Experience the best of year-round birding on the Delmarva Peninsula

Ocean City and Assateague Island Fall Shorebirds Tours

Schedule your personalized trip today!

Delmarva Birding Weekends have partnered with Ocean City boat Captain Brad McCabe of Bay Time Charters to offer fall shorebird boat trips in the coastal bays behind Ocean City and Assateague. The tours are being offered to see a host of migrant shorebirds as well as flocking herons, egrets, Glossy and White Ibis, Brown Pelicans, Royal Terns and Black Skimmers. The three-hour tours begin with the busy northern bays which include Tern Island, Skimmer Island, and two other unnamed islands rife with shorebirds and American Oystercatchers.

Photo taken by Isaac Guerrero during the August 1st tour.

The aquatic safari then heads south past the gauntlet of Osprey nests for a jaunt behind Assateague. There, amidst the Assateague wild horses, Royal Terns and Black Skimmers are staging before heading south for the winter. Bottlenose dolphin have also been making an appearance by the Ocean City inlet. The 28-mile trip ends in Chincoteague Bay with great looks at the full complement of wading birds at South Point Spoils. These include Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Tri-colored Herons, Little Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night-Herons, Glossy Ibis, Double-crested Cormorants and Brown Pelicans.

These in-boat-only tours do not enter the islands as this would greatly disturb the birds. Guides Dave Wilson and Jim Rapp have been engaging in bird conservation in the coastal bays for more than 20 years including working with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Audubon Maryland-DC, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and US Army Corps of Engineers.

The three-hour guided tour embarks from the West Ocean City boat ramp (click here for a Google Map). It includes snacks and cold beverages.  Scheduled trips are over for the season but guests can tailor their own tours weekdays through Oct. 15, 2017 for $400/excursion (boat holds up to six guests). Contact Dave about special rates.

Click here for a list of birding tips to prepare for an enjoyable experience. You may get wet. For more information contact Dave Wilson at (443) 523-2201 or marshhawk67@gmail.com. Book your trip now before the birds begin their journey south this fall!


“I loved the trip! The intimacy of the small group and boat was lovely. It has been so far the highlight of my vacation. What a thrill to get to the interior of Assateague backwater islands and experience the sounds and smell and feel. The amazing numbers of nesting flocking birds were astounding to me. Thank you both for sharing your knowledge and navigational skills to take us where we could never go without this sort of trip! It was a thrill for us.”

-Bonnie M.


 “Thank you for a great birding tour last week.  We all had a great time!  My Mom was thrilled with the trip and spoke about it all week.  Thanks for making all the arrangements with the boat, etc.  I’m so glad we chose to go out on the water; made for a very special day.”



“The trip was wonderful.  You’re a great guide, able to identify and talk easily about the birds we encountered.  Your easy-going and passionate temperament is perfect in a guide.  I also liked Brad and his attention to our comfort.”

– Batya H.


The 22nd annual Spring Delmarva Birding Weekend was held April 27 – 30, 2017. Thank you to our guests, guides, outfitters, sponsors, boat captains, land managers, refuge staff, private landowners, bartenders, servers, hotel managers, innkeepers, tourism professionals, economic development leaders, writers, photographers, web gurus and everyone who made the 22nd annual Spring Delmarva Birding Weekend a fantastic success.

Most of all, thank you to the birds for sharing the Delmarva Peninsula with us. 182 species were tallied during the event. Click the link for a complete species list, along with some photos from this weekend’s field trips.

PHOTO CREDITS: All bird photos courtesy of Frode Jacobsen and Nico Sarbanes. Birder photographs provided by the Delmarva Birding Weekends.