Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - January 23, 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, January 23rd, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. Sorry that the birdline did not go out last week, I was having computer problems. After 2 hours on the phone with Verizon, those issues seem to be resolved. The unofficial Delaware annual list annual list increased to 175 species this week.

A bird reported this afternoon was a possible WESTERN TANAGER at the parking lot in Walter Carpenter Recreational Area north of Newark. This area is off Route 896 and part of White Clay Creek State Park. The bird reportedly flew off, but if confirmed, this would be a first state record and long overdue.

An invasion has started from the great white north. COMMON REDPOLLS and more winter finches are moving into the state! COMMON REDPOLLS was first reported at Indian River Inlet, then at Cape Henlopen State Park and at Mike Moore's feeder in Bay Pointe, near the Summit Bridge in Glasgow, on Wednesday. In Delaware, these sightings are just a few birds, but in New Jersey flocks of 30-50 REDPOLLS were reported at either end of Long Beach Island, from Barnegat Light to Holgate. In Cape May, 25 REDPOLLS were in South Cape May, including the feeders at the Northwood observatory and a flock of 13 birds were seen at South Cape May Meadows. REDPOLLS were also seen at Avalon and Reeds Beach. Back in Delaware, PINE SISKINS were reported at Brandywine Hundred along Grubb Road, Hockessin and at White Clay Creek State Park. SISKINS were also reported downstate at Indian River Inlet, Cape Henlopen and Broadkill Beach. PURPLE FINCH was found at a feeder in Georgetown and along the C&D Canal west of Summit Bridge.

Several SNOWY OWLS are still being reported. Downstate, individual reports include the dunes at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park and north of Indian River Inlet. SNOWY OWL continues to be reported intermittently from Whitehall Neck Road going to the entrance of Bombay Hook NWR in Smyrna. The best place continues to be Port Mahon Road, where 4 birds, a young male and 3 young females were seen at dusk yesterday. Those birds were reported near the tank farm. Also reported at Port Mahon have been 4 SHORT-EARED OWLS, GREAT HORNED OWL along the treeline, and a BARN OWL flying over the marsh. Both AMERICAN BITTERN and an immature BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON were seen, along with GREAT EGRET. PEREGRINE FALCON and immature COOPER'S HAWK were reported by the second pier. Also reported were RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, EASTERN MEADOWLARK and SAVANNAH SPARROW.

A male HARLEQUIN DUCK continues to be seen at the north jetty of Indian River Inlet. That bird is with 100 LONG-TAILED DUCK, plus 100 SCOTER: mostly SURF but including 6-8 BLACK and a single WHITE-WINGED SCOTER last week. A small flock of GREATER SCAUP and BUFFLEHEADS were also present. PURPLE SANDPIPERS and RUDDY TURNSTONES continue to be seen on the rocks. A peak of 7 GREAT CORMORANTS was seen on the jetty tower. BONAPARTE'S and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were also reported. An AMERICAN BITTERN was reported by Bottom Hills Drain, the big slough on the north side of the inlet, TREE SWALLOWS were seen flying over the south inlet parking lot. ORANGE-CROWNED and PALM WARBLER were reported by the green dumpster across from the Center for Inland Bays. COMMON GOLDENEYE and GREATER SCAUP were found at the Burton's Island causeway, LESSER and GREATER YELLOWLEGS with DUNLIN were seen walking along the shoreline opposite the marina, and RUDDY DUCK and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were among the docks.

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, ROSS'S GOOSE and CACKLING GOOSE were among the geese at Prime Hook NWR this week. Both the WHITE-FRONTED and ROSS'S GOOSE were found along Cods Road. Also reported was a GOLDEN EAGLE at Prime Hook Beach Road, plus an immature GLAUCOUS GULL. 45 WILD TURKEYS were reported in the fields near the intersection with Route 1. There were still a good number of shorebirds being seen along Fowler's Beach Road, including 30 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, RUDDY TURNSTONE, SANDERLING, and 400+ DUNLIN. A flock of 50 SURF SCOTERS offshore included one 400+ WHITE-WINGED SCOTER. TREE SWALLOW was also seen at Fowler's Beach, along with BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE and AMERICAN KESTREL. A PURPLE FINCH was reported at the Prime Hook headquarters feeders.

COMMON EIDER and RAZORBILL were seen at Cape Henlopen State Park. The EIDERS were seen by the Harbor of Refuge Light. Two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were also reported. All three species of nuthatch: WHITE-BREASTED, BROWN-HEADED, and RED-BREASTED were also found in the park by Ft. Miles. Birds seen from the Cape May-Lewes ferry this week included 180 SURF SCOTER, plus 4 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, along with RED-THROATED LOON, HORNED GREBE, and BONAPARTE'S GULL. RING-NECKED DUCKS and HOODED MERGANSERS with 10 AMERICAN COOTS and 20 NORTHERN SHOVELERS were found on Block Pond behind Beebe Hospital on Park Ave. in Lewes.

The previous reported BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen again at Wolfe's Point Waste Treatment Plant. Nearby, A WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS reported at a feeder in Midway. An OSPREY was photographed along Indian River east of Millsboro. Also reported there was HOODED MERGANSER and RUDDY DUCK. Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach has been mostly frozen over, but 250 CANVASBACK were seen there along with 30 RUDDY DUCK, 2 RING-NECKED DUCK, and a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. CEDAR WAXWINGS were reported at Silver Lake and in Dewey Beach. Two MUTE SWANS, plus 75 AMERICAN WIGEON and 35 HOODED MERGANSERS were seen at Assawoman Wildlife Area near Fenwick Island. RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH and WINTER WREN were also reported. 10 HOODED MERGANSERS and a RING-NECKED DUCK were reported at Old Landing near Rehoboth Beach. BROWN THRASHER was also found there. A MERLIN was reported along Route 30 near Milton.

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge still has TUNDRA SWAN, HOODED MERGANSER, LESSER SCAUP, and RUDDY DUCK. A SORA was reported by the pond along the Boardwalk Trail. Usually a rare bird in Delaware during winter, this is the third SORA reported the season. AMERICAN BITTERN and WILSON'S SNIPE were seen by Bear Swamp. BALD EAGLE, PEREGRINE FALCON, MERLIN, and AMERICAN KESTREL were also reported there this week. AMERICAN PIPIT and HORNED LARK were seen along the entrance road. Over 200 HORNED LARK with 4 SNOW BUNTINGS was found after the fresh snow along Cartanza Rd. north of Little Creek. EASTERN MEADOWLARK was found at Bergdoll Road by Dover Air Force Base along Route 9.

A SAW-WHET OWL responded to a call along Bennett's Pier Road in Milford Neck Wildlife Area. Although difficult to find, this bird has been in the area now for several weeks. A SHORT-EARED OWL was found at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area. AMERICAN BITTERN and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON were also seen there, along with a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL. Waterfowl was mostly frozen out but included NORTHERN SHOVELER and AMERICAN COOT. Over a thousand COMMON MERGANSERS plus RING-NECKED DUCK and COOT were counted on Silver Lake in Dover. Those birds were confined to the open water behind McGlynn's Pub off North State Street. A pair of BALD EAGLES was also seen there having dinner.

A private home in Hockessin had a male BALTIMORE ORIOLE coming to the feeder for the second winter in a row. A private home near Greenville, north of Wilmington, reported PURPLE FINCH, 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, and WINTER WREN. PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen at Woodland Park near Prices Corner. RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was reported at Pike Creek golf course. MUTE SWAN was reported at Carousel Park. Six RING-NECKED DUCKS and 3 AMERICAN COOTS were found at Harry's Pond at the Brandywine Town Center. Another COOT with four RUDDY DUCKS was found at Battery Park in New Castle.

A LONGTAILED DUCK and a female COMMON GOLDENEYE were found on the Delaware River at Port Penn. RING-NECKED PHEASANT was seen along Route 9 near Thorntown Road. GRAY CATBIRD was found at Ft DuPont near Delaware City.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Chandler Wiegand , Karen Harris, Mike Moore, Ian Stewart, Nancy Cunningham, Joshua Barth, Vince Gambal, Bob Brereton, Katie McDonough, Rich Rieger, Rocklin Reb, Chuck Brandt, Rod Murray, John Long, Joel Martin, Chris Rowe, Chris and Karen Bennett, Debi Jarrell, Frank Rohrbacher, Kyle Chelius, Diane Kane, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, Lynn Smith, Colin Campbell, John Hoyt, Alan Kneidel, Taj Schottland, Tim Schreckengost, Brian McCaffrey, Rod Murray, Sally O'Byrne, Derek Stoner, Joe Sebastiani, Brian Henderson, 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 posted on the Delaware Audubon web site as a public service. It is neither created nor sponsored by the Delaware Audubon Society.