At a Glance
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Tips: Bring a scope. ◾ Restrooms at Tyaskin Park; seasonally available portable restrooms at Wetipquin.
Best Seasons: Year-round, but may be crowded in warm weather and the parking lot may fill to capacity; visit in early morning on weekdays to avoid crowds.
Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Nanticoke CE, Wetipquin CW
Tyaskin Park & Wetipquin Park
Tyaskin Park: 4778 Tyaskin Road, Tyaskin, MD 21865
Wetipquin Park: 21688 Wetipquin Road, Wetipquin, MD 21865
(410) 548-4870 for both
Tyaskin Park and Wetipquin Park are a pair of little parks owned by Wicomico County that provide public water access. Both are located on the Wetipquin Creek near its mouth on the Nanticoke River, southwest of Salisbury. Birders visit for the spectacular views of the extensive tidal freshwater marshes and the open waters of the creek and river.
The land at Tyaskin Park was donated for a public park by Tyaskin residents Mattie Culver and Earnest Larmore in 1942. The park has a small sandy beach area which provides a soft launch site for canoes and kayaks. There is a picnic pavilion at the water’s edge and a large pier for fishing or crabbing. The little 1-acre park is dotted with trees. Be sure to scope the marsh on the north side of Wetipquin Creek and the shorelines and water in both directions. If you walk out on the pier and then turn around and look back, you’ll have a view of the marsh that lies on the south shore of the creek, to the east of the park.
Wetipquin Park is located just a half-mile up the creek from Tyaskin Park, as the crow flies, and is situated next to the bridge that carries Wetipquin Road over the creek. As at Tyaskin, Wetipquin Park is most valuable to birders for the views it provides of the marshes and open waters. There is both a concrete boat ramp and a soft launch area. The south end of the rectangular, 2.5-acre park contains a woodlot; be sure to check the trees for birds, especially during migration. The county also owns about 1.5 acres on the north side of the creek, adjacent to the pilings of an old pier, but the land there is all marsh and there is no foot access or parking. If you drive across the bridge to the north side, you might be able to find a place to park along the road shoulder, but beware of soft shoulders. You would then be able to scan the marsh from the roadside. Walking over the bridge from the park is chancy because there are no shoulders or sidewalk.
Fishing is permitted at both parks, and the pier at Tyaskin Park can also be used for crabbing.
Most birders combine a visit to Tyaskin and Wetipquin Parks with a stop at the nearby Cedar Hill Marina & Park and Roaring Point a little farther south on the Nanticoke. Also close at hand is the Nutter Road area in the Fair Meadow Complex of the Chesapeake Forest lands, adjacent to the western edge of Ellis Bay WMA. The main part of Ellis Bay WMA can be visited on the way to or from Tyaskin and Wetipquin.
Over 110 species have been report on eBird from Tyaskin Park, and over 100 species from Wetipquin Marsh (the hotspot pin is located in the marsh on the north side of the creek, but can be used for the park on the south side as well). The combined species list for the two parks stands at almost 140 species; click here to see the combined list. Be aware that Wetipquin is visited less often by birders, with fewer checklists submitted to date, so the Wetipquin species list on eBird is no doubt incomplete.
Birders visit both spots mainly for water and marsh species. Seventeen species of waterfowl have been reported from Tyaskin, and somewhat fewer from Wetipquin, which is farther from the open waters of the Nanticoke. Pie-billed Grebe (winter) and Horned Grebe (spring) may be seen at Tyaskin. Both Common and Red-throated Loons may occur from fall through spring, more at Tyaskin than Wetipquin.
On the other hand, rails are more likely at Wetipquin: they include King or Clapper, Virginia, and possibly Sora. A few shorebirds may drop in at Tyaskin: Least Sandipiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, and Willet have been reported.
At both locations, Laughing Gulls are easy to see (and hear) in the summer. Ring-billed, Herring, and Great Black-backed Gulls are numerous from fall through spring, and may be seen sporadically in summer. The tern selection includes Caspian, Common, Forster’s and Royal, with a rare Least possible in spring.
Double-crested Cormorants are abundant, almost year-round; a Great might be rarely seen. Brown Pelicans are sporadic throughout the warm months. Great Blue Herons are common year-round. Great Egret, Snowy Heron (rare), Little Blue (rare), and Green Heron might also be seen during the warm months.
Ospreys and Bald Eagles are common breeders, and the eagles are present year-round. Northern Harriers overwinter, and Sharp-shinned, Red-shouldered, and Red-tailed may also be found, particularly in late winter or early spring.
Belted Kingsfishers are easy to see, as are Red-bellied, Downy, Pileated Woodpeckers and Northern Flicker, mostly in winter.
The woodlot here are not large enough to support forest-interior dwelling birds, so the flycatchers are limited to Great Crested and Eastern Kingbird, perhaps with Eastern Wood-Pewee at Wetipquin (check the woodlot). Swallows include Purple Martin, Tree, Bank, and Barn.
Brown-headed Nuthatches might be found at both parks in winter or early spring, along with Brown Creeper. In the wren department, Wetipquin hosts Marsh (common) and Sedge (rare) as well as the expected Carolinas and an occasional House. Eastern Bluebirds are present in the winter, along with Hermit Thrush. American Robins are abundant.
Wetipquin has a more diverse selection of sparrows, with Chipping, Field, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated, Seaside (rare), Savannah, Song, Swamp, and Eastern Towhee. Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and Common Grackles are abundant, and a few Boat-tailed Grackles may be present at Tyaskin in the spring. Orchard Orioles breed at Wetipquin.
With its small woodlot, Wetipquin offers better chances for warblers, though the list is short: Worm-eating, Louisiana, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Bay-breasted, Yellow, Pine, and Yellow-rumped. Add Blackpoll and Black-and-white at Tyaskin. Most of these are found during migration in small numbers. The Yellow-rumpeds, however, are abundant in winter. Northern Cardinal, Blue Grosbeak, and Indigo Bunting round out the checklist.
Pets permitted on leash.
The parking area at Tyaskin is paved, but Wetipquin has a gravel lot. It is possible to get a good view of the water and the nearby marshlands from the car. The launch sites are not wheelchair-accessible.
Tyaskin Park and Wetipquin Park are contained with the Nanticoke Important Bird Area, as designated by the National Audubon Society.
For boaters, details on the Tyaskin and Wetipquin Park boating facilities can be found within the MD DNR Public Water Access Guide. ◾ The Nanticoke River Explorer’s Brochure is available as a free download from the Paddle the Nanticoke website, developed by partners including the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, MD DNR, and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network of the National Park Service. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Tri-County Bird Club, serving Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties. The Tri-County Bird Club offers field trips and meetings with presentations by guest speakers, free and open to the public.
A short YouTube video posted by a private citizen features aerial footage of the Tyaskin area, including a shot looking up the Wetipquin Creek toward Wetipquin Park, by the bridge over the creek. The video will give you a good feel for the habitat near both parks.
Paved parking area at Tyaskin Park; gravel lot at Wetipquin Park.
To reach Tyaskin Park from the Western Shore: Take US Route 50/US Route 301 to the Bay Bridge and continue south and then east on US Route 50 toward (but not all the way to) Salisbury. About 4.8 miles after Mardela Springs, turn right to go south on MD Route 347/Quantico Road. In about 3 miles, at an intersection with Old Athol Road, turn left to stay south on Quantico Road for another 1.5 miles. Then turn right to go west on MD Route 349/Nanticoke Road. Stay on Nanticoke Road for 9.0 miles, then turn right to go north on Tyaskin Road, which will bring you directly to the park in 1.1 miles.
To reach Tyaskin Park from points north on the Eastern Shore: Use US Route 301 or MD Route 213 to reach US Route 50 southbound. Then follow directions above.
To reach Tyaskin Park from points east of Salisbury, including the Ocean City area: Take US Route 50 west toward Salisbury. Take US Route 50 Business through Salisbury, or take the US Route 50 Bypass around the north side of Salisbury. On the west side of Salisbury, turn left to go south on MD Route 349/Nanticoke Road. Stay on Nanticoke Road for 16 miles, then turn right to go north on Tyaskin Road, which will bring you directly to the park in 1.1 miles.
To reach Wetipquin Park from Tyaskin Park: Leave the park heading south on Tyaskin Road. In 0.3 miles, turn left onto Tyaskin Church Road and go east for 0.4 miles , then turn left to go north on Wetipquin Road, which will bring you to the park in 0.4 miles.
Wicomico County: Cedar Hill Marina & Park, Ellis Bay Wildlife Management Area, Nanticoke River Wildlife Management Area – Nutter’s Neck, Pemberton Historical Park, Roaring Point & Nanticoke Harbor, Ward Museum & Schumaker Pond
Dorchester County: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Chesapeake Forest – North Tara Road, Elliott Island Road / Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area (Eastern Section), Hooper’s Island, Taylor’s Island
Worcester County: Pocomoke State Forest – Hickory Point Cypress Swamp Natural Area
Features and Amenities:BeginnersBoat or Canoe/Kayak LaunchFishingFree - No Entry Fee at Any TimeParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaRestroomsWater ViewWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families
Type:Audubon Important Bird AreasCommunity and Urban ParksCounty ParksThe Rivers of the Eastern ShoreWater Trails