Bald Eagles

The Beaches of Tizzard Island

Launching from the Taylor’s Landing boat ramp, near Girdletree, MD, offers a number of paddling options including a new, to us, paddle to Tizzard Island on May 27th, 2019, Memorial Day. Our favorite paddles from Taylor’s Landing head two miles southeast to circumnavigate Mills Island, or hug the coast to the south to paddle Scarboro Creek, and or Pikes Creek. On Memorial Day we changed direction and paddled northeast to skirt Hog Island, Hudson Landing, and Bridge Creek, finally arriving at Tizzard Island. This trip features numerous strips of small sandy beaches perfect for watching shorebirds or stretching your legs. Birds abounded in this area including several bald eagles, and an eagles nest, willets, oyster catchers and a flock of ruddy turnstones. It was a nice change of pace and one that we can heartily recommend.

Taylor’s Landing boat ramp is never crowded, features a launch ramp and plenty of free parking. On this Memorial Day weekend several families were enjoying the sunny weather while crabbing. Younger children ran about and the adults chatted with us about our kayaking plans. At mid-morning the water was reasonably calm and the waves moderate. In the afternoon the waves would be more of a challenge as we circumnavigated Hog Island. This is par for the course for this kayaking destination and a fact that kayakers should keep in mind. With apologies to March, you might think of the paddling difficulty rule for Taylors Landing as “out like a lamb”, and “in like a lion”.

Heading to the northeast after putting in at Taylors Landing

A number of buildings along the waterfront of Taylor Landing Road have been slowing decaying before our eyes over the ten years we have been paddling this area. It is unfortunate, and several of these structures obviously were quite nice in their prime.

Example of a decaying building along Taylor Landing Road.

Our first eagle appeared just past the decaying buildings sitting on a high pole. While his back was to us, he was performing his best “Exorcist” imitation by turning his head around to stare in our direction. Later in the afternoon either this eagle, or another, sat on this same pole when we returned.

Bald Eagle imitating the Exorcist head turn trick

We paddled along the edge of Hog Island crossing over to Hudson Landing where a second bald eagle appeared in a pine tree. Shortly thereafter we spied a large eagle’s nest. The nest seems deserted or at least we detected no activity.

Second eagle sighting made at Hudson Landing
Spying an eagles nest in the distance
Close-up of the possibly abandoned eagles nest

As we paddled along the marsh of Hudson Landing several willets ran through the marsh grass. Numerous crab pots rested where they obviously blew ashore.

A willet along the shore
One of several crab pots

Rounding Rowley Cove we came to Bridge Creek which is a wide creek, bounded by Tizzard Island on the east leading out into Brockatonorton Bay. We considered paddling through Bridge Creek and exploring the Brockatonorton Bay but the whitecaps visible in the distance deterred us from venturing out. This is a trip for a calmer day. We called an audible and began to circumnavigate Tizzard Island.

Heading toward Bridge Creek

Along the south edge of Tizzard Island several sandy beaches again make for nice rest or bird watching stops. Many of our kayaking trips result in being stuck in your kayak until you return to the boat ramp. Being able to get out and stretch our legs on solid ground is a plus for this area.

Our first beach stop on Tizzard Island

A flock of ten birds flew along the shore away from us as we glided along the shore of Tizzard Island. A telephoto lens produced a good picture and we identified a flock of ruddy turnstones. We’ve seen ruddy turnstones before but never a large flock moving in unison.

A flock of ruddy turnstones with their unique orange legs

Another sandy beach not only had a few ruddy turnstones but a pair of American oystercatchers. The oystercatchers didn’t fly when we landed and appeared upset at our presence. Our guess is there was a nest nearby. We kept our distance, using a telephoto lens for pictures, and tried not to disturb the birds.

An American oyster catcher on the left (part of a pair) standing near a ruddy turnstone

After observing the oystercatchers we turned back toward Taylors Landing. A straight line route across the bay was quickest, but on such a nice day we paddled back along the Rowley Cove shore line.

Heading back to Taylors Landing

As we rounded Hog Island the wind and waves picked up making a difficult paddle to the boat ramp. Our trip total was nearly eight miles. Numerous opportunities for further exploration exist in this area, including kayaking all the way around Tizzard Island. But all in all, it was a good way to spend Memorial Day.

Directions: At the intersection of 113 and 12 in Snow Hill turn south on 12 to Girdletree, about 5 miles. Entering Girdletree, turn left on Box Iron Rd. Go to stop sign, bear left and then stay to the right. Road dead ends at Taylor’s Landing.

Services: Port a john is in the parking lot. There are no services in Girdletree. Stores, restaurants etc. are in Snow Hill.

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1 reply »

  1. Thank you so much for writing up this account of your trip, and for all the pix. I am making a folder of all the things I want to do when I visit Delmarva soon. I just would not be aware of so many incredible things to do if it were not for I live in the congested Atlanta GA area. When I visit the Eastern Shore, I will be sure to “leave no trace”.


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