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Field Trip Report

Bombay Hook NWR August 18, 2001

Three birders joined Ellen Short for a fine day at the Hook. We were not too broiled by the sun and the bugs were ,miraculously, non existent for Aug. Early at the freshwater impoundments we found extensive mud flats due to the late summer lack of rain. We were able to view lots of semi palm sandpipers, dunlin including those with red juvie plumages, mostly lesser but some greater yellowlegs, a few short billed dowitchers, glossy ibis, several winter plum. avocet, a willet and after waiting for the high tide for deeper water, hudsonian godwit to make a good day. At the bear swamp pools we picked out a skulking least bittern, black crowned juvie and adult night herons,a yellow crowned adult, great egrets and snowy too, one pretty tricolor heron. Two juvenile moor hens and wood ducks completed the list with many Canada geese. Down at the Dover airfield we were stunned to see them mowing the grass but it worked to our advantage that the pair of Uplands Sandpipers were forced up to the road and all saw them well. Port Mahan road had the usual seaside sparrows and a fine group of ruddy turnstones, sanderlings and sandpipers on the beach. The caspian terns were great, feeding an offspring ,and 5 royal terns were there to study the difference. Few Forsters terns were still in summer plumage but the juvies were all about and calling. Laughing gulls were balding. We stopped at Woodland Beach pools and counted swallows and purple martins grouped on the wires, the stilt sandpiper was an easy spot, a single Wilson's Phalarope and the swooping terns made the end of the day. At the corner, Mallard House, the boardwalk showed us an agitated marsh wren herding her young and a group of juvie male red winged blackbirds with their streaked breasts but orange or red shoulders. Thanks to the DVOC for the trip.

JoAnn Raine