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Spring Bird Photography at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge!

Learn techniques to photograph birds at Bombay NWR!

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May along Delaware Bay is an incredible time for a large variety of birds, some passing through, others coming for the summer. Both Great and Snowy egrets, a dozen or more shore birds as well as dozens of song birds are present at Bombay Hook NWR in May. Photographing many of these birds will be quite easy, while others are more elusive and fast moving.

Spend a whole day, sunrise to sunset, with wildlife photography instructor Sean Quintilian as we try to capture as many species and activities as we can. At first light we will set up to capture sunrise over the marshes and start photographing the larger herons and egrets silhouetted against the red waters of sunrise. From there we will try to capture many of the shorebirds as the feed in the shallows during morning light. This will include the resident flock of American Avocets with their fresh breeding plumage.

As morning continues we will set our sights on Warblers and other songbirds, such as orchard orioles, blue grosbeaks and many others. All along keeping a sharp eye out for birds in flight including the resident bald eagles and osprey up for the summer.

By late morning we will take a break and head to the nearby town of Smyrna to grab a late breakfast or lunch. When we return to the refuge, Sean will spend about 2 hours discussing suggested equipment for wildlife photography. Sean will share his own set-up of lenses and cameras as well as tripods and gimbal heads, and go over how he settled with the gear he has now, in hopes of helping participants avoid years of trial and error.

As the afternoon gets later, we will set back out to capture more bird life and whatever else we can find on the refuge, shooting till we run out of light.

Participants will benefit from a telephoto lens of 400mm or longer for this trip, as well as a landscape lens for some shots. Sean can help you pick a rental lens if you need help. However, it is not recommended that you purchase any new equipment before the shoot, the hope is that you will leave with a better understanding of what a well rounded nature photography outfit would include.

We will be spending all day near saltwater marshes, and if it’s not windy, the bugs can get bad so bring some repellent and perhaps lightweight long sleeve shirts and pants. May can be quite warm so extra water and drinks and a few snacks will help with the day.