Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - May 15, 2015

To Report: Andy Ednie 302-792-9591 (VOICE)
Compiler/Transcriber: Andy Ednie (
Coverage: Delaware, Delmarva Peninsula, nearby Delaware Valley, Southern New Jersey, Maryland

This is Birdline Delaware, for Friday, May 15th from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. This week, warblers have arrived! A whopping 33 species of warbler were reported, plus thrushes and all the eastern Empidonax flycatchers. The unofficial Delaware annual list jumped to 293 species this week.

There were two reports of BLACK RAIL this week in Delaware. One bird was heard briefly calling at the marsh along the Big Stone Beach Road. Another BLACK RAIL was heard calling at the Boardwalk Trail in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Both of these reports were thought to be birds in migration and did not behave like they were on territory. More rails included VIRGINIA RAILS at Broadkill Beach at the Island Farm intersection, Pickering Beach Road, and Port Mahon. SORA was heard at its traditional site at Grier's Pond along Dutch Neck Rd. KING RAIL was heard at the south side of the Reedy Point Bridge. COMMON GALLINULE was also reported at Grier's Pond, along with LEAST BITTERN. A SANDHILL CRANE, also a member of the rail family, was reported at the Yardley Tract of Augustine Beach Wildlife Area. This bird was heard calling at the intersection of Route 9 and Thorntown Road.

Three BLACK TERNS were reported at Taylor's Gut at Woodland Beach Wildlife Area. A pair of RUDDY DUCKS were seen there on Monday. BALD EAGLES and OSPREYS were also seen, along with SNOWY and COMMON EGRETS, plus both YELLOWLEGS, and DOWITCHERS.

A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was heard at Thompson Station Road in White Clay Creek State Park. Thrushes seen along Thompson Station Road included VEERY, SWAINSON'S and GRAY-CHECKED. Warblers are back! A big wave was seen yesterday at White Clay Creek. Those birds included BLUE-WINGED, CHESTNUT-SIDED, MAGNOLIA, CAPE MAY, BLACKBURNIAN, BAY-BREASTED, BLACKPOLL, CANADA AND WILSON'S, plus NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH. Several KENTUCKY WARBLERS were reported, plus a HOODED WARBLER on the hillside south of Hopkins Bridge. An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was seen on Sunday along White Clay Creek, just south of the Wedgewood Road intersection. OLIVE-SIDED was also reported at Middle Run and Ashland Nature Center yesterday.

Five species of Empidonax flycatchers were reported in the state last week. LEAST FLYCATCHER was reported at Smith Mill Road in White Clay Creek State Park and at the Gold Park in Rehoboth Beach. WILLOW FLYCATCHERS were seen at Bombay Hook, Thousand Acre Marsh near Delaware City, Middle Run, Hopkins Bridge in White Clay Creek State Park, Ashland Nature Center, and Coverdale Farm. A YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER was reported and photographed at Big Stone Beach Road, and an ALDER FLYCATCHER was heard at Lums Pond State Park by the spillway on Saturday. ALDER FLYCATCHER was also reported yesterday in the marsh along the Red Clay Creek at Ashland Nature Center.

This first COMMON NIGHTHAWK of the season was reported at Cape Henlopen State Park on Monday. NIGHTHAWKS were also reported at Big Stone Beach (known as goatsucker Heaven!), Delaware City, and Bellevue State Park yesterday. WHIPPOORWILL was reported from Oyster Rocks Road in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, and at Big Stone Beach Road. CHUCK-WILL-WIDOW was also reported at Bid Stone Beach and at Fresh Pond in Delaware Seashore State Park. Additionally, a SEDGE WREN was singing at night by the wooden bridge on Big Stone Beach Road.

An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER in full breeding plumage was seen last weekend at Bear Swamp in Bombay Hook. STILT SANDPIPERS were reported at the north end of Shearness Pool. 20-30 BLACK-NECKED STILTS were also seen at the refuge. Right now, Bombay Hook is teeming with shorebirds, include rare sightings of RED KNOT, RUDDY TURNSTONE, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, plus lots of BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, SEMIPALMATED, and LEAST SANDPIPER, DUNLIN and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER. A dozen BLACK SKIMMERS were seen on Tuesday, plus BONAPARTE'S GULL. Waterfowl seen included both TUNDRA and MUTE SWAN. A clean sweep of the gallinaceous birds, RING-NECKED PHEASANT, WILD TURKEY and NORTHERN BOBWHITE were reported at the refuge. YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was calling along the Boardwalk Trail.

A big warbler fallout was seen at Bombay Hook on Wednesday along Raymond Neck Road at Finis Pool. WARBLERS seen included a "killer look" at BLACKBURNIAN, plus BLACK AND WHITE, BLACKPOLL, MAGNOLIA, CHESTNUT-SIDED, WILSON'S, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and 30-40 AMERICAN REDSTART. BLACK-THROATED BLUE and GREEN and HOODED were seen elsewhere in the refuge. Also seen was PROTHONOTARY WARBLER at the end of the Finis Pool Road.

Late waterfowl at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area included NORTHERN PINTAIL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, HOODED MERGANSER and AMERICAN COOT. The first WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER of the season was reported at Little Creek yesterday. MERLIN and PEREGRINE FALCON were also seen there. YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was found at the powerline cut on the Pickering Beach Road. Both AMERICAN and LEAST BITTERN were heard calling at night along the Port Mahon Road. Other late waterfowl included an AMERICAN WIGEON at the north pond in the Logan Tract of the Ted Harvey Conservation Area. COMMON LOON was seen at the Pioneer Gravel Pits, along with LESSER BLACK-BACKED and BONAPARTE'S GULLS.

BANK SWALLOWS were also reported at the Pioneer Gravel pits, nesting in the bank by the intersection of Route 9 and Route 113 south of Dover. BANK SWALLOW was also reported around Delaware City, at Thousand Acre Marsh and along the C&D Canal, plus at Henlopen Acres along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. CLIFF SWALLOWS were reported at the Appoquinimink Bridge near Odessa of Route 9 and at the Flemings Landing Bridge.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was reported at Milford Neck Wildlife Area along the Big Stone Beach Road. The bird was seen in the dead snags by the end of the marsh. BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES were also seen. WHITE-RUMPED and STILT SANDPIPER were also reported at Big Stone Beach, plus BLACK-NECKED STILT and SOLITARY SANDPIPER. Warblers seen included CHESTNUT-SIDED, MAGNOLIA, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, CANADA and YELLOW-THROATED.

A DICKCISSEL was reported in Sussex Co, west of Ellendale on Slaytonville Road. VESPER SPARROW was found on Ponders Road, northeast of Ellendale. AMERICAN KESTREL and RED-HEADED WOODPECKER were found on W. Robbins Road in Redden State Forest. Redden had several SUMMER TANAGERS and WORM-EATING WARBLERS reported. LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, YELLOW-THROATED and PROTHONOTARY WARBLER were found at the Redden Rest Stop.

Several RED KNOTS were among the shorebirds at Mispillion Inlet from the DuPont Nature Center. AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, SANDERLING, and lots of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER and DUNLIN were also present. A PEREGRINE FALCON is being seen intermittently, as it hunts the shorebirds.

BLACK SKIMMERS were also seen at Prime Hook Beach Road, along with LEAST TERN. LITTLE BLUE HERON was seen at Fowler's Beach, along with SALTMARSH and SEASIDE SPARROW. TRICOLORED HERON was seen at Broadkill Beach marsh. PROTHONOTARY WARBLER and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH were found along the boardwalk trail by the headquarters. VESPER and GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS were seen in the fields around the refuge.

LEAST and COMMON TERNS were seen at Indian River Inlet this week. The first BROWN PELICANS of the season were seen at Dewey Beach on Saturday. RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and BRANT were seen at Savage's Ditch in Delaware Seashore State Park. A dozen TRICOLORED HERONS were seen at Delaware Seashore on Saturday.

PIPING PLOVER and AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER were seen at the Point at Cape Henlopen State Park. RUDDY TURNSTONE and BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS were also seen BRANT were seen along the inner harbor breakwater. BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH was found at the parking lot to the hawk watch. COMMON TERN and RED-THROATED LOON were seen at Herring Point. A WILD TURKEY was seen on the ball field across from the nature center.

BOBOLINKS were reported in several locations this week. BOBOLINK, plus EASTERN MEADOWLARK, GRASSHOPPER and SAVANNAH SPARROW were found at the Charles E. Price Park in Middletown. BOBOLINK was also reported at Middle Run, Ashland Nature Center, Hockessin, and at Ramsey Road at Woodlawn Trustees property.

COMMON GALLINULE and PIED-BILLED GREBE was found at the Summit Bridge Ponds at the C&D Canal Area. PIED-BILLED GREBE, MUTE SWAN, LITTLE BLUE HERON and CATTLE EGRETS were seen at the Canal Pond next to Dragon Run in Delaware City.

The PEREGRINE FALCONS continue to grow in downtown Wilmington. A LESSER SCAUP was at the Viola Water Treatment Plant off hay Road. A PURPLE FINCH was seen at a feeder on Franklin Street. WARBLING VIREO, CEDAR WAXWING and BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER were seen at Brandywine Park. A LEAST BITTERN was seen at the Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge, a new species for that location.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Rod Murray, Mike Moore, Derek Stoner, Anthony Gonzon, Kitt Heckscher, Amy O'Neil, Damon Orsetti, Judy Montgomery, Karen and Chris Bennett, Kevin Bronson, Rachael Shapiro, Hannah Greenberg, Phil Thompson, Sally O'Byrne, David Fees, Joe Sebastiani, Rich Clifton, Chris and Erin Rowe, Lynn Smith, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, Bill Stewart, Ian Stewart, Alan Kneidel, Tim Freiday, Tim Schreckengost, Matt Boone, Chandler Wiegand, Maurice Barnhill, Andrew Bogush, Jim Lenhard, Al Strong, Bernie Foy, Eric Molho, 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 posted on the Delaware Audubon web site as a public service. It is neither created nor sponsored by the Delaware Audubon Society.