RBA: Birdline Delaware, March 8th, 2013

Savannah Sparrow at Bombay Hook NWR. Photo by Brian McCaffrey.

Here is the weekly RBA compiled by Andy Ednie that includes photos of birds mentioned. Thanks for all of the photo contributions! Click on links throughout the post to see the original postings to DE BirdseBird Checklists, and other various links. If you would like to have your photos of birds mentioned below added, feel free to email them to timschreckengost AT gmail DOT com.

* Delaware
* Statewide
* March 8, 2013
* DEST1303.01

Hotline: Birdline Delaware
Date: March 8, 2013
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, March 8th, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The 2013 Delaware state annual list increased to 180 species this week, with one new bird that may be a new record for the state.

Today, a CRESTED CARACARA was found in southern Delaware near Holts Landing State Park by Millville. The bird was originally found on White’s Neck Road off Route 26, Atlantic Avenue, just west of Bethany Beach. The bird has also been seen on Irons Lane and Old Mill Road, moving around the area. This will be a new species for Delaware if accepted by the State Records Committee. There have been previously three sightings in New Jersey this year, the latest being March 5th in Salem County. It’s unsure if the sightings across the river were different individuals, or the same bird moving around. Other sightings have been at Toms River and Cape May. Several residents state the bird has been in the area “since hunting season”.

Crested Caracara in Ocean View on 8 March 2013. Photo by Sharon Lynn.

Also this week there been up to three BLACK-HEADED GULLS at Wolfe’s Point Sewage Treatment Plant near Midway, north of Rehoboth Beach. Those birds were joined by a single BONAPARTE’S in the first LAUGHING GULL of the season. A ROSS’S GOOSE was reported along the roadway to Wolfe’s Point. Also seen close by was RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and PALM WARBLER at Canal Pointe Condominiums.

The EARED GREBE continues to be seen at the North Marina at Indian River Inlet. That bird is also been seen at Bottom Hills Drain along the entrance road to the marina. Also seen in the area were BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, and a raft of 40 BRANT.

RAZORBILL was seen at Indian River Inlet, along with a raft of over 75 LONG-TAILED DUCK, plus SURF and BLACK SCOTERS. Several GREAT CORMORANTS, PURPLE SANDPIPER, BRANT, and NORTHERN GANNET were also seen at the inlet. SNOW BUNTINGS continue to be seen at the South Inlet Campground. Birders looking for sparrows there last weekend found three species of marsh sparrow: SEASIDE, SALTMARSH and NELSON’S SPARROWS behind the campground.

In northern Delaware, The ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD continues to be seen in Newark. That hummingbird is at the home of Diane and Steve Freebery at 257 Delaplane Ave., in Middle Run Manor off Kirkwood Highway. Birders are welcome to come see this bird, walk down the driveway and sit on the back porch for the best viewing

Gulls continue to be seen at the Port of Wilmington and Fox Point State Park along I-495. Two ICELAND and 2 LESSER BLACKBACKED GULLS were seen at Fox Point. Four Iceland, plus GLAUCOUS and 6 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS were seen in the spoils area outside the entrance to the port on Sunday.

Back downstate, EURASIAN WIGEON was reported at Prime Hook Beach Road in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Another ROSS’S GOOSE was reported in the fields along the Prime Hook Beach Road this week, along with 11 WILD TURKEY. 7 to 12 AMERICAN AVOCETS were seen along the road to Prime Hook Beach, with both LESSER and GREATER YELLOWLEGS. Three AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were seen at Fowler’s Beach, along with WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS along the roadway. Several GREAT EGRETS were seen at the Prime Hook headquarters. Landbirds seen along the Pinelands Trail included BROWN CREEPER, HERMIT THRUSH, FOX SPARROW, and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. AMERICAN WOODCOCK and RED-SHOULDERED HAWK were seen along the entrance road to the refuge.

AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were also reported at Cape Henlopen State Park. PINE SISKIN and BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH were seen at the Seaside Nature Center feeders. WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH was seen at Ft. Miles. There is a raft of 5-10 thousand scoters off the Cape right now, included in the flock were a dozen WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS during the storm last week.

REDHEAD continues to be seen at The Retreat at Love Creek off Route 24. There were over 750 CANVASBACK, plus 40 RUDDY DUCK, and 6 SHOVELER at Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach. A feeder in Dewey Beach continues to have all three species of NUTHATCH plus a BROWN CREEPER. PINE SISKINS were reported at Bay Vista and PURPLE FINCH was reported at a feeder in Love Creek. PINE SISKIN and FOX SPARROW was also reported at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center in Milford. PINE SISKIN was also reported in Cheswold.

The first OSPREYS of the season have been reported this week. One was seen at Bay Vista, three days earlier than last year. Another was reported at Ocean View near Bethany Beach. OSPREY was also reported at Portsville Pond near Laurel, along the Nanticoke River in Seaford, Silver Lake in Dover, and in downtown Wilmington. Portsville Pond had a nice collection of waterfowl including WOOD DUCK, a female COMMON GOLDENEYE, AMERICAN WIGEON, LESSER SCAUP and 40+ RING-NECKED DUCKS.

There was a SAW-WHET OWL calling at Reedy Point Road. That bird may still be roosting in the pines under the bridge. Another SAW-WHET OWL found dead near Newark along Paper Mill Road. SHORT-EARED OWL was reported this week at Port Mahon, hunting during the day. Another SHORT-EARED OWL has been seen at the entrance to Bombay Hook along the hedgerow. BARN OWL was calling at the maintenance sheds at Bombay Hook. BARRED OWL was seen at Finis Pool. There is also been BARRED OWL reported in Brandywine Hundred, along Grubb Road across from Stanley’s Tavern.

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were found this week at Brandywine Creek State Park. Those birds were seen in the pines along Thompson Bridge Road, Route 92. AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was seen at the feeder. AMERICAN KESTREL and several EASTERN MEADOWLARKS were seen along the entrance road to the park. PINE SISKIN was reported at Ashland Nature Center. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES were reported coming to feeders in Brandywine Hundred and Claymont.

White-winged Crossbille at Brandywine Creek State Park on 5 March 2013. Photo by Hank Davis.

A dead WOODCOCK was found in downtown Wilmington at the corner of 8th and Walnut Street. Diving ducks along the Brandywine Creek in downtown Wilmington included LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, and COMMON MERGANSER. PEREGRINE FALCONS have laid the first egg at their nest box on the Brandywine Building.

AMERICAN WOODCOCK was also found at the University of Delaware Ag farm, along with two GADWALLS. A flock of 130 SNOW GEESE were seen flying over Middle Run Nature Preserve. COMMON MERGANSERS were seen at White Clay Creek State Park along with FOX SPARROW. Six COMMON MERGANSERS were found at Stanton on the White Clay Creek behind the Hale-Byrne House. A flock of 35 COMMON MERGANSERS was seen flying over Bear. Also seen in Bear was LESSER SCAUP, on a retention pond. Five RUDDY DUCKS were found on the retention pond behind St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church on Route 7.

Five REDHEADS were seen at Hoope’s Reservoir, along with RING-NECKED DUCK, HOODED MERGANSER and PIED BILLED GREBE. Also reported were 22 RUDDY DUCKS at the Hillside Mill Cove.

Ten GREAT EGRETS were seen at Dragon Run near Delaware City. Canal Pond had over 500 AMERICAN COOTS plus 250 AMERICAN WIDGEON. Several TUNDRA with 30 MUTE SWANS were also present, plus a flyover TREE SWALLOW. Greer’s Pond had three calling VIRGINIA RAILS.

ROSS’S GOOSE was also found along Whitehall Neck Road near the entrance to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. 67 AMERICAN AVOCETS plus BLACK-NECKED STILT and WILSON’S SNIPE were found at Raymond Pool. AMERICAN PIPITS were also seen in the fields near Raymond. BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON was seen at Sheerness Pool. Other waterfowl reported this week included 12 BRANT, MUTE SWAN, CANVASBACK, RING-NECKED DUCK, COMMON GOLDENEYE, and COMMON and HOODED MERGANSERS. Raptors reported included BLACK VULTURE, RED-SHOULDERED and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, and all three species of falcon, MERLIN, PEREGRINE, and AMERICAN KESTREL. 11 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were reported at the visitor center. EASTERN PHOEBE was seen by Finis Pool. BOAT-TAILED GRACKLES have returned to the marsh opposite Shearness.

White-crowned Sparrow at Bombay Hook NWR. Photo by Brian McCaffrey.

There was a large flock of 146 TUNDRA SWANS at the Port Mahon impoundments at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area. Also seen there was 400 AMERICAN WIGEON, plus HOODED MERGANSER and LESSER SCAUP.  A SURF SCOTER was seen at Kitts Hummock. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL and WINTER WREN were found at the Logan Tract. Besides the previously mentioned OSPREY at Silver Lake in Dover there were also 3 BALD EAGLE reported along with 30 COMMON MERGANSERS.

Another EURASIAN WIGEON was reported at Big Stone Beach, far back in the marsh along with AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN WINGED TEAL, and NORTHERN SHOVELER. TREE SWALLOWS were also reported.

Many thanks to those people that helped put together the Birdline this week including, Sharon Lynn, Diane Freebery, Jay Lehman, Frank Rohrbacher, Nancy Goggin, Joel Martin, Sally O’Byrne, Hank Davis, Kim Steininger, Gina Sheridan, David Fees, Ryan Dziedzic, Samantha Christie, Mason Sieges, Chuck Fullmer, Bill Stewart, Sue Gruver, Lynn Smith, Derek Stoner, Tim Schreckengost, Alan Kneidel, Beverly Corelle, Cathy Wright, Andrew Bogush, Brian Henderson, Billy Weber, Andi Martin, Kurt Gaskill, Marc Ribaudo, Jacob Hall, Joe Hanfman, Lin Just, Margie Pitcher, Todd Fellenbaum, Phil Thompson, and Maurice Barnhill. Please call your reports to me at 302-792-9591 or email to ednieap@verizon.net. Until next time, good birding!!!

-end transcript