Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - April 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, April 18th this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. This week's unofficial Delaware annual list added 20 birds reaching 228 species. New species this week included, GREEN HERON, SORA, CHIMNEY SWIFT, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, EASTERN KINGBIRD, BANK SWALLOW, WHITE-EYED and BLUE-HEADED VIREO, HOUSE WREN, WOOD THRUSH, OVENBIRD, PROTHONOTARY and PRAIRIE WARBLER, and GRASSHOPPER SPARROW. A few late lingers like DARK EYED JUNCOS are still being seen at feeders in yards.

The previous reported EURASIAN GREEN-WINGED "COMMON" TEAL was again reported on Sunday at Bear Swamp in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. That bird is continues to be seen in the impoundment opposite the Bear Swamp sign along the east Dike. A TRICOLORED HERON was reported at Raymond Pool on Monday evening. Thousands of shorebirds are arriving at "The Hook" this week including 2 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER with over 300 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS. Also seen was 2 BLACK-NECKED STILTS with over hundred AMERICAN AVOCETS, plus thousands of DUNLIN included 6 SEMIPALMATED and 5 LEAST SANDPIPER. Also reported were SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WILLET, SANDERLING, and WILSON'S SNIPE. A PROTHONOTARY WARBLER was reported at Finis Pool along with NORTHERN PARULA and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. Other species seen included WHITE-EYED VIREO, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, GRAY CATBIRD, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, and the first HOUSE WREN of the season. A few late lingering BUFFLEHEAD and RUDDY DUCK continue to be seen along with PIED-BILLED GREBE, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, WOOD DUCK, and AMERICAN COOT.

Last weekend, a SANDHILL CRANE was seen flying over Ashland Nature Center from the Hawk Watch on Saturday. Also reported from the Hawk Watch was 5 BROAD-WINGED HAWKS plus a nice flight of swallows that included CHIMNEY SWIFT, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED, BARN, and CLIFF SWALLOW. A flight of warblers in the rain at Ashland on Wednesday included PROTHONOTARY and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, both rare for this location, plus PALM, PINE, NORTHERN PARULA, and LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH. A BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER was reported at Coverdale Farms, off Way Road.

The first BLUE-HEADED VIREO of the year was reported at White Clay Creek State Park near Newark on Sunday. LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, NORTHERN PARULA, and PALM WARBLER were also reported there. A GREEN HERON was seen flying over the White Clay on Thursday. An AMERICAN PIPIT was heard flying over at Middle Run Natural Area off Possum Park Road on Wednesday. Also reported at Middle Run were LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, PALM and PINE WARBLER, and NORTHERN PARULA. There was also flyover BALD EAGLE and BLACK VULTURE.

A calling SORA was heard at Grier's Pond near Thousand Acre Marsh below Delaware City on Saturday. GREEN HERON was also seen, along with SNOWY EGRET, LITTLE BLUE HERON, CATTLE EGRET, and GLOSSY IBIS. WILSON'S SNIPE and CASPIAN TERN were also seen along with COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, GRAY CATBIRD, and BROWN THRASHER. Further south, a pair of BONAPARTE'S GULLS were seen sitting on the Delaware River at Augustine Beach. WHITE-EYED VIREO, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, and PINE WARBLER were found at the Baxter Track along Route 9. Three CLIFF SWALLOWS were seen at the nests underneath the Appoquinimink Bridge on Route 9. A KING RAIL was also heard calling here and there were three SNIPE out in the marsh.

Early migrants at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge this week included EASTERN KINGBIRD, YELLOW WARBLER, and OVENBIRD. YELLOW-THROATED, PRAIRIE, and PINE WARBLERS continued to be reported at Turkle Pond. VESPER SPARROWS were reported at the sharp turn to the headquarters building. Shorebird numbers along Prime Hook Beach Road have been phenomenal. Over 800 LESSER YELLOWLEGS were reported along with DUNLIN, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, and PECTORAL SANDPIPER. WILSON'S SNIPE was reported at Broadkill Marsh along with RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and RUDDY DUCK. Other waterfowl included over 400 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 1200 NORTHERN SHOVELER, plus BLUE-WINGED TEAL and SNOW GOOSE.

One of the outstanding areas for early migrants is western Sussex County, where the first OVENBIRD and PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS were reported last weekend at Trap Pond State Park near Laurel. Also seen were EASTERN KINGBIRD, NORTHERN PARULA, and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER plus a singing WINTER WREN. A pair of VESPER SPARROWS were found along Wooten Road below Trap Pond, along with the first GRASSHOPPER SPARROW of the season.

A late CANVASBACK was seen at Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach, along with several RUDDY DUCKS. There were still 7 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, plus SURF SCOTER and LESSER SCAUP at Indian River Inlet. BUFFLEHEAD was seen at Savages Ditch in Delaware Seashore State Park. PIPING PLOVERS were reported away from the traditional areas at Dewey Beach.

RING-NECKED DUCKS were reported at the central tower in Little Creek Wildlife Area, along with five BONAPARTE'S GULLS. Lots of waterfowl there consisted mostly of AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALL, and AMERICAN COOT. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was found at the powerline cut on Pickering Beach Road. Several PINE WARBLERS were also seen. A BANK SWALLOW was reported at the gravel pits at the Route 9 overpass along Route 1 south of Dover. BONAPARTE'S GULLS were also seen. AMERICAN AVOCET and WILLET were reported at the south end of the Logan Tract near Kitts Hummock along with LITTLE BLUE HERON.

Lots of people are reporting RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS in their yard this week. Sightings were from Cheswold, Lewes, and Old Landing near Rehoboth Beach. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were also seen in Cheswold. An early WOOD THRUSH was reported near Lewes. WILD TURKEYS were seen this last week walking along Delaware Route 1 near the Middletown exit. BARRED OWL was calling off Grubb Road in Brandywine Hundred. CHIMNEY SWIFTS were reported flying over downtown Wilmington. News that hit the local airwaves was that the PEREGRINE FALCONS nesting on the Brandywine building in downtown Wilmington hatched 4 chicks this week.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Howard Eskin, Mike Bowen, Lynn McDowell, Becky Meister, Earl West, Brian Moyer, Mason Sieges, Dane Houser, Laura Young, Kim Steininger, Holly Merker, Rich Clifton, Colin Campbell, Phil Thompson, Sally O'Byrne, Amy O'Neil, Chris Rowe, Dave Beattie, Ian Stewart, Bill Stewart, Joe Sebastiani, Derek Stoner, Judy Montgomery, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, Joe Russell and Maurice Barnhill. 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.