Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - October 24, 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, October 24th, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. This unofficial Delaware annual list annual list increased to 322 species.

New this week was a WESTERN KINGBIRD found at Burton's Island behind the North Marina at Indian River Inlet on Tuesday. Unfortunately, that bird has not been reported since, possibly another one-day-wonder. Also reported at Burton's has been GREEN and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON plus NELSON'S and SALTMARSH SPARROW along the marsh edge.

Nearby Indian River Inlet had a seawatch this weekend that had a couple of PARASITIC JAEGERS flying offshore. Also seen was BRANT plus NORTHERN PINTAIL, SURF and BLACK SCOTER, and COMMON LOON flying by. 12 BONAPARTE'S GULLS were found in the inlet. Terns seen included CASPIAN, ROYAL, and COMMON TERN. RUDDY TURNSTONE, SANDERLING, and LEAST SANDPIPER were found on the jetty. The copes of trees at the South Inlet Parking Lot had RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, and HOUSE WREN.

An AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN was found last week along the Dike Trail at the headquarters of Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Milton on Saturday. That bird was seen later in the week flying over and roosting at Fowler's Beach. SNOW GEESE were also seen at Fowler's Beach, a single ROSS'S GOOSE was found along the Prime Hook Beach Road. Late lingering BLACK SKIMMERS were seen at Fowler's Beach along with COMMON, CASPIAN, and ROYAL TERNS. Shorebirds seen at Fowlerís included BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, both YELLOWLEGS, and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. An AMERICAN BITTERN was seen flying along the dunes. Sparrows continue to be the highlight at Fowler's Beach with several NELSON'S plus SALTMARSH and SEASIDE SPARROW were also reported was WHITE-CROWNED and a VESPER SPARROW at the 90º turn. 20 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS were seen in the fields in front of Prime Hook headquarters. A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was found at Broadkill Beach. Also reported was CATTLE EGRET along Bakersfield Rd., AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER and 65 ROYAL TERNS were found at Mispillion Inlet.

ORANGE-CROWN WARBLERS were seen at opposite ends of the state. One was found at Prime Hook along the Boardwalk Trail while another was found in a yard off Center Mill Road in Yorklyn. Also reported in Yorklyn was a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW.

Winter finches are arriving in mass. Delaware is going into a purple haze, with PURPLE FINCHES seen throughout the state. This past week, finches were reported in Yorklyn, Port Penn, Georgetown, Laurel, Dover, Prime Hook, White Clay Creek State Park, Middle Run Natural Area, and Brandywine Creek State Park. Also reported has been PINE SISKINS flying over Chapel Street in Newark. Another bird was photographed in a yard at Port Penn. A flight of 25 SISKINS were reported at the Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch.

A CACKLING GOOSE was reported flying over Newark Reservoir. Late warblers around the reservoir included a BLACK-THROATED GREEN and PALM WARBLER. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS are being seen there. A BELTED KINGFISHER was seen along the White Clay Creek. Late land birds at White Clay Creek State Park included SWAINSON'S THRUSH, NORTHERN PARULA, and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER. Also reported was YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW.

Another ROSS'S GOOSE was reported at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. Thousands of SNOW GEESE are beginning to arrive there. Waterfowl reported there included PIED-BILLED GREBE, HOODED MERGANSER, 3 BUFFLEHEAD, and 70 RUDDY DUCK. A high count of 27 MARBLED GODWITS was reported on the salt flats opposite Shearness Pool along with 350 AMERICAN AVOCETS. Other shorebirds seen included BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, plus STILT, WHITE-RUMPED, and PECTORAL SANDPIPER. BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON was seen at Bear Swamp. SEASIDE SPARROW and MARSH WREN were found along the Boardwalk Trail. WILD TURKEY was seen at Finis Pool and NORTHERN BOBWHITE was found at the Allee House. Also seen was GRAY-CHEEKED and HERMIT THRUSH, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, and PALM WARBLER. A pair of RING-NECKED DUCKS were found in the retention pond at the South on-ramp of Route 1 in Smyrna.

Another RING-NECKED DUCK was found at the Wolfe's Neck Sewage Treatment Plant near Midway between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. Eight RUDDY DUCKS were also seen there along with NORTHERN SHOVELER and GADWALL.

A late BLUE HEADED VIREO along with SWAINSON'S and HERMIT THRUSH seen along the Walking Dunes at Cape Henlopen State Park. BROWN PELICAN, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, and 6 COMMON TERNS were seen at The Point. BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH, HOUSE WREN, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET and CHIPPING SPARROWS were also found in the pines by The Point. Three LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were found at Gordon's Pond along with BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. Landbirds seen included WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, PALM WARBLER, and both species of KINGLET. Birders on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry are reporting BLACK and SURF SCOTERS offshore, plus NORTHERN GANNETS, ROYAL TERNS and RED-THROATED LOONS.

A VESPER SPARROW was found at Granogue along the Brandywine Creek on Wednesday. WINTER WREN and RUBY CROWNED KINGLET were found at Flint Woods along with a flyover BALD EAGLE. AMERICAN WOODCOCK was flushed in the marsh at Ashland Nature Center. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were also found along with LINCOLNíS SPARROW at Ashland.

LINCOLNíS SPARROW was also found that Reedy Point Bridge along with SWAINSON'S THRUSH and EASTERN PHOEBE. A MERLIN was seen hunting there. BALD EAGLE and TREE SWALLOWS are still being seen at the ABA headquarters in Delaware City. A PEREGRINE FALCON was seen in downtown Wilmington from the 18th floor of an office building along Delaware Ave.

An immature GOLDEN EAGLE was reported yesterday afternoon at Ashland Nature Ctr., Hawkwatch. A big flight of raptors on Monday included 12 species with a late BROAD-WINGED HAWK plus PEREGRINE FALCON, along with 36 RED-TAILS and 10 RED SHOULDERED HAWKS. 12 PALM WARBLERS were seen at the Hawkwatch on Tuesday, PURPLE FINCHES are being seen there almost daily.

A big flight of raptors were seen at Cape Henlopen Hawkwatch on the weekend. A flight of Falcons on Sunday included 85 AMERICAN KESTRELS, 16 MERLIN, and 4 PEREGRINE. Waterfowl moving offshore included BRANT, SNOW GEESE, BLACK and SURF SCOTERS, plus RED-THROATED and COMMON LOON. Also seen were CACKLING GOOSE, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, and WOOD DUCK. RED-BREASTED and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES continue to be found in the pines by the Hawkwatch.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Bill Stewart, Joel Martin, Anthony Gonzon, Chris Bennett, Colin Campbell, Amy White, Sally OíByrne, Kim Steininger, Chris Rowe, Joe Sebastiani, Derek Stoner, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, Tim Schrenkengost, Alex Lamoreaux, Tom Laeser, Andy Urquhart, Marie Gardner, Ed Huestis, Ed Crawford, Jerry AmEnde, Maurice Barnhill, and Joe Russell. Special thanks to our two hawk counters this season Jennifer Ottinger and Will Almeida. 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.