Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - April 22, 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 Earth Day, Friday, April 22nd, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The unofficial Delaware year list increased by 20 species and jumped up to 242 species this week. A big wave of migrants arrived including RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, CHIMNEY SWIFT, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, WOOD THRUSH, NORTHERN PARULA, WORM-EATING, PROTHONOTARY, and YELLOW WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, and ORCHARD ORIOLE.

The highlight of the week was a chestnut and white RUFF at Raymond Pool in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna on Wednesday. That bird was molting into breeding plumage and seen again today. A MARBLED GODWIT was also seen at Raymond Pool on Sunday. The refuge has been a haven for shorebirds this week including 200 AMERICAN AVOCETS, 4 BLACK NECKED STILTS, BLACKBELLIED PLOVER, 4 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, the first SEMIPALMATED PLOVER of the season, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, plus LEAST, SEMIPALMATED, and PECTORAL SANDPIPER, 24 WILSON'S SNIPE were seen at Bear Swamp plus an AMERICAN WOODCOCK. The refuge also has leftover waterfowl including snoW GOOSE, MUTE SWAN, GADWALL, AMERICAN WIDGEON, 2 NORTHERN PINTAIL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, BUFFLEHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, RUDDY DUCK, plus HOODED, COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. 52 BROWN BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERONS were seen at Night Heron Island. 40 AMERICAN COOT continue to be seen at Sheerness Pool. Landbirds included AMERICAN PIPIT, WHITE-EYED VIREO, OVENBIRD, PALM WARBLER, and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. SEASIDE SPARROW was seen from the Boardwalk Trail. BARRED OWL was still being found at Finis Woods.

The first SOLITARY SANDPIPER of the season was seen at the DNREC Aquatic Center along Route 9 at Woodland Beach Wildlife Area. A high count of 27 GLOSSY IBIS and 7 SNOWY EGRETS were seen at Taylor's Gut along with 58 GREATER YELLOWLEGS. Three CLIFF SWALLOWS were seen at the Lighthouse Tract at Woodland Beach but none were found at Fleming's Landing.

There were 8 CLIFF SWALLOWS seen under the north bridge of the Appoquinmink Creek along Route 9 near Odessa. The first SPOTTED SANDPIPER of the season was seen at the Ashton Tract of Augustine Beach Wildlife Area at Thousand Acre Marsh. PECTORAL SANDPIPER, DUNLIN and GREATER YELLOWLEGS were seen from behind the house. A flyover COMMON LOON was seen yesterday. BLUE-WINGED TEAL and VIRGINIA RAIL were reported. A peak count of 17 BALD EAGLES were found on a sandbar in the marsh. Landbirds seen included RUSTY BLACKBIRD, RUBY-CROWNED and GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLET, HOUSE WREN, CATBIRD, BROWN THRASHER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, PRAIRIE and PALM WARBLER.

The first COMMON GALLINULE the season was found at PORT PENN IMPOUNDMENTS at Augustine Beach, along with TRICOLORED HERON. RUDDY DUCK and CASPIAN TERN were found from the causeway. CHIMNEY SWIFTS have been seen flying over Downtown Port Penn. Four more CASPIAN TERNS were seen at Augustine Beach. WILD TURKEY, RING-NECKED PHEASANT, and CATTLE EGRET were seen along Dutch Neck Road. GREEN HERON and WILSON'S SNIPE were seen at Grier's Pond.

Three SANDHILL CRANES were seen flying over Dragon Run at Delaware City. LITTLE BLUE HERON, CATTLE EGRET, AMERICAN COOT, plus GADWALL, BLUE WINGED TEAL, and a BARRED OWL were seen kayaking the marsh. MUTE SWAN was also seen at Canal Pond plus 9 PIED-BILLED GREBES and 132 COOTS. The Heron watch at Delaware City sponsored by the American Birding Association reported 95 GREAT EGRETS, 5 SNOWY EGRETS, 31 LITTLE BLUE HERONS, and 70 CATTLE EGRETS plus 55 GLOSSY IBIS. Also seen were 29 BONAPARTE'S GULLS, 5 BALD EAGLES and GADWALL.

A STILT SANDPIPER still in winter plumage was seen at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Milton with GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. That bird was seen in the marsh along Cods Road. AMERICAN AVOCET, BLACK-NECKED STILT, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER were reported at the Prime Hook Beach Road. GLOSSY IBIS, TRICOLORED, and GREEN HERON were reported at the refuge. Late waterfowl included GADWALL, RED-BREASTED, and HOODED MERGANSER. BROAD-WINGED HAWK and AMERICAN KESTREL were found at Little Neck Road. The first EASTERN KINGBIRD was reported today along with, YELLOW, WORM-EATING and PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS earlier this week with PRAIRIE, PALM, and BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER. A BLUE-HEADED VIREO was seen there on Tuesday and WHITE-EYED VIREO was seen there on Wednesday. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was seen at Turkle's Pond on Monday along with WHITE-EYED VIREO, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, and PRAIRIE WARBLER. The pinelands trail had OVENBIRD, YELLOW-THROATED, BLACK AND WHITE, PINE and PALM WARBLER. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were still being seen at Little Neck. SEASIDE SPARROW, CLAPPER RAIL, and WILLET were seen at Oyster Rock Road.

Six PIPING PLOVER and 4 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were seen at Cape Henlopen State Park along with WILLET, SANDERLING, and a WILSON'S SNIPE. SURF and BLACK SCOTER, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, plus RED-THROATED and COMMON LOON were all still seen at the Park. BONAPARTE'S GULL and lots of NORTHERN GANNETS were seen offshore. Landbirds seen included BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH, CEDAR WAXWING, PALM, YELLOW-THROATED, and PRAIRIE WARBLER plus SAVANNAH SPARROW. A HORNED GREBE was found Along Pilotown Rd., north of Lewes at Roosevelt inlet.

A late LONG-TAILED DUCK and 2 BRANT were seen at Burton's Island at the North Marina in Indian River Inlet. Also reported was BUFFLEHEAD and VIRGINIA RAIL. Four LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS plus RUDDY TURNSTONES were found at Indian River Inlet along with NORTHERN GANNET and RED-THROATED LOON. Two AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were seen at Massey's Landing at the end of Long Neck along with RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. A raft of 45 BRANT were found at James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck along with BUFFLEHEAD. The first AMERICAN REDSTART of the season was found at James Farm on Tuesday plus PALM WARBLER.

Big waves PALM WARBLERS were found throughout southern Delaware this week. Eight PALM WARBLERS were seen at the Ponders Tract along with HERMIT THRUSH. The first YELLOW-THROATED VIREO of the season was heard at the Headquarters Tract of Redden State Forest along with RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, OVENBIRD, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER and PINE SISKIN. PINE SISKINS and a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER were found at Old Landing near Rehoboth Beach. The first RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD of the season was found coming to feeders near Lewes.

A big flight of 76 NORTHERN GANNETS were also found at Pickering Beach near Dover along the Delaware Bayshore. Some late waterfowl at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area at Pickering Beach included NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREEN WINGED TEAL, 44 RUDDY DUCK, 9 BUFFLEHEAD, PIED-BILLED, HORNED GREBE, and AMERICAN COOT, along with MARSH WREN and SAVANNAH SPARROW. Seven BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES were found at Big Stone Beach in Milford Neck Wildlife Area along with MARSH WREN and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER. Some early migrants in downtown Dover at Woodcrest included BLUE-HEADED VIREO, BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, HOUSE WREN, and CHIMNEY SWIFT.

BLUE-HEADED VIREO and NORTHERN PARULA were also new migrants at White Clay Creek State Park near Newark, along with LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, PALM, PINE, PRAIRIE, and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. Also reported were a PIED-BILLED GREBE on the Creek, plus BROAD-WINGED HAWK and BARRED OWL. BLUE-HEADED VIREO plus WOOD and HERMIT THRUSH were reported at Middle Run Natural Area near Newark, along with the first BLUE-WINGED WARBLER of the season. LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, PALM WARBLER, and CHIMNEY SWIFT were also seen there.

RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was reported again at Winterthur Museum by the visitor center on Saturday. The first GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER the season along with PALM WARBLER and LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH were found at First State National Historical Park-Woodlawn Tract along the Brandywine Creek. Four LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH were found along the Brandywine on Saturday at Brandywine Creek State Park. Eastern Meadowlark continues be found in the meadows by the nature center.

A COMMON RAVEN was found being harassed by crows flying over Brandywine Hundred off Grubb Road. This is not far, as the crow flies from where this species was seen at Alapocos Run State Park in Wilmington. Some species leaving our area include late DARK-EYED JUNCOS seen at Cape Henlopen State Park, a feeder in BEAR, and at the Rockland Mills parking lot in Brandywine Creek State Park. PINE SISKINS and PURPLE FINCH continue be coming to the White's feeder in Yorklyn off Center Mill Road. Another male PURPLE FINCH was reported at a feeder in Brookside near Newark.

A late RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was found at Ashland Nature Center. Several flights of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT totaling 63 birds were seen flying over the Ashland heading north. Also reported was CHIMNEY SWIFT and ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW. The first HUMMINGBIRD of the season arrived there this week. RUBY CROWNED KINGLET, PALM WARBLER, and SAVANNAH SPARROW were also found. A MERLIN was seen at Auburn Heights in Yorklyn. A NORTHERN HARRIER was seen at Coverdale Farms.

ORCHARD ORIOLE was reported this week along the C&D canal. A BARRED OWL was photographed at Lum's Pond State Park near Glasgow.

The PEREGRINE FALCONS in downtown Wilmington hatched 4 young this week. Their nest box is on the Brandywine building along Pennsylvania Ave.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week, including, Walter Gura, Phil Thompson, Andy Urquhard, Bert Filemyr, Howard Eskin, Temujin Subodai, Andy McGann, Michael Adams, Sandra Keller, Marilyn Henry, Nancy Goggin, Ken Cooper, Bob Edelen, Heidi Krofft, Mark Nale, Dick Plambeck, Robert Menck, Colin Flutarty, Colin Campbell, Bill Hicks, Joel Martin, Sean McCandless, George Armistead, Ian Stewart, Rich Clifton, Joe Swertinski, Hannah Greenberg Kelly Nunn, Dave Fees, Gerry Teig, Bill Stewart, Kim Steininger, Jim and Amy White, John Long, Jerald and Aaron Reb, Ken Wat, Amy O'Neil, Derek Stoner, Chris Rowe, Lynn Smith, Sharon Lynn, Sue Gruver, Alissa Kegelman, Tim Freiday, Teddy Burke, 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.