A Visit to Bombay Hook NWR

Over this past Christmas holiday, Rick and I took a slight detour from visitations in the area one day to spend a couple late afternoon hours on the auto wildlife loop at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Dover, Delaware (about an hour from home).     To get me back behind my camera.  🙂

The Snow Geese were the first thing to see when entering and passing Raymond Pool on our left.

Snow Geese

Snow Geese

Just pass that view, there is a parking lot for a short trail to an observation tower overlooking Raymond Pool.  There were a lot of cars in the parking lot but no one about.  Which meant a lot of people at the tower?  Oh yea….as I reached the top stair to the platform I had no where to go.  People, cameras, and tripods filled the platform.  I had several people already coming up behind me, pretty much pushing me forward.  I squeezed up & through, took a few photos, and left.  I was lucky that a flock flew in while I was up there!

View of Snow Geese from Raymond Pool observation tower.

The view of Snow Geese from Raymond Pool observation tower.

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Another view of the Snow Geese

Incoming Snow Geese

Incoming Snow Geese with my telephoto lens

Another capture of incoming

Another capture of incoming

A Snow Goose gave me a wave

A Snow Goose gave me a wave

Walking back, I snapped a shot of a little bird before he high-tailed it into the brush.  I believe it is a sparrow and will search the ID.  I’m still learning the little birds.  🙂

Sparrow?

Sparrow?

It was a gorgeous late afternoon!

View over the salt marshes.

View over the salt marshes, looking East

Northern Harrier flying over the salt marshes in search of dinner

Far off in the distance, a Northern Harrier was flying over the salt marshes in search of dinner.

Overlooking Shearness Pool

View over Shearness Pool, looking West

Further along the drive, a small flock of Canada Geese were feeding close to the road, a few Mallards mixed within….

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

and a Great Blue Heron.

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Canada Geese, Great Blue Heron, and a hiding Mallard

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Canada Geese and Great Blue Heron

The three species got along with each other fine, no squabbles.   The Great Blue Heron did go off to the side to do a little fishing.

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Great Blue Heron “fishing”

A little further up the drive, another Great Blue Heron.  I loved how the late afternoon sun shined on the back of his neck.

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Great Blue Heron

I captured the next photo off to the right of him across the water.

_DSC0252-2 122714A few more birds were there….

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

Northern Pintails

Northern Pintails

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Greater Yellowlegs

As the sun headed down, more birds began to arrive.

Snow Geese coming in for the night

Snow Geese coming in for the night

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Here come more

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Raymond Pool began to fill up with Snow Geese

In addition, a few Tundra Swan passed overhead and continued along their sky-route.

Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan

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Tundra Swan

We departed as the sun was setting.

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Sunset over Shearness Pool

It was good to be behind my camera once again.   🙂

24 thoughts on “A Visit to Bombay Hook NWR

  1. Many nice captures Donna! Especially like the Tundra Swans against the sunset sky. Coincidentally I went to Bombay Hook (and later in the day, Prime Hook) with a friend this past Wednesday, Unfortunately there were no Snow Geese at either refuge. A few Tundra Swans were in Raymond, some Pintails, and several Great Blue Herons. Saw a pair of Northern Harriers hunting together, but they were way out over the marsh and didn’t get within range of our 400 mm lens. The only places we saw large flocks of Snow Geese were inland… on several farmer’s fields. We did see a large Red Fox about 200 feet down the road on Bear Swamp Loop, but (s)he quickly trotted into the tall grasses and shrubs before we had the chance to even raise our cameras to try to take a shot or two. But.. it was a sunny and not-too-cold winter’s day, so it was nice to be out in the field!

    • Thanks so much, Steve! Cool on fox sighting! Glad you got to Bombay before this cold blustery system arrived, sorry the SG weren’t there. I had to go to Dover yesterday but didn’t have time to scoot over to Bombay; I too saw the SG on the farmers’ fields crossing over from Maryland. I had my cameras but both flocks I saw were landing where I couldn’t get to by car (and I tried with the GPS, lol). I did make it to Eastern Neck NWR last Sunday, posting soon!

  2. You certainly made good use of the golden hour to shoot all these stunning photos!

    Bombay Hook must be very well known, as it seems like every nature photographer that lives east of me shoots photos there.

    • It was perfect, and my husband is special, wanting me to be happy during a rough time in my life. He’s a great driver, always stopping when I say to and helping to point out what I might not see. 🙂 Bombay’s auto drive loop makes it a great place to view from alongside the salt marshes and is known for heavy SG concentration during the winter. Although, it can still be a hit or miss as Steve mentioned above. But the views and other wildlife make up for when they aren’t there. 🙂

  3. Really nice series, Donna! The bird captures are wonderful, as usual. Two of the landscape images captured my attention, the Salt Marsh and the one following the GBH – both are pretty stunning.

    • Thank you, Ken! I love the salt marshes, how the water canals wind through them. When I saw the sky reflecting in that shot as we drove by, I had hubby back up the truck. lol I’m always searching for reflections too! 🙂 Happy shooting with our memories, Ken….take care.

  4. Donna, you had a very successful day, glad it got you out there and shooting. Love both the wide angle scenes and close-ups. The flocks of snow geese are always exciting to see.

    • Thanks so much, Jane! It was a great day for me, I needed to get out of all the hustle-bustle to clear my mind and think happy thoughts. Nature does that for us, doesn’t it?!!! 🙂

    • Today I saw the largest flock of Snow Geese this season, all in the sky, dropping onto a farm in Maryland on my way home from work, far away from water. It’s so cold here and with the impending snow storm, I did not carry my camera to/from work. 😦 But wow it was impressive! Thanks Phil!

    • Thanks so very much Kathy, and so are yours. I’ve been thinking about your fox family and Buffy’s worries, our Shadow really had a rough time sharing his territory with a family of groundhogs back in the day. 🙂

    • Thanks so much Lisa, we are lucky with our Mid-Atlantic area of marshy lands and tributaries to have so many places to go for nature. Bombay Hook is very popular for sure during the migratory season. 🙂

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