Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - November 21, 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, November 21st, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The unofficial Delaware annual list annual list remained at 324 species this week.

SNOWY OWLS are back in town! One bird was seen last weekend from the Leipsic Bridge off Route 9 near Smyrna. Although looked for, that bird has not been re-found. Another SNOWY OWL was reported yesterday along the dunes on the north side of Indian River Inlet at Delaware Seashore State Park. This is the same area that showed up last year, and may be a sign of more to come. So far, SNOWY OWLS have been reported this week at Poplar Island in Tolbert County, Maryland and Stone Harbor Point in Cape May, New Jersey. Other reports have been at Holgate near Brigantine, New Jersey and in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. There been about 17 reports in New England this month. So far, there's been no word on their breeding success in the Arctic this summer. Perhaps this is a leftover from last year's eruption.

In Hockessin, a late HUMMINGBIRD is believed to be an immature male RUBY-THROATED. The bird is coming to a feeder with a night-light to keep the nectar warm on these freezing cold nights. Other late birds this week included a RED-EYED VIREO feeding on the ground in a yard in Lincoln. A PINE WARBLER was found at the headquarters area at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Milford. A PALM WARBLER was found along 13 Curves Rd. at Prime Hook. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was found at Indian River Inlet, along the roadway to the north marina.

JAEGERS were reported along the coast all week. PARASITIC JAEGERS have been seen at The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, at Herring Point, and from the hawkwatch. They were also seen at Dewey Beach and from Indian River Inlet. Birds have been seen far offshore, but one bird at The Point was close enough to be photographed. A LONG-TAILED JAEGER was reported on Sunday from the Hawkwatch at Cape Henlopen.

Lots of birds been reported at Indian River Inlet this past week including a BROWN PELICAN yesterday. The Seawatch on Saturday produced 130 RED-THROATED LOONS, 1440 NORTHERN GANNET, and 2500 SCOTERS. Two GREAT CORMORANTS were seen on the channel marker at the end of the jetty. Four PURPLE SANDPIPERS were seen with RUDDY TURNSTONE, DUNLIN, and SANDERLING. A LEAST SANDPIPER was also seen there this week. Over 300 FORSTER'S TERNS were seen along with ROYAL TERN, 3 COMMON TERN, and 30 BONAPARTE'S GULLS. Other waterfowl included LONG-TAILED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. CHIPPING SPARROW and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET were found along the road to north marina. MERLIN, SNOW BUNTING and 36 PINE SISKINS were seen flying over. A SALTMARSH SPARROW was found in the south side marsh. The first COMMON GOLDENEYE of the season was seen from Quillen's Point at Cedar Neck, south of the inlet.

The first CANVASBACK arrived at Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach on Thursday. Included among the waterfowl was an immature male REDHEAD. Also reported were 2 CACKLING GOOSE, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and LAUGHING GULL. 17 HOODED MERGANSERS and 12 RUDDY DUCKS were found on Silver Lake on Saturday.

The flock of pale-bellied BRANT at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park included two gray-bellied BRANT last week. Right now, this is not considered a recognized subspecies but maybe in the future. Also seen at the point was an immature BLACK SKIMMER and 4 ROYAL TERNS on Monday. SURF and BLACK SCOTER were reported along with flyby WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. There was a flock of 30 BONAPARTE'S GULLS along with several GANNETS offshore. A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was reported flying by the Hawkwatch along with SNOW BUNTINGS on Wednesday. Again this week, all three species of NUTHATCH, WHITE-BREASTED, BROWN-HEADED, and RED-BREASTED were reported by the Seaside Nature Center.

The previous reported AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN continues to be seen at Fowler's Beach at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Milton. That bird is been sleeping on the sandbar at the end of the road. Two AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were reported at Fowler's Beach, along with BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 5 WESTERN SANDPIPERS, SANDERLING, and DUNLIN. Waterfowl seen included HORNED GREBE, BLACK and SURF SCOTER, plus HOODED and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. LAUGHING GULL, ROYAL TERN, and 75 FORSTER'S TERNS were reported on the sandbar. CLAPPER RAIL was seen in the marsh.

A TRICOLORED HERON was seen at Broadkill Beach Marsh along with a SHORT-EARED OWL. MARBLED GODWIT, STILT SANDPIPER, AMERICAN AVOCET, and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS were reported. SNOWY and GREAT EGRET were found along the Prime Hook Beach Road along with 76 AMERICAN AVOCETS, plus SHORT-BILLED and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. Waterfowl included CACKLING GOOSE, LESSER and GREATER SCAUP, LONG-TAILED DUCK, COMMON MERGANSER and PIED-BILLED GREBE. NORTHERN GANNET was seen offshore into Delaware Bay. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and EASTERN MEADOWLARK was found along the road edge. Other highlights at Prime Hook included a GOLDEN EAGLE seen over Cods Road. RUSTY BLACKBIRD was found at Oyster Rocks Road. A leucistic BLACKBIRD was seen along the blackbird flock on 13 Curves Rd.

The previous reported adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen again at Wolfe's Point Sewage Treatment Plant near Midway. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were reported all along the Delaware coast last week. The peak count of 10 was at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park. To the South, 3 LESSER BLACK-BACKS were seen at Indian River Inlet, 4 were at Key Box Road and 2 at Tower Rd. in Delaware Seashore State Park, and one was at Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach. North of Cape Henlopen, five LESSER BLACK-BACKED were seen at Beach Plum Island plus 2 were seen at Broadkill Beach. It is unclear if these birds were all different or were the same previously seen at Cape Henlopen.

The previous reported SANDHILL CRANE was not seen at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna this week. An AMERICAN BITTERN was photographed walking across the ice at Shearness Pool. 19 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS were seen at Night Heron Island in Bear Swamp. Five GREAT EGRETS were also reported in the refuge. No MARBLED GODWITS were reported this week but 350 AMERICAN AVOCETS remain along with Willet at Shearness Pool plus BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. 20 TUNDRA SWANS were reported along with 60 BUFFLEHEAD and 30 RUDDY DUCK. Eight BOBWHITES were seen behind Bear Swamp. COMMON MERGANSER was found at Woodland Beach Wildlife Area.

AMERICAN BITTERN was also seen at Port Mahon this week. A big raft of 90 RUDDY DUCKS was seen on the Delaware Bay off Port Mahon. PIED-BILLED GREBE, AMERICAN COOT and BELTED KINGFISHER were also reported. A raft of 480 COOTS continues at the central tower in Little Creek Wildlife Management Area. 36 AMERICAN PIPITS were reported at Quaker Cemetery Road, which merges into Cartanza Rd. north of Little Creek.

AMERICAN PIPITS were also reported at the University of Delaware Ag Farm. Sparrows along the alfalfa field at the Ag Farm included 2 VESPER and 5 SAVANNAH SPARROWS along with CHIPPING, FIELD, FOX, and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. Also reported was 42 KILLDEER. BROWN CREEPER and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET were found in the woodlot.

A WILD TURKEY was seen crossing Hopkins Road at White Clay Creek State Park, which asks the question, why did the TURKEY cross the road? CHIPPING SPARROW was found at Middle Run Natural Area with GRAY CATBIRD and PILEATED WOODPECKER. A PURPLE FINCH was seen coming to a feeder at North Star.

Two SNOW GEESE were seen among the flock of CANADA GEESE on Newark Reservoir. RUDDY DUCK and American coot were also present. Three AMERICAN WIGEON were at Hillside Mill Cove on Hoopes Reservoir, along with a raft of 250 RING-NECKED DUCK. Also seen on Hoopes's were 27 HOODED MERGANSERS, 2 BUFFLEHEAD, and a PIED-BILLED GREBE.

PURPLE FINCH was seen at Lum's Pond State Park along with YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. RUDDY DUCK was seen on the pond. 20 BLACK VULTURES were seen flying over. A GREAT EGRET was seen at the retention pond off of Route 1 at Boyd's corner.

The first NORTHERN GOSHAWKS of the season were reported at both hawkwatches in Delaware this week. NORTHERN GOSHAWK and GOLDEN EAGLE were reported at Ashland Nature Center Hawkwatch on Saturday. Another GOSHAWK was reported at Cape Henlopen State Park Hawkwatch on Wednesday. Two GOLDEN EAGLES were seen at Cape Henlopen on Tuesday and another GOLDEN EAGLE went by Ashland on Wednesday. 25 BALD EAGLES were reported flying over Ashland this week, while 50 were reported at Cape Henlopen over the last three days including 21 BALD EAGLES on Wednesday. TUNDRA SWANS, COMMON LOONS, and 26 WOOD DUCKS were reported flying over Ashland. Also reported was PINE SISKINS and PURPLE FINCH. A plethora of other birds reported at Cape Henlopen besides the previously mentioned LAPLAND LONGSPUR included SNOW BUNTINGS, PINE SISKINS and TUNDRA SWAN.

Two PEREGRINE FALCONS continue to be seen at Brandywine Building in downtown Wilmington.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Meghann Matwichuk, Han Buckx, Mike Moore, David Roberts, Zoe Yost, Maureen Markow, Kim Steininger, Holly Merker, Bill Stewart, John Dunn, Meta Little, Ken Bass, Rich Clifton, Wayne Longbottom, Chris Rowe, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, Lynn Smith, Tim Schrenkengost, Alex Lamoreaux, Derek Stoner, Tim and Don Freiday, Maurice Barnhill, and Joe Russell. Special thanks to our two hawk counters this season Jennifer Ottinger and Will Almeida. Special tribute to Alan Kneidel for coordinating this weekend's Coastal Birding Blitz, strong work! 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.