Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - August 28, 2015

To Report: Andy Ednie 302-792-9591 (VOICE)
Compiler/Transcriber: Andy Ednie (
Coverage: Delaware, Delmarva Peninsula, nearby Delaware Valley, Southern New Jersey, Maryland

For Friday, August 28th, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. Five new birds were added this week to raise the unofficial Delaware annual list annual list to 320 species. Several "Trail's-type" flycatchers were reported this week. This is the old name of the Empidonax complex for ALDER/WILLOW FLYCATCHER that is almost indistinguishable in the field unless vocalizing.

New this week were BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS at 4 different locations in the state. The first BAIRD'S SANDPIPER found was at the ponds at Gravel Hill in Sussex County. Those ponds are located along US Route 9 between Lewes and Georgetown. The bird was seen on the small pond on the north side of the road along with SEMIPALMATED and LEAST SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, KILLDEER and SPOTTED SANDPIPER.

A BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was seen and photographed on Thursday at Broadkill Marsh in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The bird was seen walking across the grassy marsh areas on the north side of the road. A BAIRD'S SANDPIPER with the BUFF-BREASTED was found today. This is along Route 16 going out the Broadkill Beach. Also seen in the marsh were 10 BLACK-NECKED STILTS plus PECTORAL, WESTERN, LEAST SANDPIPERS and hundreds of SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS. Several GULL-BILLED TERNS and 24 BLACK TERNS were also seen along with a PIED-BILLED GREBE.

Some more birds at Prime Hook included a MARBLED GODWIT along the Prime Hook Beach Road on Tuesday. A flock of 26 immature WHITE IBIS was seen at the observation blind by the headquarters. BLACK AND WHITE and PRAIRIE WARBLERS were seen along the observation point trail. OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was reported along Cods Road. 11 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS were seen at Fowler's Beach with CASPIAN and ROYAL TERN. Four AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS plus AMERICAN AVOCETS, BLACK-NECKED STILTS, WILLET, BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, RUDDY TURNSTONE, SANDERLING, plus SHORT and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER were also seen at Fowler's. AVOCETS and BLACK-NECKED STILT were also seen along the Prime Hook Beach Road with LEAST and CASPIAN TERN, plus 15 BLACK SKIMMERS. A peak count of 75 GREAT and 300 SNOWY EGRETS plus TRICOLORED and LITTLE BLUE HERON were also found at Prime Hook Beach.

A big flock of 76 WHITE IBIS was found at Gordon's Pond in Cape Henlopen State Park on Tuesday. Another BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was also found there, along with AMERICAN AVOCET, BLACK-NECKED STILT, WILLET, SANDERLING, plus SOLITARY, SPOTTED, and WESTERN SANDPIPERS. TERNS seen included LEAST, BLACK, ROYAL and COMMON with FORSTER'S TERN. 4 CLIFF SWALLOWS were found among the swallows over the pond. BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH was found in the woods.

A single PIPING PLOVER with 30 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS was still at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park. AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, and ROYAL, BLACK, COMMON and FORSTER'S TERN were also seen. A WARBLING VIREO and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH were found in the woods by the nature center. 15 WHITE IBIS continue be seen at the Monroe Avenue ponds in Lewes. 10 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were seen flying over the ponds in the evening. BLACK TERN plus WILSON'S STORM-PETREL were seen from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry with 3 BROWN PELICANS.

Three RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were found at Mulberry Landing in Assawoman Wildlife Area along with BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH. A PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen in Bethany Beach, away from their usual habitat. Four BROWN PELICANS were seen from the Fenwick Towers. SANDWICH TERN and AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER were found on the beach at Fenwick Island State Park. Two YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS were seen at Burton's Island, but if you get there watch out for ticks!

Two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were also seen at Big Stone Beach in Milford Neck Wildlife Area. These were adult birds at the edge the marsh, along with 4 BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES. A calling ALDER FLYCATCHER was reported at Big Stone Beach, plus LEAST FLYCATCHER and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO. Warblers seen included BLACK AND WHITE, BAY-BREASTED, PINE, YELLOW-THROATED, AMERICAN REDSTART, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. A COMMON TERN was seen flying out over Big Stone Beach. The ponds at Big Stone had 72 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS plus both YELLOWLEGS and WESTERN SANDPIPER.

Another BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was seen at the Augustine Beach Causeway along Route 9 near Port Penn. That bird was seen in the little pond on the north side of Augustine Creek, just south of the Augustine Beach Parking Area. Also reported was a MARBLED GODWIT at the Port Penn Impoundments of Augustine Wildlife Area, along the Dike trail on the riverside mudflats. Port Penn also had SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, TRICOLORED and LITTLE BLUE HERON, 5 CASPIAN TERNS, 2 BALD EAGLES, BANK SWALLOW, and BOBOLINK. The woods by the parking lot had AMERICAN REDSTART, PRAIRIE and YELLOW WARBLER.

Two HUDSONIAN GODWITS plus 3 MARBLED GODWITS were reported at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. Those birds were seen on the spit at the north end of Shearness Pool. A RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was found flying around Night Heron Island at the north end of Bear Swamp on Thursday. Other shorebirds seen included up to 400 AMERICAN AVOCETS, 6 BLACK-NECKED STILTS, plus SPOTTED, WHITE-RUMP, PECTORAL, STILT, and WESTERN SANDPIPER. 80 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and 120 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER were seen along with LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. Two BLACK TERNS were reported along with 52 CASPIAN TERNS at Shearness Pool. Waterfowl seen included TUNDRA SWAN, BLUE-WINGED and GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, and GADWALL. TRICOLORED HERON is still being seen at Raymond Pool. Other waders in the refuge include LEAST BITTERN, LITTLE BLUE HERON, GLOSSY IBIS, YELLOW-CROWNED and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON. A surprising BROAD-WINGED HAWK was seen flying over the woods on the west side of Shearness. Other raptors seen included: COOPER'S HAWK, NORTHERN HARRIER, PEREGRINE FALCON, MERLIN, 4 BALD EAGLES, OSPREY, and a GREAT HORNED OWL at Finis pool. Landbirds seen included LEAST FLYCATCHER, BANK SWALLOW, BOBOLINK, and EASTERN MEADOWLARK.

A flock of 8 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS were seen along the North Little Creek Rd. opposite Quaker Meeting Road, which leads to Cartanza Road. AMERICAN KESTREL was also seen here. Two more AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS were seen in western Kent County in a field along Route 300, west of Garrison's Lake. Other plovers there included 10 BLACK-BELLIEDS and 6 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. A female SURF SCOTER was reported at Port Mahon along with ROYAL TERNS. Shorebirds there included BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and RUDDY TURNSTONE. A BLACK TERN was seen at the North Pond of the Logan Tract in Ted Harvey Conservation Area along the Kitts Hummock Road. 45 AMERICAN AVOCETS and 30 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS were also found. Lot of flycatchers were reported at the Logan tract today, mostly KINGBIRDS and PEWEES, but an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was also reported there. A BARRED OWL was reported in Cheswold.

A PHILADELPHIA VIREO was found in a back yard in Brandywine Hundred along Grubb Road. BLUE-WINGED and PRAIRIE WARBLER were also seen. Three BLACK VULTURES were found sitting in the garden. NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH was seen in another year in Brandywine Hundred. REDSTART, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, CHESTNUT-SIDED and BLACK AND WHITE WARBLERS were reported at Bellevue State Park, along with COOPER'S HAWK and a flyover BALD EAGLE. A few PURPLE MARTINS are still being seen there hunting over the pond.

Lots of migrants are being seen at Middle Run Natural Area near Newark including: LEAST and a TRAIL'S-TYPE FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO and VEERY. Warblers seen at Middle Run included, TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, BLUE-WINGED, MAGNOLIA, CHESTNUT-SIDED, YELLOW, PRAIRIE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE, CANADA, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. BOBOLINK, ORCHARD, and BALTIMORE ORIOLES were also reported. A calling BARRED OWL was found along the creek.

Ashland Nature Center had WARBLING VIREO, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. WORM-EATING WARBLER and a female BLACK-THROATED BLUE were seen at the Center Mill Road. The Ashland Hawkwatch had RED-SHOULDERED and BROAD-WINGED HAWK this week. A PEREGRINE FALCON seen at Ashland displayed leg bands, revealing the bird was a hatch year female from northern Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. WOOD DUCKS and 4 VEERYS plus a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER were seen at the Hillside Mill Cove at Hoope's Reservoir.

11 species of warbler were found at Brandywine Creek State Park on Sunday, included OVENBIRD, CANADA, BAY-BREASTED, WORM-EATING, BLUE-WINGED, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, MAGNOLIA, and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. WARBLING and YELLOW-THROATED VIREO were also found along with YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, 4 EASTERN SCREECH OWLS, BALD EAGLE, and 50 BOBOLINKS in the field by the nature center.

Besides the previous reported NIGHTHAWKS in Lewes, they've also been seen along the ridgelines in northern Delaware. A flight of 34 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were seen on Sunday evening at Brandywine Creek. 10 NIGHTHAWKS were seen at Granogue along the Brandywine Creek tonight. NIGHTHAWKS were also seen flying over Brandywine Hundred, North Star, Middle Run, and Newark. This weekend should be the peak of their migration.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Derek Stoner, Chad Kauffman, Ragan Sutterfield, Ashley Norton, Amy O'Neil, Kim Steininger, Armas Hill, David Fees, Mike Smith, Phil Thompson, Ian Stewart, Gina Sheridan, Rachael Shapiro, Ken Wat, Joe Sebastiani, Jim White, Lauren Morgans, Frank Marenghi, Chinkang Cheng, Zoe Yost, Chris Rowe, Lynn Smith, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, Chandler Wiegand, Tim Schreckengost, Alan Kneidel, Helen Aikman, Rich Clifton, Steve Collins, Maurice Barnhill, and Joe Russell. Remember, the birdline needs your sightings! Please call your reports into 302-792-9591 or email Until next week, this is Andy Ednie wishing you good birding!

Birdline Delaware is compiled by Andy Ednie, the 2010 recipient of Delaware Audubon's Conservation Award. It is posted on the Delaware Audubon web site as a public service. The Birdline is not sponsored by the Delaware Audubon Society.