picnic pavilion with plenty of parking.

Check it out at: 12500 Nature Park Drive Ocean City, Maryland