Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bombay Hook 8/29-8/30--American Golden Plover

A small sampling of the Avocets, etc at Bombay Hook
Shari & I spent the weekend in Delaware, mostly at Bombay Hook with a foray this morning to Sussex County in the southern part of the state. Aside from the attraction of the best Indian food in the U.S. (Flavors of India in a Motel 8 on DuPont Highway in Dover), American Avocets and Black-necked Stilts are what usually draw us there. However, having seen plenty of both recently in Utah and Nevada, it didn't seem as urgent this trip. But, coming around the corner of the road facing Raymond Pool and finding a more than a hundred avocets, seemingly marching along in unison, swishing their upturned bills in the water, is a spectacular sight and one I just don't get tired of. Plus, this late in the season, most of the birds are molting into alternate plumage. I prefer the stark black and white they wear in winter to the more colorful cinnamon colored plumage that adorns their heads and neck in summer. 

At Bombay Hook you usually see a hundred avocets for every Black-necked Stilt you find and that was the case this weekend too. It wasn't until the 2nd day, at the Shearness Pool, that I found one mixed in with a group of white egrets. A 2nd one soon appeared when the flock shifted around. 

The only year bird for the trip was a goodie--American Golden-Plover which Shari found in among a large flock of Black-bellied Plovers. This is a highly sought-after bird in NJ, but in Delaware it isn't even listed as rare. So while I still need one in my home state, it is good to have it on the year list. 

There were literally thousand of Semipalmated Plovers and Semipalmated Sandpipers there and, if I was the type with more patience I would have burnt out my eyes scoping the sandpiper flocks more carefully for Western or White-rumped but I'm not so I didn't. I'd rather find one weird bird in a field and try to figure out what it is than sort through an ever-shifting flock of peeps looking for the one that is sorta kinda different only to have it scamper away before I can show Shari. 

On Sunday we made stops at Prime Hook, Broadkill Marsh and the DuPont Nature Center. At the latter we found Shari's requisite American Oystercatchers on the jetty, a few Ruddy Turnstones, my favorite tern (Royal) and a couple of sad-looking molting Boat-tailed Grackles without their boat-tails.
Royal Terns
Molting Boat-tailed Grackle
We found 75 species for the weekend, which is okay for late summer and no early morning birding. Our list for Bombay Hook, over the 2 days, was a respectable 62. And we had fun. 
The Bombay Hook list:
Canada Goose    100
Tundra Swan    1
American Black Duck    5
Mallard    100
Blue-winged Teal    2
Double-crested Cormorant    2
Great Blue Heron    7
Great Egret    150
Snowy Egret    75
Little Blue Heron    2
Green Heron    1
Black-crowned Night-Heron    6
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron    2
Glossy Ibis    1
Black Vulture    2
Turkey Vulture    6
Osprey    1
Bald Eagle    2
Red-shouldered Hawk    2
Red-tailed Hawk    1
Black-necked Stilt    2
American Avocet    125
Black-bellied Plover    100
American Golden-Plover    1
Semipalmated Plover    1000
Killdeer    2
Greater Yellowlegs    50
Lesser Yellowlegs    25
Marbled Godwit    1
Least Sandpiper    2
Semipalmated Sandpiper    1000
Short-billed Dowitcher    30
Long-billed Dowitcher    1
Laughing Gull    50
Ring-billed Gull    1
Herring Gull    5
Great Black-backed Gull    5
Caspian Tern    2
Forster's Tern    3
Mourning Dove    1
Belted Kingfisher    1
Northern Flicker    1
Eastern Kingbird    1
White-eyed Vireo    1
Red-eyed Vireo    1
Blue Jay    2
American Crow    1
Tree Swallow    2
Barn Swallow    5
Carolina Chickadee    1
Tufted Titmouse    1
White-breasted Nuthatch    1
House Wren    1
Gray Catbird    5
Northern Mockingbird    2
Common Yellowthroat    3
Field Sparrow    1
Northern Cardinal    1
Blue Grosbeak    2
Indigo Bunting    1
Red-winged Blackbird    1
American Goldfinch    4

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