Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - February 27, 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, February 27th, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. Delaware is still snow covered, a great time to look for birds! The unofficial Delaware annual list annual list increased to 183 species.

New this week was a RED-NECKED GREBE at Cape Henlopen State Park. That bird was on the ocean side of The Point parking lot, next to a HORNED GREBE. SURF and BLACK SCOTERS were also reported at Cape Henlopen, along with BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH at the Seaside Nature Center. More RED-NECKED GREBES might make their appearance where there is open water, as their traditional wintering grounds on the Great Lakes are freezing over. Already, RED-NECKED GREBES have been reported at Port Deposit, Maryland along the Susquehanna River and at Townsend Inlet in Avalon, NJ. There are scores of reports along the North Jersey shore from Barnegat to Sandy Hook.

REDHEADS are turning up in unusual locations as Delaware's ponds are freezing up. Two REDHEADS are being seen in the retention pond by the Home Depot in Glasgow, off Route 40 by People's Plaza. Four to five REDHEADS were found on Silver Lake in Dover. HOODED and COMMON MERGANSERS, plus a BARRED OWL were found in Silver Lake Park, which is the headwater of the St Jones River. A Canvasback was seen on Newark Reservoir, plus 50 COMMON MERGANSERS and 3 AMERICAN COOTS. SAVANNAH SPARROW and CEDAR WAXWING were also reported.

The immature drake COMMON EIDER continues to be seen at Indian River Inlet. The immature drake HARLEQUIN DUCK is still present with 75 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, plus SURF and BLACK SCOTER, BRANT, LESSER and GREATER SCAUP, COMMON GOLDENEYE, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, and RUDDY DUCK. An AMERICAN BITTERN, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON and CLAPPER RAIL were also reported. PURPLE SANDPIPERS and RUDDY TURNSTONES were seen on the jetty, with GREAT CORMORANTS on the tower. An "IPSWICH" SAVANNAH SPARROW was seen again this week at the inlet.

An immature GOLDEN EAGLE was seen at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Cods Road. AMERICAN KESTREL was seen along 13 Curves Road by the cattle farm and along Cods Road. A MERLIN was seen by Little Neck Wildlife Area. A SALTMARSH SPARROW was seen at Fowler's Beach, along with WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. WILD TURKEYS and GREAT HORNED OWL were seen along Prime Hook Beach Road. WOOD DUCKS were seen along 13 Curves Road. Also reported were Pied-BILLED GREBE, GREATER SCAUP, HOODED and COMMON MERGANSER. Landbirds seen included PILEATED WOODPECKER, BROWN THRASHER and EASTERN MEADOWLARK. BONAPARTE'S GULL, plus 12 GREATER SCAUP and BUFFLEHEADS were seen at the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Inlet.

The previously reported SNOWY OWLS at Port Mahon have not been seen since Valentine's Day, almost two weeks ago. But, there have been up to 5 SHORT-EARED OWLS seen along the Port Mahon Road. Also reported was a GREAT HORNED OWL.

Lot of BALD EAGLES can be seen sitting on the ice at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. Nine were watching the waterfowl at Shearness Pool. Waterfowl seen included TUNDRA SWAN, AMERICAN WIGEON, PINTAIL, BUFFLEHEAD plus COMMON and HOODED MERGANSER. AMERICAN WOODCOCK and NORTHERN BOBWHITE were also reported. A flock of WILD TURKEYS were seen along Route 9. Five COMMON GOLDENEYES were seen along Route 9 at Fleming's Landing.

SHORT-EARED OWL was also seen off Delaware City this week flying towards Fort DuPont during the first monthly heron census of the year. That count produced 29 GREAT BLUE HERONS flying towards Pea Patch Island, as breeding season is getting started. A total of 25 GREAT CORMORANTS were seen flying over Delaware City from Veteran's Park during the census. The count also found 25 BALD EAGLES, as they are collecting wherever there is open water. The flock of SNOW BUNTINGS continues to be seen at Ft DuPont, by the fisherman's parking lot. RING-NECKED DUCK and HOODED MERGANSERS were seen at Dragon Run. A RING-NECKED PHEASANT was seen along Dutch Neck Road.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was seen this week at Coverdale Farm, near Ashland Nature Center. That bird was also seen along the Ashland-Clinton Rd near Barrows Run Preserve. A pair of LONG-EARED OWLS continue to be seen at Coverdale Farms, but you need to get special permission to see these birds through Ashland Nature Center.

An ICELAND GULL was at Fox Point State Park. Also reported was a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER on the mostly frozen Delaware River. GREAT CORMORANTS were also reported.

No REDPOLLS were reported this week. PINE SISKINS were seen at feeders in Millsboro and Seaford, plus one in northern Delaware at Deerhurst in Brandywine hundred. PURPLE FINCH was reported at Middle Run Nature Preserve near Newark.

A female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was photographed at a feeder in Bear near Walter Road and Old Baltimore Pike. This is not too far from School Bell Road where YELLOW-HEADS have been reported for the last month. Another YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was reported at a yard in Middletown. No flocks of RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were reported, but individual birds were seen in Bear, Newark, Port Penn, and at Milford Neck Wildlife Area near Big Stone Beach. A flock of 5 BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES were also found at Big Stone Beach, the northernmost location in Delaware for this species.

Four AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS were seen at the Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, plus at Brandywine Creek State Park, White Clay Creek, Prime Hook and Bombay Hook. One bird was visiting a feeder in Camden-Wyoming. A big flock of 12 FOX SPARROWS was found at Turkle's Pond in Prime Hook, plus individuals were at Big Stone Beach and a feeder near Millsboro.

Four HERMIT THRUSHES were seen at Middle Run. Another has been coming to a yard in downtown Wilmington.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Ann Dinkel, Rod Murray, Jeff Holmes, Greg Obierek, Chris and Karen Bennett, Kim Steininger, Hannah Greenberg, Jeff Gordon, Jim White, Derek Stoner, Brian McCaffrey, Sally O'Byrne, Dave Mellon, Kathleen and Amy O'Neil, Matt Brown, Abby Walter, Katie McDonough, Laura Balascio, Nancy Cunningham, David Fees, Gina Sheridan, Chandler Weigand, Joe Sebastiani, Rich Clifton, Mike Moore, Chris Rowe, Ken Wat, Lynn Smith, Sue Gruver, Amy and Jim White, Bill Stewart, Ian Stewart, Tim Freiday, Alan Kneidel, Tim Schreckengost, Taj Schottland, 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.