Assateague Island

Everyone needs to have a place to relax and gather your thoughts. For me, my secret spot is Assateague Island in Maryland. It has everything that wildlife photographer may need: ocean, beautiful beaches, salt marshes, unique bays, and various wildlife. I always go to the Maryland side. Not because Virginia side is less beautiful but because the Maryland District of Assateague Island is an only two-hours’ drive from my house. You can check their website for more information about entrance fees, tours, etc.

I just want to tell you one thing. No matter how bad the weather is, there are always people walking there. Assateague Island is always beautiful, rain or shine.

If you love kayaking as much as I do, you must go there. Small islands in the bay is a perfect place to explore. My only note – stay on the boat or in the water. That is, hang out on shallow areas, explore tracks of wild animals in the sand, catch crabs, and watch fish in the transparent water. Under no circumstances go inland. These gorgeous islands are habitats for billions of mosquitoes and horseflies. When I decided to go inland and take some pictures, I was running away for my life. These insects were so big that they could lift and carry me away easily. Even bug spray won’t save you.

Except for this little nuance, the park is a paradise on earth. Birds are not scared of humans and let you come as close as you can. Just look at this couple of oystercatchers!

oystercatchers

They got their name because of the dietary habits. Assateague bay is the home for millions of oysters. The bottom of the marsh is covered with those mollusks. Oystercatchers of Assateague are well-fed and happy birds, that’s for sure!

This guy made me think a while. I could not understand what kind of bird he was. Let me introduce you a willet. I spotted his nest, and this little guy tried to distract me from it.

willet

Assateague Island is home for Snowy Egret. These birds try to ignore visitors and mind their own business. They know that they are simply gorgeous and let you worship their beauty.

snowy egret

When you walk along the ocean, you can find this weird looking guy on the shore. It’s a living fossil. Shoe crabs were living in the ocean 450 million years ago and, I believe will make another 450 million years. Despite their scary look, they are harmless creatures.

horseshoe crab

And, of course, the most famous residents of Assateague Park – wild horses. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good picture of them. This was taken by the phone camera. I can ensure you, they all look the same, different mix of white and brown colors. I can assume that their ancestors brought to Maryland by first colonizers, were white and brown too. Just do not try to feed them. They are beggars but can do a lot of damage if you approach. It’s better to watch them from your car window.

horses

I hope you found my story interesting. I shared just 1% of everything that you can see on Assateague Island. 99% are still waiting for you.

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