Just north of Lewes is an amazing place, where bird song and tranquility dominate your senses. I’m talking about the Great Marsh Preserve — 17 thousand acres of coastal wetland near the mouth of the Delaware Bay at Broadkill River. The preserve is adjacent to Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. We visited in mid-October, after the summer migratory fowl had left for the season, but before most of the winter migratory fowl had arrived.
One of Delaware’s few remaining wetlands, the Great Marsh Preserve offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a variety of unique local fauna and wildlife. From towering pines, oaks, tulip poplars to a variety of long grasses, all home to a variety of bird such as red-wing blackbirds, wading birds such as egrets and heron, hawks, falcons, jays and kingfishers, and bald eagles.
I’ve got to say, kayaking in the Great Marsh Preserve reveals another world – a fascinating and complex ecology governed by the ancient forces of its tides. To experience this marsh is to experience a disappearing landscape — less than half of Delaware’s original wetlands still exist.
We noticed several kingfishers, all nattering at us with annoyance for invading their space. We also saw numerous great blue heron, all keeping their distance and occasionally squawking at as they flew gracefully away. As we explored various inlets, we started several groups of ducks of one sort or another.
Getting there: 1 Great Marsh Cir, Lewes, DE 19958