Birding at Ferry Farm
Washington's Ferry Farm is part of the Fredericksburg Loop established by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, which, according to their booklet,
" ...offers visitors a chance to view birds not easily seen at other locations. Numerous beaver ponds, three reservoirs, and two tidal wetlands provide extensive wetland habitat for a variety of plants, birds, aquatic insects, and animals. Upland habitats include pine and hardwood forests, brushy fields and grasslands. Bottomland hardwood forests, upland early succession woods, and managed fields are other habitat regimes encountered on this loop."
Ferry Farm features two nature walks that offer visitors a chance to observe a unique variety of birds. The River and Wilderness Walk (approx. 0.36 mi) follows the banks of the Rappahannock River and provides the opportunity to see aquatic waterfowl including cormorants, herons, geese, and ducks. Bald Eagles have been observed here as well. Watch also for bluebirds, wild turkeys, fox, deer, and other wildlife as you walk through this woodland setting. The Wild Meadow Loop (approx. 0.6 mi) circles an area that was once a gravel mine and has since become a habitat for many species of birds. The sandstone boulders at the edge of the meadow are the remnants of Aquia sandstone used to replace the damaged steps at Historic Kenmore.
Visitors are welcome to enjoy these trails at their leisure during open hours as a part of the self-guided tour of Ferry Farm. Before your visit, you may find it useful to download the Checklist of the Birds at Ferry Farm (PDF file). The checklist identifies 135 species of birds that have been observed on the property between 2002 and 2009.