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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge 11.9.2007

(this is the post I wrote before Thanksgiving and didn't have a chance to post until now)

Late yesterday, after doing some shopping in Dover, around 20 minutes north of where we live, we decided to take a drive through the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, a short distance away. Entering the refuge, we paid our fees for a day's visit ($4 per car) and proceeded to take the circular loop through this lovely preserve that is part of a chain of waterfowl refuges that stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

We were awestruck by the overwhelming number of birds, swooping and following each other around and around -- at one point the horizon was literally filled with birds -- over the marshes and streams that make up this 15,978-acre refuge for migratory and wintering ducks and geese. The gravel path through the refuge winds through tidal salt marsh, fresh water pools, swamps, timbered and grassy upland and farms. Huge flocks of snow geese had gathered for a giant convention across the marshy area to the east of us, towards the Delaware Bay and it literally was as if a blanket of snow had fallen there, lit by the golden light of the setting sun. It was simply breathtaking.

The fall foliage is in its glory days now as reds, yellows and flaming orange trees decorate the roads and highways. In the refuge, the setting sun cast a spotlight on these jewels that too soon was extinguished. The weather turned colder without the warmth of the sun and it was time for us to go. But not without promising to return to watch this incredible drama again. We want to walk the nature trails, look out from the observation tower and learn more about these birds: the egrets, herons and the glossy ibis, ducks and geese, bald eagles and hawks as they stop here during their spring and fall migrations.

Here's a website you can peruse: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/bombayhook/

Enjoying our life in Delaware,
Rosemary & Bob

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