Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - October 17, 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, October 17th, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. October into November is a time for mega-rarities, and this week added two new birds to the year list. The unofficial Delaware annual list increased to 321 species.

New this week has been a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD coming to a private yard west of Camden-Wyoming off Bryant Corner's Road. The bird has been present all week, but was last seen on Tuesday before the storm. In related news, another hummer, reported as a RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD was visiting a yard in Bay Vista near Rehoboth Beach. Keep those nectar feeders up, now's the time for rare hummingbirds to show up!

Another new bird was a POMARINE JAEGER flying past the Cape May - Lewes Ferry chasing gulls. That bird was seen by a birder heading to Cape May to see the VERMILLION FLYCATCHER reported there. On the same trip, a PARASITIC JAEGER was seen off the stern following the wake. COMMON LOON, ROYAL TERN, and over 400 CORMORANTS were seen on the trip. BLACK SCOTER, SNOWY EGRET and BELTED KINGFISHER were seen at the ferry terminal. NORTHERN GANNET was also seen from the ferry this week.

BLACK SCOTER was also seen at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park, along with ROYAL and CASPIAN TERNS. A flight of 30 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS landed on the point last Friday. Cape Henlopen is a great place to catch late lingering migrants. A late WOOD THRUSH was seen along the Salt Marsh Nature Trail. RED-EYED VIREO, BLACKPOLL and PINE WARBLERS were seen on the weekly bird walk, along with GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, plus RED-BREASTED and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH. PALM WARBLER was seen at Gordon's Pond, along with SALTMARSH SPARROW. On the pond were large numbers of GREAT and SNOWY EGRETS and 2 GLOSSY IBIS. A PEREGRINE FALCON was also hunting nearby. Four immature YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS with 7 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS, including one adult were seen at the Monroe Ave pond off the Freeman Highway.

The copes of trees at the south side of Indian River Inlet had an interesting collection of landbirds at this migrant trap. BLUE HEADED VIREO, both RUBY-CROWNED and GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLET and 3 BROWN CREEPERS, along with a female PURPLE FINCH were found there. A BONAPARTE'S GULL and 12 CASPIAN TERNS were seen out over the inlet. A SWAINSON'S THRUSH was seen at Burton's Island, across from the North Marina. Lots of warblers were seen there including BLACK AND WHITE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, 3 PALM, and 6 PINE WARBLERS. Also seen were CATBIRD, BROWN THRASHER, and DARK-EYED JUNCO. TRICOLORED HERON and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON were seen out in the marsh. PHILADELPHIA and RED-EYED VIREO were seen at the James Farm Nature Preserve on Cedar Neck near Ocean View. A late WOOD THRUSH was also seen there. Warblers reported included AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, BLACK AND WHITE, PALM, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, and 5 BLACK THROATED BLUE WARBLERS. Also reported was late BOBOLINK and BALTIMORE ORIOLE. GREEN HERON was reported at the Rehoboth Golf Park.

The woods along the Fowler's Beach Road also had a nice collection of late migrants including RED-EYED VIREO, BROWN CREEPER, both KINGLETS, MAGNOLIA and BLACK THROATED BLUE WARBLER, and INDIGO BUNTING. Three NELSON'S SPARROWS were seen along the marsh edge. CASPIAN and ROYAL TERN, WILLET and DUNLIN were seen on the sandbar. RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen in the impoundment. SNOW GEESE were seen at Prime Hook Beach Road along with LEAST SANDPIPER, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, and BLACK SKIMMER. The woods had YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and a flyby MERLIN. AMERICAN AVOCETS continue to be seen at the Broadkill Beach Marsh. TRICOLORED HERON and 6 PIED-BILLED GREBES were seen from the headquarters area. Landbirds there included a flyby BARN SWALLOW, BLUEGRAY GNATCATCHER, OVENBIRD and PALM WARBLER, and a late BOBOLINK. AMERICAN WOODCOCK was reported at the McCabe Nature Preserve.

An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was seen at Raymond Pool in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. 200 AMERICAN AVOCETS continue be seen at the refuge along with 18 MARBLED GODWIT. Other shorebirds seen at the refuge included: BLACKBELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER WILLET STILT, LEAST, PECTORAL, and WHITE RUMPED-SANDPIPER, plus SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER. Waders this week included 2 LITTLE BLUE HERONS, 3 GLOSSY IBIS, and a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON along with the usual GREAT and SNOWY EGRETS. Over 1200 SNOW GEESE were reported at the refuge, along with large numbers of PINTAIL, WIGEON, and a few BLUE-WINGED TEAL. There was over 50 RUDDY DUCKS in Sheerness Pool. 16 WILD TURKEYS were reported on the road to Finis Pool. Taylor's Gut at Woodland Beach Wildlife Area had AMERICAN COOT and 3 PIED-BILLED GREBES.

The Pickering Beach side of Little Creek Wildlife Management Area continues to have an excellent collection of birds including AMERICAN AVOCET, BLACKBELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, both YELLOWLEGS, plus STILT, LEAST, and 50 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. Six PIED BILLED GREBES and RUDDY DUCK were reported along with AMERICAN COOT. A MARSH WREN was also found among the reeds. Large numbers of ROYAL TERNS are now being seen along the Port Mahon Road; over 100 were counted on Monday, along with 10 CASPIAN TERNS. 45 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS with SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS were found in the parking lot at the boat ramp at Port Mahon. Also reported was PALM WARBLER and BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE.

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, plus CAPE MAY and PALM WARBLER reported at Middle Run Nature Preserve at Newark this week. ACACKLING GOOSE was seen there today. Also seen there was PINE SISKIN by the pines by Tri-State Bird Rescue and PURPLE FINCH. Other birds reported included LINCOLN'S SPARROW, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, CHIMNEY SWIFT, and HERMIT THRUSH. A late BROAD-WINGED HAWK was reported at Middle Run on Tuesday, along with COOPER'S and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, OSPREY, and BARRED OWL. Nearby Newark Reservoir had AMERICAN WIGEON and NORTHERN PINTAIL, along with BLACK VULTURE, COOPER'S and RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. Carousel Park in Pike Creek had a RUDDY DUCK and PIED-BILLED GREBE on the pond, along with LESSER YELLOWLEGS and a single SPOTTED SANDPIPER.

Flint Woods Nature Preserve in Centreville reported WOOD THRUSH and PINE SISKIN with HOUSE and WINTER WREN, LINCOLN'S and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, plus BLACK-THROATED BLUE and PALM WARBLER. Brandywine Creek State Park had CHIMNEY SWIFT and several BLUE-HEADED VIREOS. Seven species of warbler were seen including BLACK-THROATED BLUE and GREEN, PARULA, MAGNOLIA, and PALM. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was seen by the entrance booth, other birds reported included NORTHERN HARRIER, BALD EAGLE, and OSPREY. 35 WOOD DUCKS were seen by the Winterthur Ponds at Route 100. 28 WOOD DUCKS were seen at Hoopes' Reservoir. EASTERN MEADOWLARKS were seen at Brandywine Creek and at Fox Point State Park.

EASTERN WOOD PEEWEE and 3 PALM WARBLERS were seen at Gambacorta Marsh in New Castle. A yard in Port Penn had a dead VEERY on Tuesday, also reported was a live BLUE-HEADED VIREO and both species of KINGLET. A BONAPARTE'S GULL was seen from the ABA headquarters in Delaware City among LAUGHING GULLS. Also reported there were BLACK VULTURE and 3 BALD EAGLES.

A VESPER SPARROW was found at Ashland Nature Center on Saturday, during the Big Sit. Despite the rain 68 species were reported including BLACK AND WHITE and MAGNOLIA WARBLER, PURPLE FINCH, and an AMERICAN WOODCOCK. The Cape Henlopen Big Site started out with SWAINSON'S THRUSHES flying overhead in the pre-dawn hours. Other land birds reported included NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, and RED-EYED VIREO, along with LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, OYSTERCATCHER and PARASITIC JAEGER.

PARASITIC JAEGER has been almost a daily occurrence at the Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch this week. The first RED-THROATED LOONS are starting to migrate past the hawk watch. Also, big flocks of seaducks at starting to move south, WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were seen several days, along with hundreds of SURF and BLACK SCOTERS. A BROWN PELICAN was seen on Tuesday, TUNDRA SWAN and SNOW GEESE were seen on Wednesday. The best hawk flight was last Sunday with good numbers of FALCONS; 16 KESTREL, 11 MERLIN, and 12 PEREGRINES, plus 46 OSPREY and 6 BALD EAGLES. A small flight of late BROAD-WINGED HAWKS went through today.

BROAD-WINGED HAWKS were also seen today at Ashland Hawk Watch. But, the real star was the first GOLDEN EAGLE of the season that past by Ashland on Sunday, along with 72 SHARPIES, 8 NORTHERN HARRIERS and 7 BALD EAGLES. Also seen at the hawk watch this week was SCARLET TANAGER, KILLDEER, PALM WARBLER and BLUE-HEADED VIREO.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Brian McCaffrey, David Fees, Bill Stewart, Ian Stewart, Joel Martin, Sam Roberts, Ian Gardner, Vincent De Sanctis, Chris Bennett, Colin Campbell, Amy O'Neil, Sally O'Byrne, Kim Steininger, Chris Rowe, Joe Sebastiani, Derek Stoner, Rich Clifton, Richard Julian, Hank Davis, Sue Gruver, Lynn Smith, Sharon Lynn, Tim Schrenkengost, Alex Lamoreaux, Maurice Barnhill, and Joe Russell. Special thanks to our two hawk counters this season Jennifer Ottinger and Will Almeida. 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.