Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Trip Finale, random homeward birding in Delaware, Maryland etc

July 1, 2007

The next morning my Brother Mike was off to work as the sacristan of the local parish church, and I headed down to Elk Neck in Maryland to get over the hundred species mark. Susquehanna NWR. It was an aggravating trip, I made wrong turns and too much traffic, tried a couple of very unproductive places, but nevertheless succeeded. Among others, Eastern Kingbird, Indigo Bunting, and Orchard Oriole. I was back by mid-afternoon for a big nap, much needed after the effort of the day before. Then we went to visit my mom's grave, and got hoagie shop food, and walked around the old downtown of Media, PA, everybody's hometown.

July 2, 2007

Since he gets up so much earlier than I do, I had to stop by church to say goodbye to my bro. Then I headed down past Wilmington, DE to Bombay Hook and Prime Hook NWRs. Bombay I've been to several times, once took my mom and Mike along. She loved it, Mike was indifferent, but it was a good trip. It's a place which gets birded a lot, and it has a fair number of rarity reports each year. It's where I got my Lesser Black-backed Gull, but I would have never picked that one out without help from another birder. On this trip I picked up the new Duck Stamp, hot off the presses. Prime Hook I hadn't visited as much, and I really liked it. Think I got into an area I hadn't been before, more developed for visitors, and better habitat variety. I got some nice new birds there, including Blue Grosbeak, House Wren and Field Sparrow. Total of eight new tics for the day, which put me just short of one third for Delaware.

Next stop was Assateague Island NWR/National Seashore. The duck stamp got me in, but I would have had to pay to camp. Moot point, they were full, 4th of July weekend and all. The birding was real good there, I found several back bay places with good viewing, and lots of people. I'd like to go back some obscure time of year, but there aren't many when it's located sitting among 300 miles of cities. Anyway it was more icing on the MD goal, and I ended at 114, so a third is now within reach. Back out to Route 1, and a long way around into Virginia and Chincoteague NWR. It was late in the day, almost sundown, but I drove the loop, and then checked behind the beaches on the mud flats and found some shorebirds goofing around. Good shorebirds, Hudsonian Godwit, and Stilt and Solitary Sandpipers. Also found the Least Terns nesting there. I had added those in quite a few states on this trip. Turns out that Virginia, which I hadn't given much thought to, got 21 species added, and is also close to a third birded.

It was pretty much dark when I got back to the main highway, got some C-store fried chicken, and drove to the base of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. There's a rest area there, not fancy with fast food and brightly lit restrooms, but really big and fairly dark and quiet even with trucks parking. I could pick up Wifi from a motel on the other side of the road, so all was good and I got a pretty decent night's sleep. I've stayed there at least three times over the years. It's also conveniently located just down the road from Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR, which I headed for the next morning.

July 3, 2007

But I was too early and the gate was closed, and then the "Check Engine" light came on, and when I opened the hood, the radiator reservoir was empty. My intermittent engine troubles had never gone away, and I sorta panicked and just headed on home. Over the Bridge, through Norfolk, then easing south and west into Tennessee toward Memphis. Slept in a rest area on the far side of Nashville, stopped for coffee and Internet in Memphis, and then drove home, making one brief stop at some fish farms along the way.


Post a Comment

<< Home