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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Martin Selzer
Saturday July 12, 2008 - BOMBAY HOOK NWR and ENVIRONS, DE
About 20 club members and friends joined me at Bombay Hook. We started off in a single car caravan but then the field trip took on a nostalgic feel to it as participants slowing started going off on their own in search of the Leipsic deli, the Little Egret or other birding options such a the Cliff Swallows along route 9.
Most of the activity in the refuge was in Raymond Pool. At Raymond there were 100+ American Avocets, 20+ Black-necked Stilts, good numbers of Short-billed Dowitchers, Least and Semi-palmated Sandpipers, 1 or 2 Stilt Sandpipers and both Great and Lesser Yellowlegs. There were also a few Glossy Ibis. Because a Little Egret has been reported at the refuge recent every white heron and egret was scrutinized very, very closely. Unfortunately, all we could find were immature Little Blue Herons, Snowy and Great Egrets. Throughout the day, we had multiple Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Common Yellowthroats, Marsh Wrens, Seaside, Swamp and Song Sparrows. At our first stop after coming around the corner at Raymond where you look back towards the visitor center, we thought we heard a Sedge Wren sing 3-4 times but the group was large and there were lots of Marsh wrens so we couldn’t be 100% sure.
As we were working our way around Raymond, we had a report of the Little Egret at Shearness Pool so we quickly went in search of it as it would be a lifer for several trip participants. Unfortunately we couldn't find it as the flock of white long-legged waders was rather distant and the bird could easily have been hidden from view at this point. We would look again when we returned from Bear Swamp and again we wouldn’t be able to find it.
At Bear Swamp, there were 4 adult yellow-crowned night-herons and several black-crowns night-herons. Also at Bear Swamp we had a Spotted Sandpiper, two Pectoral Sandpipers and one Willet. Here we had our second sub-adult Bald Eagle of the day.
In and around the headquarters there are still lots of Purple Martins, ruby-throated hummingbirds, American Goldfinches, and Northern Mockingbirds. Hawking insects over the marshes we had a few Bank Swallows along with the more common Bank and Tree Swallows. There were a few Eastern Kingbirds, one Orchard Oriole and one Willow Flycatcher noted as we scanned for shorebirds and drove the auto route.
The potato field at the entrance road had a few horned larks that Chris Walters made sure we saw as we headed out of the refuge on our way to Taylor’s Gut (Woodland Beach) and north on Route 9 in search of nesting Cliff Swallows.
Up at Taylor's Gut there were more dowitchers, 4 breeding plumage Stilt Sandpipers and a breeding plumage Western Sandpiper. The breeding colony of Cliff Swallows up route 9 have done very well this year and provide great photo opportunities so you may want to get there while they are still there.
Thanks to everyone for joining me on the trip.