(pictures by Kelli and Michael Bochnik)

    The May 2009 field trip down to the Delmarva Peninsula was attended by 20 people who enjoyed the wildlife, food and camaraderie while finding 139 species of birds.

    The first day we visited Thousand Acre Marsh, Bombay Hook NWR, and Little Creek NWR, all in Delaware. A Yellow-breasted Chat was heard singing at Thousand Acres. Bombay yielded White-crowned Sparrow, the first of many Orchard Orioles, Bald Eagle, Purple Martin, Black-necked Stilt, and Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow while Little Creek had Seaside Sparrow and Bonaparte's Gulls. A Red Fox was also seen at Bombay Hook.

Bald Eagle


White-crowned Sparrow

Purple Martin


Black-necked Stilt

Dover Air Force Base is nearby

Frank tries a natural hat


     Dinner was on our own and a few people enjoyed Don's Seafood Restaurant on Main Street on the Island of Chincoteague.

    The early Saturday walk from the Blue Heron motel to the Chincoteague Refuge bridge found a dozen Clapper Rails in the marsh and Yellow-crowned Night Heron and Brown-headed Nuthatches in the motel parking lot. We then headed for Milburn Landing where the weather cooperated with some sun. We found many of the southern species we were looking for. Seven Summer Tanagers thrilled the crowd and we also added, Prothonotary, Worm-eating and Yellow-throated Warblers and a Blue Grosbeak. Acadian Flycatcher was heard and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo was out in the open along our path.

Summer Tanager

Female Summer Tanager

Glossy Ibis

    In the afternoon we headed for Chincoteague NWR and we found eight Marbled Godwits and a Whimbrel. A Brown Pelican soared northward over the ocean, and more Black-necked Stilts were on the island causeway.  

Snow Goose


Short-billed Dowitchers

Cattle Egret



    That evening the group enjoyed dinner at Wright's Seafood Restaurant. Some stopped for homemade ice-cream at the Island Creamery while a few tried to listen for Chuck-will-widow, but the woods were silent.

    On Sunday we concentrated on Chincoteague but the weather was drizzly and foggy. We found Delmarva Fox Squirrels, ponies and Sika Deer while walking the wildlife drive loop. A few small Fowler's Toads were found and another Blue Grosbeak was on the ground giving everyone a good look. Two Wilson's Snipe were flushed. Cattle Egret and Glossy Ibis were plentiful as well. Two Bobwhite and an Indigo Bunting were next to the road out to the beach.

Black Vulture


Delmarva Fox Squirrel

Fowler's Toad

    Mike and Kelli found a Eurasian-collared Dove north of Pocomoke City on the drive to Cambridge. The next and final day the group visited Blackwater NWR. The visitor center had two more White-crowned Sparrows, nesting Killdeer, Orchard Oriole, a flock of Bobolinks and an Eastern Meadowlark. We walked part of the closed wildlife drive and were rewarded with a Red-headed Woodpecker. The open part of the drive yielded many Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons and Osprey and a Solitary Sandpiper. Mike and Kelli added Grasshopper Sparrow and Horned Lark at a farm stand just outside Blackwater on the way home.

Thanks for reading!

Michael and Kelli

Read our other trip reports at Kelli and Mike's Adventures