At a Glance

Hours: Dawn to dusk.

Cost: Free.

Tips: No visitor amenities. ◾ Landowners are very friendly to birders but please don’t block any field roads or leave any gates open. Be respectful to local residents. ◾ A scope is handy for best looks.

Best Seasons: Birding is good all year.

Local MOS Chapter: Harford Bird Club

Bradenbaugh Flats & Upper Deer Creek Valley

Intersection of Harford Creamery and Bradenbaugh Roads, Harford County

Bradenbaugh Flats refers to an area of Harford County with private land in agricultural production, providing excellent habitat for field birds. Viewing is from the roadsides with little traffic to interfere. Little Deer Creek and Big Deer Creek are nearby and Turney’s Pond at 4531 Harford Creamery Road has been a great site for waterfowl and some rarities, especially in the late fall and winter. The pond is on the east side of Harford Creamery Road, south of Bradenbaugh Road and north of Lemon Road.

The strategy for birding here is simple: drive the roads in the vicinity of the intersection of Harford Creamery Road and Bradenbaugh Roads, being alert for signs of movement in the fields and pulling your car onto the shoulder at the first opportunity. A scope can help in sighting field birds such as Horned Larks and American Pipits. Be sure to stand off the roadway with your scope.

Safety first: watch for traffic before stepping out of the car and before pulling out into the lane of travel. Use your turn signals when pulling over and pulling out. Be respectful of the privacy of the local residents and avoid making noise. Please do not pull into any driveways or private roads, and avoid blocking driveways with your car. All the land here is private: do not walk into fields or onto lawns under any circumstances.

Birdlife:

Over 115 species have been reported on eBird from Bradenbaugh Flats.  During the winter, look for Horned Lark flocks that may contain Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, and American Pipits.  On Turney’s Pond (4531 Harford Creamery Road), Cackling Goose is a regular.  During the breeding season, Grasshopper and Savannah Sparrow are present along with Horned Larks and Eastern Meadowlark.  American Kestrels are common in spring and fall migration and may be nesting nearby.At the wetlands north of the Bradenbaugh/Amos Road intersection, Willow Flycatcher is a regular nester, along with both Orioles.

A woodland just west of Harford Creamery Road and one-quarter mile south of Bradenbaugh Road has had nesting Red-headed Woodpecker (often found throughout the year).  However, Red-headed Woodpeckers may move their nest sites from time to time. As of this writing (December 2019), the woodpeckers are easiest to find near the intersection of Harford Creamery and Hitchcock Roads.

Parking:

Very limited – roadsides and the wide intersection at Harford Creamery and Bradenbaugh are your only options.

Special Features:

We can’t emphasize enough that this area is all private property and it is a privilege to be able to bird here with friendly residents. Please be on your best behavior so that we don’t lose access to this wonderful birding spot. ◾ Because all the birding is from or near the car, this can be a great place for those who are mobility-impaired. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Harford Bird Club, which offers field trips and meetings with informative programs, all free and open to the public.

Directions:

From the Baltimore Beltway/I-695: Take Exit 27B for MD Route 146/Dulaney Valley Road Northbound. As you travel on MD Route 146, the road name will change to Jarrettsville Pike (still MD Route 146). Proceed 16 miles on Route 146 to the crossroad with MD Route 23/Norrisville road at Madonna. Stay straight to proceed north on Madonna Road and in 0.4 miles, turn left (northwest) onto Harford Creamery Road. Follow Harford Creamery north for 3 miles to the junction with Bradenbaugh Road. Explore in all directions from this intersection. Turney’s Pond is at 4531 Harford Creamery Road and permission is granted to drive down the driveway; please do not block the driveway and be respectful of this private property. Do not walk in any fields. Stay on roadsides.

Alternatively, from I-95 north of Baltimore: Take Exit 74 for MD Route 152/Mountain Road Northbound. Stay on MD Route 152 for approximately 15 miles to the intersection with Jarrettsville Pike/MD Route 146. Turn right (north) onto MD Route 146 and go 1.7 mile to the crossroad with MD Route 23/Norrisville road at Madonna. Stay straight to proceed north on Madonna Road and in 0.4 miles, turn left (northwest) onto Harford Creamery Road. Follow Harford Creamery north for 3 miles to the junction with Bradenbaugh Road. Explore in all directions from this intersection. Turney’s Pond is at 4531 Harford Creamery Road and permission is granted to drive down the driveway; please do not block the driveway and be respectful of this private property. Do not walk in any fields. Stay on roadsides.

Nearby Sites:

Rocks State Park; Eden Mill Nature Center; Conowingo Dam/Fisherman’s Park (Harford County Side)

Habitats:

Hedgerows FarmyardLawn, Ballfields, Golf Course Agricultural Crop Fields or Fallow FieldsHay Meadows, Pasture, Grass Field

Features:

Birding By CarFree - No Entry Fee

Type:

Driving Tours (Birding By Car)