Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - July 18, 2014

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, July 18th this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. This week's unofficial Delaware annual list annual list remains at 302 species this week.

For the last two days, WHITE IBIS have been seen near Lewes, Delaware. Those birds were seen near the Freeman Highway Bridge going over the Lewes- Rehoboth canal. You may remember that last year at this time over 100 WHITE IBIS were seen flying between the Broadkill Beach marsh and the outer breakwater at Cape Henlopen State Park. This might be a start of another major influx!

Some birds this week at Cape Henlopen included a GULL-BILLED TERN with PIPING PLOVER, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, and WHIMBREL at the point. There was also returning RED KNOTS. BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH, CEDAR WAXWING, and PINE WARBLER were seen by the Seaside Nature Center. Four WILSON'S STORM PETRELS were seen offshore. COMMON NIGHTHAWK and a singing CHUCK WILLS WIDOW were reported at the campground. PIPING PLOVERS have also fledged chicks down at Gordon's Pond where 2 BROWN PELICANS were seen flying by. SPOTTED SANDPIPER was seen at the pond plus 43 GLOSSY IBIS, 15 SNOWY EGRET and GREEN HERON. BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH was seen in the woods by the pond.

Once again last week, a SANDWICH TERN was reported at Fowler Beach along with Royal and LEAST TERN, plus BLACK SKIMMER. Shorebirds included BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, RUDDY TURNSTONE, and RED KNOT. Broadkill marsh at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Milton has been a hotbed of activity. Over 40 AMERICAN AVOCETS with BLACK-NECKED STILT have been reported there; waders included LITTLE BLUE HERON and GLOSSY IBIS. The headquarters area at Prime Hook had a male AMERICAN REDSTART by the end of the boardwalk trail. This is a rare bird in southern Delaware during breeding season. Also reported was YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, PRAIRIE WARBLER, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. Grasshopper sparrows was seen in the field in front of the headquarters.

More BROWN PELICANS were seen at Indian River Inlet. Also reported there was 3 WHIMBREL and over 50 COMMON TERNS. A YELLOW CROWNED NIGHT HERON was reported at Burton's Island with BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH. LEAST BITTERN and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH was reported at the Bethany Beach nature trail off Route 26. A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was reported at the James Farm Ecological Preserve off Quillen's Point Road.

Shorebirds in Western Sussex County included a pair of DUNLIN and SOLITARY SANDPIPER at the Bridgeville pond off of Route 13 near Seaford. That pond also HAD LEAST SANDPIPER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS.

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna continues to be a hotbed for shorebirds. BLACK-NECKED STILT and AMERICAN AVOCET were reported along with BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, plus SPOTTED, WESTERN, PECTORAL, and STILT SANDPIPER. TUNDRA SWAN continues to be seen at Shearness Pool. LEAST BITTERN with BLACK and YELLOW CROWNED NIGHT HERON were reported at Bear Swamp. A CATTLE EGRET was seen swimming in Shearness. A peak count of 10 BALD EAGLES, mostly immatures, were reported on the sandbar in Shearness Pool.

Four MUTE SWANS were seen at Thousand Acre Marsh. A VIRGINIA RAIL was seen crossing Reedy Point Road. Numbers of CASPIAN TERNS are increasing at both Thousand Acre and Port Penn impoundments of Augustine Beach Wildlife Area with a peak count of eighteen. There is also been an increase of swallow activity, with a single BANK SWALLOW seen among 400 TREE SWALLOWS. CLIFF SWALLOWS were still on nest at Taylor's Bridge, a new location for the state!

New this week was the arrival of LEAST FLYCATCHER at Middle Run Natural Area in Newark. YELLOW-BILLED and BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO continue to be seen there along with YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and OVENBIRD. A LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH was seen at Wedgewood Road in White Clay Creek State Park. Also reported was VEERY and WARBLING VIREO.

There were over 70 RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS banded at a yard in Georgetown over 2 hours last weekend. This place is abuzz with Hummers due to plantings and 24 feeding stations -- which just goes back to the saying "if you build it, they will come." This yard in Georgetown also has SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK, and a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER feeding a BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD chick. Thanks Chuck.

A pair of RED-TAILED HAWK babies were rescued from their nest on the underside of the I-495 bridge over the Christiana River in Wilmington. Those guys were taken to Tri-State Bird Rescue for safety. More than just humans have been affected by that bridge closure. An AMERICAN KESTREL was seen at the Greater Wilmington Airport.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Bob Rufe, Chris and Karen Bennett, Chris Rowe, Joe Sebastiani, Brian Henderson, Dave Carter, Ed Hastings, Glen Lovelace, Sally O'Byrne, Rachael Shapiro, Chuck Fullmer, Derek Stoner, Sharon Lynn, Sue Gruver, and Alan Kneidel. 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 posted on the Delaware Audubon web site as a public service. It is neither created nor sponsored by the Delaware Audubon Society.