At a Glance

Hours: Sunrise to sunset (when the gate is open).

Cost: Free.

Tips: A spotting scope is essential. Castaways’ season is April–October; summer months are very crowded and birding is not recommended. Check in at the office upon arrival and be considerate and respectful to staff and vacationers.

Best Seasons: October-April.

Breeding Bird Atlas Block: Ocean City CW

Local MOS Chapter: Tri-County Bird Club

Castaways RV Resort & Campgrounds

12550 Eagles Nest Road, Berlin, MD 21811

Castaways RV Resort and Campground is a privately owned recreation park in Worcester County, located on the Sinexpuxent Bay south of Ocean City. The owners have been very kind in allowing access to considerate birders, especially in the off-season. The campground is located on a sandy beach on the bayshore, and is dotted with pine trees throughout the property. A pier in the southeast corner of the site overlooks Sinepuxent Bay and has good views across the bay to the northern portion of Assateague Island (scope recommended). Sandbars in the bay often yield interesting shorebirds. Check the pine trees throughout the property for everything from Brown-headed Nuthatch to Great Horned Owl.

If the office is open (varies seasonally), stop in to ask permission to bird the property. Please be on your best behavior on this private property so that we can retain access. If campers are present, please respect their privacy.

The access road for the campground (Eagles Nest Road) take you past the back side of the Ocean City Municipal Airport. The Airport itself is restricted access and generally not open to birding, so bird only from the public roadway. There are several places to stop and pull your car off the road to check the broad grassy roadsides, the occasional clumps of trees and shrubs, and the fields of the airport itself. The entrance road and airport often hold bluebirds, meadowlarks, sparrows, and other field birds, and occasional warblers such as Yellow-rumped.

Hint: If you like to camp, or if you know people who do, consider recommending Castaways as a way to return the favor of allowing us to bird there.

Birdlife:

Almost 200 species have been reported on eBird from Castaways RV Resort and Campground and a somewhat different set of 95 species has been reported from the adjoining Ocean City Municipal Airport, which can be observed through a tall chain link fence.

At the campground, winter brings a wide variety of waterfowl including Snow Goose, Brant, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Bufflehead, Common and Red-breasted Merganser and Horned Grebe. Shorebirds include American Oystercatcher, Black-bellied Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Dunlin and Willet. Winter also regularly brings Northern Gannet, Surf and Black Scoter, Red-necked Grebe, and in the fall, Marbled Godwit. Rarities can include Red Knot, Western Sandpiper, Western Grebe, and sometimes Piping Plover in March.

At the airport and along Eagles Nest Road approaching the campground, expect meadowlarks and other field birds, as well as bluebirds and other passerines.

There is good birding from fall through winter into spring, but the birding gets more difficult when the campground starts to fill up with campers as the weather gets warm.

Parking:

Parking is available along Eagles Nest Road throughout the year. Off-season, one may park next to the pier and elsewhere in the campground.

Special Features:

Castaways Resort and Campground is contained within the much larger Maryland Coastal Bays Important Bird Area, as designated by the National Audubon Society. The MD Coastal Bays IBA adjoins the Assateague Island Important Bird Area to the east; Assateague Island is visible from the campground. ◾ The Tri-county Bird Club is the local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society, serving Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset Counties; the club offers field trips to local birding areas and meetings with informative presentations, all free and open to the public.

Directions:

From Ocean Gateway/US Route 50: Travel south on Stephen Decatur Highway/MD Route 611 for 2.2 miles; then, just past the Ocean City Municipal Airport and a golfing center, turn left onto Eagles Nest Road. Follow Eagles Nest Road for 1.7 miles to the campground. Stop along Eagles Nest Road to bird the back fields of the Ocean City Municipal Airport (observed through the chain link fence) and the wide grassy road edges.

Nearby Sites:

Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague Island State Park, Ocean City Inlet; E.A. Vaughn WMA, Pocomoke State Forest – Hickory Point Cypress Swamp Natural Area, Truitts Landing and Other Bayside Landings, West Ocean City PondEllis Bay Wildlife Management Area, Nanticoke River Wildlife Management Area – Nutter’s Neck, Pemberton Historical Park

Habitats:

Conifers Suburban Neighborhood Sandy Beach or Dunes Jetties & SeawallsMud Flats (Tidal or Non-Tidal)Open Ocean, Bay, or EstuarySalt or Brackish Marsh

Features:

CampingObservation Platform or TowerParkingWater View

Type:

Atlantic Ocean and Intercoastal WaterwaysAudubon Important Bird Areas