A ‘Life Bird’ for Carolyn, and most welcome to both of us — The Black-Necked Stilt of Bombay Hook
Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge is half again as large as ‘The Brig’, and far more generously treed. It’s managed this year for wading birds, and we were given two life birds before we’d been in there 20 minutes.
Second Life Bird for Carolyn — Blue Grosbeak
NOTE THAT ALL BIRD CLOSE-UPS ARE FROM THE INTERNET, not via cfe camera
Mary Wood and I dared a Delaware jaunt last Sunday, because of the heat. Both Refuges are mostly birding-by-car (the ideal ‘blind’ for the birds — our presence in those metal cocoons does not alarm our avian friends) Both refuges, also, in summer, are notorious for greenhead flies — carnivorous, or at least sangiferous winged beings, whom we do not add to our ‘Lists’ for the day.
AN ABUNDANCE OF EGRETS, Snowy, that is…
Immediately inside the park, we came to a cluster of dead trees, absolutely studded with snowy egrets. Picture a Christmas Tree decorated by a hoarder, every ornament alive, with wings!
GREAT EGRET AND GREAT BLUE HERON, below snowy-egret-studded tree
Founded in 1937, ‘The Hook’ is a vital link in the Atlantic Flyway’s chain, “extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.” Urgent in both spring and fall migration, admittedly there are always bird riches among these impoundments and woods. Wading birds (long-legged shorebirds) of some species are already beginning the southward journey. Mary is already planning our next jaunt — hoping for godwits, frankly.
TREE-RICH BOMBAY HOOK, with brown-eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s lace
SUMMER PERFECTION, BOMBAY HOOK, JULY
IMMATURE GREAT BLUE HERON — rarity for Mary and me (Internet)
EASTERN KINGBIRD SO NEAR — right beside car (image from Internet)
GOLDFINCH OF HOME — ONLY THEIRS FED ON INDIAN GRASS — NO THISTLES! (Internet)
EASTERN PHOEBE WITH NEST MATERIAL – OURS SLAM-DUNKED A GREEN GRASSHOPPER! (Internet Image)
EXCEEDING RARE TURK’S CAP LILY BLOOMS WITH SEASIDE GOLDENROD
PERCHED — EGRET RIGHT AT HOME AT ‘THE HOOK’
AN OMINOSITY OF VULTURES AT ‘THE HOOK’
Mary and I ignored her GPS most of the way, choosing 295 South, to the end of our New Jersey, to zoom over the Delaware Memorial Bridge. She’s named her navigator “Jeeves.” His commanding voice directed us on Route 1 South and 13 South in various combinations. Bombay Hook is near Smyrna, below historic New Castle. Whitehall Neck Road took us into the Refuge.
At this point, Jeeves complained, “RECALCULATING”. We had a good laugh, as I mused, “Mary, we have to remember, butlers don’t spend a lot of time in wildlife refuges.”
We couldn’t believe the swiftness of the ride, nor the mostly green beauty on 295 and the preponderance of 1 and 13. (Admittedly, Delaware’s fringes leading to the bridge are exercises in tackiness, –but briefly.) At one point we drove through blue-green just-tasseled corn on both sides of the road — “high as an elephant’s eye”.
I’ll do another blog on New Castle for our (very late) lunch — in Jessop’s pub, whose building is 300 years old. I was served Thomas Jefferson Ale in a stone mug, and a sumptuous Colonial crab pot pie…, by a ‘serving wench’ in the garb of the era. In the church next door, Lafayette had given the bride away…