Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - July 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 Thursday, July 23rd, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The unofficial Delaware annual list annual list increased to 313 species with the addition of several pelagic species this week.

But first, a RUFF was seen this week at the southeast end of Shearness Pool in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. This bird was found on Sunday and has been seen all week. It is a molting black Ruff with bicolor bill and yellow-orange legs. Yesterday it was seen at Raymond Pool prior to flying over toward Shearness. Also reported have been 200 AMERICAN AVOCETS, 30 BLACK NECKED STILTS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, plus SPOTTED, STILT, PECTORAL, WESTERN, SEMIPALMATED, and LEAST SANDPIPER. Along with the shorebirds have been 3 TRICOLORED HERONS at Raymond Pool plus as many as 6 immature WHITE IBIS. Also reported have been MUTE and TUNDRA SWAN, PIED-BILLED GREBE, GADWALL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. LEAST BITTERN plus both YELLOW-CROWNED and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS were seen at Bear Swamp. A DICKCISSEL continues to be seen and heard at the woods edge heading towards the Allee House. NORTHERN BOBWHITE, WILD TURKEY, and GRASSHOPPER SPARROW were also reported there. NORTHERN BOBWHITE was also seen at the visitor center, along with a calling WILLOW FLYCATCHER.

The Delaware invasion of WHITE IBIS continues in all three counties, especially in Sussex Co. with a peak count of 111 birds flying over Lewes at dusk! That makes this the largest concentration of WHITE IBIS on the east coast north of Wilmington, North Carolina. All the WHITE IBIS have been immatures, except one second year bird that is mostly white. This may be the same bird that has been seen along the jersey show shore at Ocean City. WHITE IBIS have been seen as far north as above Harrisburg in Dauphin Co. at Wildwood Lakes Park. There is a substantial invasion going on this year, with birds reported at the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Huntley Meadows Virginia, a peak count of 34 WHITE IBIS at Tom's Cove in Chincoteague, and 28 at Craney Island near Hampton Roads, Virginia.

In Delaware, five WHITE IBIS were seen crossing the Delaware line from Maryland at Glasgow, heading towards Lums Pond State Park. One WHITE IBIS was seen in downtown Wilmington at the Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge along the Christiana River. WHITE IBIS was also seen flying into Pea Patch Island from Veteran's Park in Delaware City. WHITE IBIS continue to be seen at Fowler's Beach, Broadkill Marsh, and Gordon's Pond in Sussex County. One immature WHITE IBIS was photographed flying over Savages Ditch in Delaware Seashore State Park south of Dewey Beach.

Once again, UPLAND SANDPIPERS were reported from the Dover Air Force Base on Route 9 below Dover across from Bergold Road. This is a restricted area and if you park along Route 9, the MPs will call the state police to ticket you. If you continue to drive slowly, you might get a quick look. Also found at the Dover AFB runway was GRASSHOPPER SPARROW and EASTERN MEADOWLARK.

A fishing trip that went 75 miles offshore this week to Wilmington Canyon found 75 WILSON'S and 4 LEACH'S STORM-PETRELS. SHEARWATERS included 15 CORY'S, 5 GREAT, and 2 AUDUBON'S SHEARWATERS. There was also a POMARINE JAEGER and a very large Mako Shark.

WILSON'S STORM-PETREL was also seen from the Cape Henlopen State Park Hawkwatch. AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER and PIPING PLOVER were seen at The Point at Cape Henlopen. BROWN PELICANS and 6 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were also reported today. Terns seen included LEAST, ROYAL, and COMMON. PRAIRIE WARBLER and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH were found in the woods. Several COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were found flying at dusk. A SANDWICH TERN was found at Gordon's Pond, north of Rehoboth Beach, flying out over the ocean. Also seen there were ROYAL and LEAST TERN. BROWN PELICAN and 50 SANDERLING were seen on the beach. WILSON'S STORM-PETREL was also seen from the Cape May - Lewes ferry along with BALD EAGLE, LEAST and ROYAL TERN.

The previous reported 10 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS continue to be seen at Fowler's Beach. CASPIAN, LEAST, and FORSTER'S TERN were seen on the sandbar with AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER. BLACK-NECKED STILT were seen plus LEAST and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER. BLACK TERN and BLACK SKIMMER were at Broadkill Marsh, along with WESTERN SANDPIPER. Also reported at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Milton this week were LEAST BITTERN and KING RAIL. A SUMMER TANAGER and the rare WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH was found at Turkle Pond. An AMERICAN KESTREL was seen along Draper Road.

ROYAL TERN and AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER were found at Fenwick Island. BROWN PELICANS were reported at Bethany Beach. COMMON LOON was seen in Rehoboth Bay. COOPER'S HAWK and PROTHONOTARY WARBLER were found at the McCabe Nature Preserve along the Broadkill River. A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was reported at Oakley, west of Ellendale.

There have been a plethora of BANK SWALLOW reports this week in central Delaware. 20 were at Thousand Acre Marsh near Delaware City, 40 BANKS were seen at Bombay Hook on Monday. 70 BANK SWALLOWS were reported at Port Mahon, 75 were reported at the Pickering Beach impoundments at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area. Three were at the Pioneer Dredge Ponds, but there were no reports from Sussex Co.

Six ROYAL TERNS were found at Port Mahon along with SPOTTED SANDPIPER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. SEMIPALMATED PLOVER plus PECTORAL, STILT, and SPOTTED SANDPIPER were found at the South Impoundments of Little Creek. Another LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was found at Pickering Beach. Both SWAMP and SEASIDE SPARROWS plus MARSH WREN were found in the marsh by Pickering Beach. An AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH were found at Big Stone Beach in Milford Neck Wildlife Area.

Three DICKCISSELS were found across from St. Anne's Pond, south of Middletown. A SORA was calling at the Charles E Price Park. GLOSSY IBIS were seen by the pond. Also found there was SAVANNAH SPARROW and EASTERN MEADOWLARK. A SOLITARY SANDPIPER was found at Stave's Landing Road. KING RAIL was found calling at Blackbird Creek.

An AMERICAN AVOCET was found at the Port Penn Impoundments at Augustine Beach Wildlife Area on Route 9 north of Port Penn. GREEN HERON was seen here, along with SNOWY EGRET, LITTLE BLUE HERON, and CATTLE EGRET. SANDHILL CRANE was seen at Thousand Acre Marsh, flying over Route 9 to Port Penn, but it landed in the weeds and disappeared.

Not much is happening in northern Delaware right now. BLUE GROSBEAK and EASTERN MEADOWLARK were found along the entrance road to Brandywine Creek State Park. PURPLE MARTINS are beginning to congregate along the ridgeline there. YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, WARBLING VIREO, and VEERY were seen at the Woodlawn Trust property along Ramsey Road. CEDAR WAXWING was found at Ashland Nature Center with TOWHEE and INDIGO BUNTING. PILEATED WOODPECKER and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH were seen near North Star, West of Hockessin.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Bob Rufe, Al Guarante, Jim White, David Fees, Bill Fintel, Mike Fritz, Michael Bowen, Gina Sheridan, Leo Custer, Teddy Burke, Colin Campbell, Andrew McGann , Sean McCandless, Steve Collins, Brian Henderson, Bill Stewart, Kelly Nunn, Hannah Greenberg, Rod Murray, Marcy Stutzman, Armas Hill, Rachael Shapiro, Ken Wat, Damon Orsetti, Joe Sebastiani, Chris Rowe, Lynn Smith, John Hoyt, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, Tim Schreckengost, Tim Freiday, Alan Kneidel, Chandler Wiegand, 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 compiled by Andy Ednie, the 2010 recipient of Delaware Audubon's Conservation Award. It is posted on the Delaware Audubon web site as a public service. The Birdline is not sponsored by the Delaware Audubon Society.