Bombay Hook Shorebirding

Led by Scott Barnes, Linda Mack, and Carole Hughes

Experience the second wave of southbound migrating shorebirds in central Delaware—a place with a different species mix than locations like Cape May or Brigantine. This trip offers an excellent opportunity to study a wide variety of shorebirds, herons, and terns.  Mixed species flocks of shorebirds—often at close range and in juvenile and adult plumages, provide participants with a chance to learn subtleties of sandpiper identification.  Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 15,978 acres and has one of the largest expanses of nearly unaltered salt marsh in the mid-Atlantic, plus over 1,100 acres of freshwater impoundments.  We’ll complement our tour with visits to other noteworthy sites that may include Little Creek WMA, Port Mahon, and Woodland Beach WMA, dependent current water levels.  This trip should tally 20+ species of shorebirds (often including several hundred American Avocets), large numbers of long-legged waders, and other surprises.  Species we should encounter include American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Western Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Caspian and Black Terns. We could see some less-common to rare shorebirds like Hudsonian and Marbled Godwits, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, and Wilson’s Phalarope. The area is a magnet for rare birds as well, with past trips recording goodies like White-faced Ibis, Curlew Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Black-headed Gull, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and Sedge Wren. Biting insects may be present on the trip; lightweight pants and long-sleeved shirts are preferred attire. Bring lunch, binoculars, and spotting scope if you have one.


  • Tuesday August 29 – 9 am to 4 pm
  • Wednesday August 30 – 9 am to 2:30 pm

Location: Meet at Bombay Hook NWR Headquarters, 2591 Whitehall Neck Road, Smyrna, Delaware, 19977

Cost: $100 members/$150 non-members for two days; $50 for one day for members, $60 for non-members.