Occasionally hosts birding tours,
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Summer 1971. Author Ned Brinkley remembers well his first visit to the Eastern Shore, to Silver Beach, where bobwhite sang lustily in fields by Lil’s Pool Hall and kingsnakes roamed dilapidated barns in search of mice. Some 27 years on, he made the Shore his home, arriving on sabbatical from UVA. Since that time, based in Cape Charles, he has written bird books for all ages, notably a field guide to the birds of North America.
During his two decades editing the ornithological journal North American Birds, Brinkley took breaks to author and co-author books on birds, among them a children’s book Birds in the Reader’s Digest Pathfinders series and Virginia’s Birdlife (with Steve Rottenborn), covering all 427 species recorded in the Commonwealth.
In 2004, Brinkley took on the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to North American Birds. There was then no current field guide with photographs (rather than paintings) of birds, and although digital photography was still new, the project moved forward with publisher Barnes & Noble. Today find his book there or locally at Gull Hummock or Peach Street Books in Cape Charles or the Book Bin in Onancock.
Brinkley calls Cape Charles home and has seen the town go from boarded up to booming since the 1990s. He moved to the Shore because of the great river of bird migrants that descend the Delmarva Peninsula in autumn, becoming concentrated at the southern tip; but he has stayed because of the people.