One of the great sights of fall is the huge flocks of waterfowl arriving along the Delaware Bay. One of the best places to greet these birds is Bombay Hook, one of the favorite places of the Delaware Dunlins!
At Raymond Pool, newly-arrived Hooded Merganser, Bufflehead, and Ruddy Ducks swam about amidst the larger numbers of Canada Geese and Northern Pintail. A vocal Marsh Wren chattered away at us, but did not show his face!
Green-winged Teal swirled about, and distant flocks of Dunlins(yes!) winged by. A pair of adult Bald Eagles perched side-by-side, while Northern Harriers skimmed their sweeping routes above the marsh grass. Northern Shovelers sifted seeds from the water with their giant beaks!
We found a flock of 53 beautiful Tundra Swans in the southern end of Shearness Pool. An American Wigeon and Blue-winged Teal gave us brief looks, while the funny-looking American Coots allowed us plenty of time to study their chicken-like forms.
At the traditional night-heron roost in Bear Swamp, a Peregrine Falcon zoomed into view, and circled five times directly overhead before rocketing away. As the falcon left, a juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron flushed from the salt marsh.
The last big treat of the day was the field on the south side of Bear Swamp, where 21 Killdeer, a few Horned Larks, and American Pipits patrolled the expanse. The pipits provided outstanding scope views as they walked in puddles, living up to their former name of Water Pipit.
Our fun morning afield netted 14 species of waterfowl and a whole bunch of life birds for Kathleen, Sarah, Dominic, Andy, Charlie, and Arun. Parents, grandparents, and guides alike enjoyed the contagious excitement of the outing, and we look forward to our next trip together!
- Trip led by Derek Stoner, Judy Montgomery, Bill Stewart, Kim Steininger, and Maurice Barnhill. Peregrine photo by Derek Stoner and all others by Kim Steininger
Our friend Kim Steininger will be displaying her photography during at a special show at Bombay Hook on November 27, 28 and 29. Visit to see some of her amazing bird images!