[CT Birds] Avocets - In Delaware (Not CT)

Jess Girard jessgirard at gmail.com
Mon Oct 4 15:26:54 EDT 2010

Not exactly a CT posting, but for your amusement anyway:

On Saturday morning we drove to the Bombay Hook NWR outside Smyrna, DE, on
Delaware Bay.

We hadn't visited Bombay Hook in around 18 months. We like to try getting
down there in the autumn to see the enormous flocks of Snow Geese which
collect there to fatten up before migrating further south.
There are many other interesting birds to be found there.

Unfortunately we were too early for the Snow Geese. We saw a total of one
Snow Goose, far away, so that we needed our spotting scope to confirm what
it was.

A happy surprise a few minutes later, however, was the flock of 200-300
American Avocets in shallow water, at first feeding but later resting as the
incoming tide made feeding difficult for them. They were in their winter,
non-breeding plumage; i.e., no brown-orange coloring on neck and head. That
gave us pause for a few minutes to make sure they weren't Stilts... but
their beaks were what one expects for Avocets and their legs were blue not

We've seen 2-5, maybe 10 American Avocets in a group before but never such a
number. Presumably they, too, were gathering there before heading further
south. It was a wonderful treat to see and hear them.

Rita & Jess Girard

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