RBA: Birdline Delaware, November 2nd, 2012

Here is the weekly RBA compiled by Andy Ednie that includes photos of birds mentioned. Thanks for all of the photo contributions!

* Delaware
* Statewide
* November 2, 2012
* DEST1211.02

Hotline: Birdline Delaware
Date: November 2, 2012
Number: 302-658-2747
To Report: Andy Ednie 302-792-9591 (VOICE)
Compiler: Andy Ednie (ednieap@verizon.net)
Coverage: Delaware, Delmarva Peninsula, nearby Delaware Valley, Southern New Jersey, Maryland
Transcriber: Andy Ednie (ednieap@verizon.net)

For Friday, November 2nd, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. Three new species were added this week due to the storm. The 2012 Delaware state annual list increased to 321 species this week.

It might not have been the 4th of July, but Sandy did bring fireworks to Little Haven and other communities in Delaware. The approaching storm was already causing tidal flooding and road closures on Sunday. There was a state of emergency on Monday, with winds to 50-60 MPH and rainfall from 5″ upstate and over 9″ in Rehoboth Beach. The biggest hit was at Indian River Inlet, where the bay met the ocean at the north side of the new bridge.
Route 1 between Dewey and Bethany Beach is still closed. South Bethany and Prime Hook Beach Road are also severely flooded.

The eye of the storm passed directly over Wilmington on Monday night, traveling west into central Pennsylvania. The most exciting species reported was an immature RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD picked up in Carney’s Point, NJ. That is directly east of Fox Point State Park near Edgemoor. Birders took to the field after the driving ban was lifted, finding the most prevalent pelagic species to be POMARINE JAEGERS. 15 JAEGERS were seen at Fox Point on Tuesday morning. A peak count of over 80 POMARINE JAEGERS was reported in Delaware City, including one flock of 56 birds passing by Veteran’s Park, low over
the water. This is probably more POMARINE JAEGERS reported at one time in the state the ever previously seen. 41 POMARINE JAEGERS were reported at nearby Fort Dupont State Park, a total of 68 between there and Reedy Point. PARASITIC JAEGERS was also reported at Reedy Pont, along with BRANT and COMMON TERN. Another POMARINE JAEGER was reported further south at Collins Beach in Cedar Creek Wildlife Area. Dark-winged terns, suggesting pelagic species like BRIDLED or SOOTY TERNS were reported at Collins Beach. A CAVE SWALLOW was also reported there.

Delaware City by far had some of the most exciting birding, besides the previously reported jaegers were 5 RED PHALAROPE, NORTHERN GANNET, BONAPARTE’S GULL, and an immature SANDWICH TERN. Waterfowl moving downriver included over 100 BRANT, BUFFLEHEAD, several RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and BLACK SCOTER. Shorebirds were seen moving south along the river in large numbers, mostly DUNLIN but also seen were two AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS and a SOLITARY SANDPIPER. Also seen there was a BARN SWALLOW.

Brant, Photo by Kyle Horton

LEACH’S STORM PETREL and BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE were seen at Fox Point State Park. Also reported were 8 RED PHALAROPE and several flocks of other phalarope species. Also seen flying downriver were 4 RED-THROATED LOONS, BLACK SCOTER, over 50 BRANT, and tons of DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANT. Two GREAT CORMORANTS and 18 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were seen on the navigational marker near Claymont.

Three more LEACH’S STORM PETRELS were seen south of New Castle, at the mouth of Army Creek. A WILSON’S STORM PETREL was seen north of New Castle near the Delaware Memorial Bridge at Atlas Point. WILSON’S STORM PETREL was a new species to the state of Pennsylvania this week, with birds seen flying down the Susquehanna near Harrisburg. Early in the week in New Castle, a GLOSSY IBIS was seen at Battery Park on Saturday and a SALTMARSH SPARROW was seen there on Sunday.

Also storm related was a RED-THROATED LOON found at Newark Reservoir on Tuesday along with 2 HORNED GREBES. Some waterfowl that dropped in at Carousel Park near Arundel included PIED-BILLED GREBE, RUDDY and RING-NECKED DUCK, plus the previously reported over-summering SNOW GOOSE.

Horned Grebes, Photo by Ian Stewart

Other storm related birds included an OVENBIRD in a back yard in downtown Wilmington, along with HERMIT THRUSH. LINCOLN’S SPARROWS were seen at the Peterson Wildlife Refuge on Saturday. A house in Hockessin had 6 PINE SISKINS come on to the porch during the rain from Hurricane Sandy.A BLUE-HEADED VIREO was seen at White Clay Creek State Park last weekend. Also reported was the first AMERICAN TREE SPARROW of the season at Nine Foot Road near Milford Crossroad. Middle Run Natural Area near Newark reported a yellow PALM WARBLER this week. Also seen in the fields were NORTHERN HARRIER, AMERICAN KESTREL, SAVANNAH SPARROW, and flyover AMERICAN PIPITS, along with EASTERN PHOEBE and WOOD DUCKS. A BROWN THRASHER has been coming to a feeder in Fairfield, north of Newark off Route 896.

A possible immature male BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was reported at Brandywine Creek State Park after the storm. That bird was seen near the park entrance booth. Lots of sparrows are also being seen in the area including CHIPPING, FIELD, SAVANNAH, SWAMP and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, along with COMMON SNIPE, several flocks of PINE SISKINS, a female PURPLE FINCH, and a leucistic AMERICAN ROBIN. A WINTER WREN was reported at the Freshwater Marsh Preserve plus flyover BALD EAGLE, KESTREL, and MERLIN on Saturday. Waterfowl on nearby Hoopes’ Reservoir included 3 PIED-BILLED GREBES, 2 RING-NECKED DUCK, and several WOOD DUCKS.

At least two “Selasphorus” hummingbirds were reported coming to feeders in Kent County. The previous reported female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD is still coming to the feeder it Camden-Wyoming. That location is along Bryant’s Corner Road opposite the intersection with Quail Run. To find this take Westville Road off Rt. 13 below Dover towards Quail Hollow Golf Course. You can call Brian McCaffery at 302-359-0294 if you’re interested in seeing this bird. Possibly another female RUFOUS is now coming to a yard in Lincoln.

Camden-Wyoming Rufous Hummingbird, Photo by Brian McCaffrey

The year of the winter finch continues with PINE SISKINS and PURPLE FINCHES coming to feeders throughout the state. Also reported have been 3 EVENING GROSBEAKS coming to a feeder in Angola Neck near Rehoboth Beach. PINE SISKINS have been reported in Claymont, Arden, Walnut Ridge, Hockessin, Newark, Middletown, Glasgow, Smyrna, Dover, Georgetown, Milford, Seaford, and Rehoboth Beach.

Evening Grosbeak, Photo by Chuck Fullmer

Purple Finch, Photo by Brian McCaffrey

Pine Siskin, Photo by Maurice Barnhill

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge was close during the storm, but reopened with only minimal damage. Tidal water did not breach the dikes and only a few trees fell across some of the hiking trails. Seen at the refuge since the storm were up to 8 MARBLED GODWIT, plus several hundred AMERICAN AVOCET, with WESTERN, LEAST, and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. Five TUNDRA SWANS were seen in the refuge today, and an AMERICAN BITTERN was reported yesterday. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS are now being seen at the refuge feeders.

Birders looking for coastal birds could only get sandpipers out in the fields near Fowler’s Beach; the roadway was closed due to flooding. Four PECTORAL SANDPIPERS with 6 BLACK BELLIED PLOVER, and WESTERN SANDPIPER along with two AMERICAN PIPITS were reported. Seabirds at Slaughters Beach from the Firehouse Pavilion included 12 NORTHERN GANNETS, plus COMMON, ROYAL, and CASPIAN TERN. Also seen were RUDDY DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD and 5 SURF SCOTER.

A COMMON GALLINULE and AMERICAN COOT were seen at the St Anne’s Church Road retention pond in Middletown. The Charles Price Memorial Park nearby had BALD EAGLE, NORTHERN HARRIER, AMERICAN KESTREL, plus a PEREGRINE FALCON harassing the waterfowl on the pond. Also seen there were 30 AMERICAN PIPITS in the nearby field.

Hawk watching has been slow due to the storm. Surprisingly, another POMARINE JAEGER was seen on Wednesday with several gulls flying over Ashland Nature Center Hawk Watch heading for the coast. Two GOLDEN EAGLES were seen over Ashland Hawk Watch today, plus 14 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKs were seen on Wednesday. Also reported at Ashland this week have been BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, and WINTER WREN.

Golden Eagle, Photo by Kim Steininger

The Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch is been closed for five days this week due to the storm. 17 BALD EAGLES have been seen over the last two days since the watch reopened. A big flight of Accipters on Thursday included 107 SHARP-SHINNED and 34 COOPER’S HAWK. Also reported at the hawk watch this week were for PARASITIC JAEGERS on Saturday before the storm, along with over 1700 NORTHERN GANNET. Since the storm, 3 to 4 BROWN PELICANS have been seen daily. Impressive numbers of waterfowl are moving through including BRANT, BUFFLEHEAD, a single CACKLING GOOSE, COMMON and RED THROATED LOON, and all three species of SCOTER, SURF, BLACK, and WHITE-WINGED. The previous reported CLAY-COLORED SPARROW made it through the storm and was still being seen in the hawk watch platform today.

Finally a quick note from Bear included two new yard birds; AMERICAN WOODCOCK and NORTHERN PINTAIL flying over before the storm. Also, one observer there reported finding a dead RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and several PINE SISKINS underneath his birdfeeder, hopefully this is not a sign of were bad things to come.

Many thanks to those people that helped put together the Birdline this week and braved the storm, including: Tina Watson, Charlie Vaughn, Tim Schreckengost, Evan Speck, Mike Moore, Frank Rohrbacher, Mason Sieges, Kyle Horton, Colin Campbell. Jeff Gordon, Derek Stoner, Joe Sebastiani, Chuck Brandt, Ian Stewart, Rod Murray, John Dunn, Kitt Heckscher, Sally O’Byrne, Andrew Bogush, Brian McCaffrey, Ken Bass, Chuck Fullmer, Ed Crawford, Lynn Smith, Lisa Smith, Sue Gruver, Sharon Lynn, and Joe Russell. Also, special thanks to our two hawk-counters, Tonya Mommone and Jennifer Ottinger for their excellent work. Please call your reports to me at 302-792-9591 or email to ednieap@verizon.net. Until next time, good birding!

-end transcript

Andy Ednie
Claymont, Delaware