Bird Observer - The New England Birding Journal

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

June 2018

Vol. 46, No. 3

Birding the Mud Flats and Tidal Marsh of Charlestown Breachway, Rhode Island

Carlos Pedro

The tidal mud flats and salt marsh areas on Ninigret Pond at Charlestown Breachway have provided local birders with many special birds and many fond memories. Known to Rhode Island birders simply as the Breachway, it is a premier location for birding during the summer shorebird migration season. During shorebird migration, the area is a must stop for local birders hoping to add to their year bird lists and perhaps find that rare visitor that will cause area birders to drop everything and head down to the Breachway. Birders are also able to observe many species that breed in the grassy marsh areas and are plentiful during the spring and summer months. The Breachway offers birding opportunities in all four seasons of the year, but the most enjoyable and productive times are late spring and summer. It doesn't get any better than a summer morning out on the tidal flats surrounded by migrating birds.

Because Charlestown Breachway is a popular area for summer activities, it can get busy during the middle of the day. There is a nice sandy ocean beach, and the jetty at the Breachway is well known for striped bass and scup fishing. Kayaking, boating, clamming, and sunbathing are popular activities on Ninigret Pond near the best birding areas. The area provides a great opportunity for combining various summer activities into an enjoyable day. The beach is never really crowded due to the limited number of parking spots in the lot. There is a state RV camping area for self-contained vehicles adjacent to the parking area.


Figure 1. Map A: Directions to Charlestown Breachway

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