Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - March 20, 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 the first day of Spring, Friday March 20th, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. Flocks of SNOW GEESE were seen flying north this week as the waterfowl migration is in full force. The unofficial Delaware annual list annual list increased to 189 species this week.

Two EUROPEAN WIGEONS were reported this week. A drake was seen at the central tower at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area on Sunday. GREAT EGRET and 17 BONAPARTE'S GULLS were also reported at Little Creek with large numbers of puddle duck including 200 AMERICAN WIGEON, 300 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 40 NORTHERN PINTAIL, and lots of GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Also reported were two RING-NECKED DUCK and 50 HOODED MERGANSER.

Another drake EURASIAN WIGEON was seen at the Broadkill Marsh in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Milton. Also at Broadkill Marsh yesterday were 5-6 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS plus DUNLIN and GREATER YELLOWLEGS with SHOVELER, PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. The first PIPING PLOVER of the season was reported at Fowler's Beach. 60 AMERICAN AVOCETS and 16 FORSTER'S TERN were at Prime Hook Beach Road. A LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL was also found on the beach. A pair of BLUE-WINGED TEALS were at Fowler's Beach along with three AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS and 2 immature WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS along the roadside. A SNOWY EGRET was seen from the headquarters at Prime Hook, WILD TURKEY was seen in the fields nearby. Two more AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were seen at the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Inlet.

Some lingering winter finches are still showing up at feeders throughout the state as they start traveling north again. A COMMON REDPOLL was seen all day yesterday at a thistle feeder near Port Penn at Acorn Lane off Pole Tavern Rd. A female PURPLE FINCH, FOX SPARROW and PINE WARBLER were seen at this same feeder. Another pair of REDPOLLS showed up earlier this week on Sunday at a feeder in Camden-Wyoming, south of Dover. PINE SISKINS are still lingering at a feeder in Canterbury Hills near Hockessin. The flock of 8 birds is now down to only 3 remaining. PINE SISKIN was seen at a feeder in Brandywine Hundred off Grubb Road. Another pair of PINE SISKINS was reported as flyovers at a yard in Newark from Jounce Lane off Paper Mill Road. Downstate, PINE SISKINS were coming to a feeder at Quillen's Point near Ocean View. A pair of PURPLE FINCHES were seen at a feeder in Georgetown. Those birds were accompanied by 3 PINE WARBLERS.

Another PINE WARBLER was found at Turkle Pond in Prime Hook. A PINE WARBLER was found by Little Neck Wildlife Area off the Prime Hook Beach Road and at Old Landing near Rehoboth Beach. Five PINE WARBLERS were found at Cape Henlopen State Park on Sunday. 12 PINE WARBLERS were found in the pine woods near Georgetown. EASTERN PHOEBES were reported at Ashland Nature Center near Hockessin, Winterthur Museum, at Prime Hook along Cods Road, and Cape Henlopen State Park. TREE SWALLOWS are now being reported throughout the region. Birds were seen at Cape Henlopen State Park, Indian River Inlet, Prime Hook, Bombay Hook, and Thousand Acre Marsh.

Back Downstate, the previous reported HARLEQUIN DUCK is no longer being seen at Indian River Inlet. Numbers of ducks there have greatly decreased. Seen there were BLACK and SURF SCOTER, 2 LONG-TAILED DUCK, COMMON GOLDENEYE, RED-BREASTED and HOODED MERGANSER, RED-THROATED and COMMON LOON, and GREAT CORMORANT. A MERLIN was also seen flying past yesterday. Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach had a peak count of 340 CANVASBACK.

Two PIPING PLOVERS were also reported at the Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, along with LAUGHING GULL. A single RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH with 5 BROWN HEADED NUTHATCHES was also reported in the park. BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH was also seen coming to a feeder at Herring Creek on Angola Neck. EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE was again reported this week down in Selbyville. Assawoman Wildlife Area had a big raft of GADWALL and a few AMERICAN WIGEON, but no exotic WIGEON. A few RING-NECKED DUCKS were also present, along with PILEATED WOODPECKER and BROWN CREEPER. A big flock of 30 WOOD DUCKS and 5 HOODED MERGANSERS were seen on a pond near Harbeson.

A ROUGH LEGGED HAWK was reported yesterday at the Pioneer Ponds, formerly Tilcon gravel pits, south of Dover on Route 1. Two REDHEADS were seen at Mirror Lake in Dover on Loockerman Street, just north of the state capital.

A big flock of 200 TUNDRA SWANS continues to hang out at the intersection of Raymond Neck Road and Route 9. SHORT-EARED OWL was reported at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Shearness Pool at Bombay Hook has been very active for waterfowl including GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, RING-NECKED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON MERGANSER, and PIED-BILLED GREBE. There was also a flyover COMMON GOLDENEYE. Lots of AMERICAN COOTS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and BALD EAGLES were also seen. PEREGRINE FALCON was also seen hunting over the marsh.

Newark Reservoir had 4 HORNED GREBES and 4 CANVASBACK this week. A peak count of 65 COMMON MERGANSERS was also reported. PILEATED WOODPECKER and RED-SHOULDERED HAWK were also found at the reservoir. WOOD DUCK and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER were seen along Creek Road in White Clay Creek State Park.

Hoope's Reservoir in Greenville is still mostly frozen. Highlights there included GREEN-WINGED TEAL, RING-NECKED DUCK, HOODED MERGANSER, and over 50 COMMON MERGANSER. Ashland Nature Center had WOOD DUCK and COMMON MERGANSER along Red Clay Creek, plus BELTED KINGFISHER. An AMERICAN KESTREL was reported by the fire pit. GRAY CATBIRD, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, and PILEATED WOODPECKER were also found.

The RUSTY BLACKBIRD blitz found birds at Little Neck Wildlife Area at Prime Hook. 13 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were seen at Banning Park by the pond on the west side, along with RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET and WOOD DUCK. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were also found at Lums Pond State Park along with PINE WARBLER.

Ponds near Bear along Route 40 had some interesting birdlife. COMMON and HOODED MERGANSER plus 3 RING-NECKED DUCKS were on the retention pond at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. A WINTER WREN was also there. The spillway at Smalley's Pond had WOODY, RING-NECKED DUCK and COMMON MERGANSER. The Walmart retention pond at Wilton had 16 RING-NECKED DUCKS.

A flock of 7 AMERICAN AVOCETS were seen flying-by along the bayshore today at the Port Penn impoundments of Augustine Beach Wildlife Area. BONAPARTE'S GULLS, GREAT EGRET plus GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS were also reported at the Port Penn impoundments along with hundreds of GREEN-WINGED TEAL. A HORNED GREBE was found in the Delaware City waterfront by ABA headquarters. RING-NECKED DUCK and HOODED MERGANSER were found at Dragon Run in Delaware City. WOOD DUCK and HOODED MERGANSER were found at Grier's Pond at Thousand Acre Marsh. Also reported at Thousand Acre Marsh were OSPREY, 5 BALD EAGLES, PIED-BILLED GREBE, RING-NECKED DUCK, LESSER SCAUP, and lots of puddle ducks. A single MARSH WREN continues to be seen there. RING-NECKED PHEASANT were found on Dutch Neck Road.

An immature ICELAND GULL was photographed at the Port of Wilmington; unfortunately this area is closed to the public. GREAT CORMORANTS continue to be seen from Fox Point State Park. The Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge in downtown Wilmington had WILSON'S SNIPE and KILLDEER. COMMON MERGANSERS and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT were found on the Christiana River. The PEREGRINE FALCONS in downtown Wilmington are now incubating five eggs.

Thanks to everybody that contributed this week including, Andrew Bogush, Chandler Wiegand, Kevin Bronson, Bob Rufe, Barry Blust, Gary and Judy Charles, Phil Thompson, Bob Edelen, George Armstead, Brian McCaffrey, Sally O'Byrne, Bruce Beshler, Art Drangis, Nancy Cunningham, David Fees, Joe Sebastiani, Damon Orsetti, Zoe Yost, Rich Clifton, Chris and Erin Rowe, Ken Wat, Lynn Smith, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, Bill Stewart, Ian Stewart, Alan Kneidel, Sam Roberts, Chuck Fullmer, Jackie Whiting, Tim Schreckengost, 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 posted on the Delaware Audubon web site as a public service. It is neither created nor sponsored by the Delaware Audubon Society.