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Red Knot bird walking on the wet sand

Birding Trail Guide to the Best Birdwatching Spots in Southern Delaware

Stamp your birdwatching passport along the Delaware Birding Trail and beyond! Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a beginner, this birding trail guide to the best birdwatching spots in Southern Delaware features serene coastal marshes, wooded trails, and pristine beaches. Embark on an unforgettable adventure into the captivating birdwatching world during your stay at Mansion Farm Inn. Migration is made easy here—the shorebirds can agree!

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

8 Minutes from Mansion Farm Inn

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to start your Delaware birdwatching excursion. Several trails provide easy access to diverse habitats through undisturbed wilderness. It is easy to spend a couple of hours or days here! If you’re not up for a hike, rent a paddle boat and sail the Canoe Trail through the park, keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way.

Slaughter Beach

14 Minutes from Mansion Farm Inn

Many birders visit Slaughter Beach to spot Red Knots, a shorebird native to Delaware. Red Knots often feast on horseshoe crabs during their migrational journey up the east coast.  Even in the shorebird off-season, Slaughter Beach is a great place to scope out Gulls and Sparrows. Pack a picnic or take a beach bike ride to make the most out of your visit.

Beach Plum Island Nature Preserve

15 Minutes from Mansion Farm Inn

Beach Plum Island Nature Preserve is a barrier dune system protected by the State of Delaware. This strip of land is ever-changing with the tides, but the one thing that stays constant is its inhabitants. Visiting this strip provides a unique look into Delaware coast life. Dubbed a “wilderness beach,” you’ll find plenty of shorebirds and their beachy friends during your visit.

A path walking on sand at Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware

Cape Henlopen State Park

18 Minutes from Mansion Farm Inn

Experience a range of Delaware habitats in Cape Henlopen State Park. Access to the ocean, mudflats, salt flats, pine forests, and dunes will keep you occupied during your exploration. Better yet, this park is masterfully connected by roads and trails, making it an easily accessible park for fellow birders. We recommend checking out the habitat garden and feeder area near the Seaside Nature Center for a prime viewing experience.

Redden State Forest

18 Minutes from Mansion Farm Inn

Redden State Forest is different than most bird-watching areas on our list. This dense pine-oak forest is a great place to find southern forest birds like Warblers and Woodpeckers. Redden State Forest Loop is an easily traversed 4.8-mile trail that is great for spending most of the walk with your eyes toward the trees. A popular way to combat the miles is on horseback, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the views.

Silver Lake

20 Minutes from Mansion Farm Inn

Just between Poodle and Dewey Beach, Silver Lake is a little oasis. It’s a fantastic place to be for winter duck sightings. Wander down the boardwalks and docks dotted around the lake for a thrillingly close look at Redheads, Ruddy Ducks, and Mallards. You can also rent kayaks and paddle around amongst the feathered friends—plan to park along Robinsons Drive and enter the lake area on foot.

Milford Neck Wildlife Area

25 Minutes from Mansion Farm Inn

Milford Neck Wildlife Area is a hidden gem in the birding community. This lesser-known stop on the Delaware birding trail boasts lush freshwater marshes and coastal forest landscapes. Expect a serenade from migrational songbirds like Chuck-Will’s-Widows as you peruse Big Stone Beach Road. These birds make a pit stop in Delaware state parks every spring and fall, making for a great time for birders to flock to our area.

Delaware Seashore State Park

26 Minutes from Mansion Farm Inn

On the coastline along Rehoboth and Indian River Bay, you will find the buzzing Delaware Seashore State Park. Venture around the beachside or bayside of the park to find an immense array of shorebirds, waterbirds, Grebes, and more. The sway of water through this channel circulates a diverse food source, attracting hundreds of birds and making this a spot for spectacular sightings.

Birding Events

Delaware is proud to be home to a diverse and thriving bird community. It is something we celebrate every chance we get! If you are visiting Mansion Farm Inn in April, look into Delmarva Birding Weekend for a three-day birdwatching extravaganza. The Shorebird and Horseshoe Crab Festival is also great for celebrating the annual bird migration of Delaware’s feathered friends. This springtime event happens every May, so mark your calendars for a Southern Delaware getaway all about birding!

This birding trail guide to the best birdwatching spots in Southern Delaware is guaranteed to be a hit for birders and visitors alike. Delaware boasts an extensive spread of wildlife and nature, so we always encourage our guests to keep a day or two of birding in mind. Reserve a tranquil room today and flock down to Southern Delaware!

Photo Credit:
© BrianEKushner via
© Greg Bethmann via

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