Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - September 23, 2016

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, September 23rd, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The unofficial Delaware year list increased belatedly to 328 species.

New this week was a LARK BUNTING photographed sitting on the fence two weeks ago on September 11 at the University of Delaware Ag farm. The picture shows a sparrow with streaked breasts, dark mustache mark and white panels in the wings. This is a first record for New Castle County and only the second record for the state. The previous record for LARK BUNTING was September 2010 along the Raymond Pool Dike at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna, found by Chris and Karen Bennett. Also seen at the ag farm this week were 6 KILLDEER and a flock of 15 PALM WARBLERS on Sunday.

A CONNECTICUT WARBLER was found at Middle Run Natural Area near Newark on Thursday and a WILSON'S WARBLER was seen on Sunday. Lots of warblers have been reported at Middle Run including WORM-EATING, OVENBIRD, TENNESSEE, BLACK AND WHITE, REDSTART, MAGNOLIA, NORTHERN PARULA, YELLOW, CHESTNUT-SIDED, PALM, BLACKPOLL, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and GREEN. VEERY and SWAINSON'S THRUSH have been seen daily plus a GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH seen yesterday. The first WINTER WREN of the season was also seen yesterday. LEAST FLYCATCHER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, BLUE GROSBEAK, INDIGO BUNTING, and BOBOLINK were also reported.

A BROAD-WINGED HAWK was seen flying over Paper Mill Road. RED -SHOULDERED HAWK and BARRED OWL reported at Christine Manor in Newark. BROAD-WINGED HAWK and RED-SHOULDERED HAWK were reported off S. College Ave. near Iron Hill. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was reported in Glasgow.

COMMON RAVEN was reported at Ashland Nature Center on Sunday and Tuesday. A PHILADELPHIA VIREO was seen at the Hawkwatch. Also reported have been YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, and BOBOLINK. Warblers found included NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, AMERICAN REDSTART, MAGNOLIA and BLACK-THROATED BLUE. A BLUE-HEADED VIREO was reported at Coverdale farms near Ashland along with RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET. Warblers reported there included TENNESSEE, PARULA, MAGNOLIA, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and GREEN.

A BLACK SKIMMER was found on Saturday at the Port Penn Impoundments of Augustine Beach Wildlife Area along Route 9, north of Port Penn. Also seen were 14 CASPIAN TERNS and several FORSTER'S TERNS. People looking for the skimmer found WHITE-RUMPED and SPOTTED SANDPIPER plus LITTLE BLUE HERON and a flyby MERLIN. Four SANDHILL CRANES were seen at the Ashton Tract today. Three RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES were calling in the pines. Three PALM WARBLERS were seen on the wires along the entrance road, along with TENNESSEE and BLACK AND WHITE WARBLERS in the woods. There was a huge flock of 273 CASPIAN TERNS found on Pelican Island in Thousand Acre Marsh from Dutch Neck Road also seen was LITTLE BLUE HERON and GLOSSY IBIS. BLACK VULTURES have been seen sitting on the telephone poles along Dutch Neck Road and the C&D Canal. An immature BONAPARTE'S GULL and 4 CASPIAN TERNS was found in the parking lot at Augustine Beach, south of Port Penn. PECTORAL and LEAST SANDPIPERS were seen along the Augustine Creek Causeway, along with BOBOLINK in the reeds. A late flock of 37 CATTLE EGRETS were found along Bayview Road. LITTLE BLUE HERON was found at the Middletown High School Pond.

Four WILSON'S PHALAROPE made a one-day appearance on Sunday at Tony Florio's in Woodland Beach Wildlife Area. Other shorebirds seen included STILT, WHITE-RUMP, WESTERN, and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. Waterfowl on the ponds include GREEN-WINGED TEAL and GADWALL.

HUDSONIAN and 5 MARBLED GODWITS were seen at Raymond Pool in Bombay Hook. A high count of 500 AMERICAN AVOCETS with 300 BLACK-BELLIED and 150 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER was reported. And AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was reported flying over the entrance road. The grassy area at the southeast corner of Shearness Pool has been great for sandpipers including BAIRD'S, WHITE-RUMP, WESTERN, PECTORAL, STILT, SOLITARY, SPOTTED SANDPIPER and DUNLIN plus LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen on the mudflats opposite Shearness Pool. SAVANNAH SPARROWS have been reported along the Dike Road and SALTMARSH SPARROW was seen from the Boardwalk Trail. Waterfowl seen included PINTAIL, SHOVELER, BLUE-WINGED and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. LITTLE BLUE and GREEN HERON plus GLOSSY IBIS were reported with hundreds of GREAT and SNOWY EGRETS. BOBWHITE and WILD TURKEY were seen at the Allee House plus RING-NECKED PHEASANTS were reported by the headquarters. Raptors seen included PEREGRINE FALCON hunting over Raymond Pool plus OSPREY, NORTHERN HARRIER, and BALD EAGLE. Other land birds included MARSH WREN, YELLOW and PRAIRIE WARBLER, plus EASTERN MEADOWLARK. 16 PURPLE MARTINS were seen flying over the headquarters building on Sunday with hundreds of TREE SWALLOWS. Also picked out was ROUGH-WINGED, BANK and BARN SWALLOWS.

Another big flock of over one thousand SWALLOWS were reported at Port Mahon on Sunday along with 2 BARN SWALLOWS. Also seen there was PEREGRINE FALCON sitting on the dock. Shorebirds seen included 60 SANDERLING, LEAST and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. HARRIER and RED-SHOULDERED HAWK were reported at Pickering Beach along with SEASIDE SPARROW. The swallow flock there had a single PURPLE MARTIN.

GREAT HORNED and BARRED OWLS were reported calling at night in Cheswold. Some early arriving sparrows included WHITE-THROATED and a LINCOLN'S SPARROW in Dover by Silver Lake. Warblers reported included PALM, CAPE MAY, PARULA, and REDSTART. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was seen at College Woods on the Delaware State University campus.

A GREAT CORMORANT was seen at the ferry terminal in Lewes on Monday, along with BROWN PELICANS. The Monroe Avenue ponds in Lewes had 4 immature YELLOW-CROWNED plus 13 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS along with LITTLE BLUE HERON, SNOWY and GREAT EGRET. There were also 3 OSPREYS roosting in the trees. The point at Cape Henlopen continues to have COMMON LOON, PIPING PLOVER, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, SANDERLING, RUDDY TURNSTONE, and BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. A LEAST FLYCATCHER was seen on Wednesday along with several BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES. Gordon's Pond near Rehoboth Beach had a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON plus LITTLE BLUE, GREAT, and SNOW EGRET. A VIRGINIA RAIL was seen flying across the trail plus SALTMARSH SPARROW and MARSH WREN were reported in the reeds.

Five juvenile WHITE IBIS with GLOSSY IBIS were reported along Lighthouse Road at Fenwick Island plus 41 GREAT EGRETS and 42 SNOWY EGRETS. Three RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH were reported at Assawoman Wildlife Area. BROWN PELICAN was also reported at Indian River Inlet along with BLACK SCOTER. RUDDY TURNSTONE and SANDERLING were reported on the jetty. Six BROWN PELICANS were seen flying over Old Landing out onto Rehoboth Bay. Warblers seen at Old Landing included YELLOW-RUMP, MAGNOLIA, and PALM. TRICOLORED HERON was reported at Herring Creek on Angola Neck along with RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH. BALTIMORE ORIOLE was reported James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck near Ocean View.

PHILADELPHIA VIREO was also reported at the Nanticoke Wildlife Area on Sunday plus YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, SCARLET TANAGER, 3 SUMMER TANAGERS, 15 INDIGO BUNTINGS, and BOBOLINK. Warblers seen included BLACK-THROATED GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE, PARULA, and MAGNOLIA. A flock of 5 SUMMER TANAGERS plus SCARLET TANAGER were found in a yard at near Harbleson. YELLOW-THROATED VIREO was photographed there along with ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. Warblers seen there included CANADA, PRAIRIE, PINE, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and GREEN, PARULA, REDSTART, and BLACK AND WHITE. BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER was also reported at Abbott's Mill Nature Center near Milford.

An immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was also seen at Little Neck Nature Area near Milton. Another RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was seen at Cods Road near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. PHILADELPHIA VIREO was seen there on Saturday. Shorebirds reported at Prime Hook Beach Road included 100 AMERICAN AVOCETS, 75 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, 25 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, RUDDY TURNSTONE, 2 RED KNOT, 16 STILT SANDPIPERS, with DUNLIN, PECTORAL, LEAST, WHITE-RUMP, and WESTERN SANDPIPER. Two LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS were seen with the SHORT-BILLED'S. The tern flock included six CASPIAN TERNS and seven BLACK SKIMMERS. WHITE IBIS and TRICOLORED HERON were seen from the nature trail at Prime Hook. Six WILD TURKEY and LEAST FLYCATCHER were found at Turkle Pond Road.

TRICOLORED HERON was also seen with 31 GREAT EGRETS along at the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Inlet. CLAPPER RAIL, LITTLE BLUE HERON, BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON, and NORTHERN HARRIER were seen along Lighthouse Road. BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, ROYAL TERN, and PEREGRINE FALCON were seen at the nature center. PECTORAL SANDPIPERS continue be reported at the Gravel Hill ponds along Route 9 east of Georgetown. SOLITARY SANDPIPER was reported at the Sussex Charter School in Georgetown.

15 COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were seen flying over Hockessin yesterday evening. A NIGHTHAWK was also reported at Middle Run on Saturday. Four NIGHTHAWKS were seen flying over Ashland Nature Center on Tuesday. COMMON NIGHTHAWK was reported flying over the Starbucks in Dover on Wednesday afternoon. NIGHTHAWK was also reported at Cape Henlopen State Park.

A trickle of 31 BROAD-WINGS HAWKS were reported at Ashland Nature Center Hawkwatch this week; only 115 were seen this season. Wednesday had a nice flight of 31 AMERICAN KESTREL, plus 25 SHARP-SHINNED and 6 COOPER'S HAWKS. Also reported have been PALM WARBLERS. A rare bird at the Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch was a BROAD-WINGED HAWK on Thursday. The last three days have had a nice flight of Falcons with 45 AMERICAN KESTREL, 59 MERLIN, and 26 PEREGRINES, along with over 300 OSPREY. AMERICAN AVOCET was seen from the Hawkwatch flying down the beach on Tuesday. Also reported have been AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, BLACK-BELLIED, PLOVER, and SANDERLING. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS have been seen sitting on the beach. BROWN-HEADED and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES have been reported in the pines by the parking lot almost daily.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week, including, Patrick Carney, Colin Campbell, Michael O'Brien, Chris Rowe, Peter Gibb, Carlton Groff, Mike Gardner, Jerry Teig, Desiree Narango, Rob Blye, Bob Edelen, Rob Klarquist, Judy Montgomery, Amy O'Neil, Lisa Smith, Andrew Bogush, Maureen Markow, Alissa Kegelman, Joe Swertinski, John Long, Steve Cottrell, Ian Stewart, Kim Steininger, Steve Graff, Nancy Cunningham, Phil Thompson, Keith Leonard, Tim Freiday, Derek Stoner, Joe Sebastiani, Kelley Nunn, Ken Cooper, Peter Paul, Jerald and Aaron Reb, Ken Wat, Teddy Burke, Lynn Smith, Sharon Lynn, Sue Gruver, and Dave Fees. Special thanks to our two hawk counters, Hannah Greenberg and Jen Ottinger. 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.