The peninsula that makes up Delaware and the parts of Maryland and Virginia east of the Chesapeake Bay is along the route of migrating birds. The 20th Annual Delmarva Birding Weekend (April 23 to 26) is a chance to see hundreds of different species as they head north along the Atlantic Flyway. 

The landscape is amazingly diverse. It includes the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, wildlife refuges, beaches, thickets, barrier islands, cypress swamps, and forests. You can expect to see over 200 species of birds. The checklist reads like a guide by Roger Tory Peterson: warblers, raptors, eagles, osprey, gulls, terns and waterfowl. The schedule is filled with guided walks, paddle and boat trips, along with “owl prowls” and other nocturnal adventures. Visitors gather for unofficial “bird tallies” each night at participating breweries and restaurants. 

related: Scenic train rides in West Virginia 

The website has details of excursions, as well as links to hotels and other travel needs: www.delmarvabirding.org.

Along with birds, Delaware celebrates garden bugs that weekend: the Ladybug, to be specific. The 15th Annual Bug and Bud Festival (www.downtownmilford.org) in Milford, Delaware, on April 25 is considered one the country’s top “local finds” festivals. 

 Some 40 years ago, Milford’s schoolkids led the effort to have the Ladybug recognized as Delaware’s Official State Insect. The small town (population. 9,000) is also designated a Tree City USA city for its efforts in urban forestry. 

The festival, held along the Mispillion River, is family-themed. There’s a costumed parade, “ladybug decorated” paddleboats in the river, a children’s art show, lots of “green-themed” hands-on nature activities, a canoe/kayak/paddleboard race, and over 100 arts and crafts vendors.

 

For more travel advice, go to www.insightguides.com.