4th of July Birding Challenge!


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Do you love America? Are you a warm-blooded patriot looking for a way to enjoy your freedoms? Do you love birds? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, then you qualify for the -

“Thermal Birding 4th of July Birding Challenge: ‘Merica Addition!”

American Avocet – photo by Steve Brenner

One week from today, people all across the country will be having cookouts, launching fireworks, and birdwatching! The rules of the challenge are simple: when you are out birding on the 4th of July, every species you see that begins with the word “American” counts. Also, any species that begins with the name of a U.S. state (e.g.. California Towhee) also counts. You can also collect bonus birds for each of the following winged-countrymen you spot: Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey, and the official birds of each U.S. state. So, for example, let’s say I go out on Independence Day and see an American Robin, 5 American Crows, 3 American Redstarts, a Louisiana Waterthrush, a Bald Eagle, and a pair of Eastern Bluebirds, then I would have a grand total of 6 countable species. So it’s fairly straight-forward and similar to other ‘big day’ type competitions. Feeling patriotic yet?

As with all birding competitions, this is solely meant for the purposes of fun, and as long as you have a good time birding, that’s what really matters. Also, mid-summer can be a very slow time for bird watching, so this provides an excellent opportunity for birders to get out there and check out some breeding birds in your area or scour those neglected local hotspots. Please post replies on how you faired with the challenge, and try to nab as many of these species as you can. Remember, Thomas Jefferson may have spent all day inside on July 4th, 1776, but that doesn’t mean you should! So get out there and bird, people . . . USA, USA, USA!

Here is the list of the 57 eligible ’4th of July birds’ for counting in the ABA area, including the official birds of each state. (Note: ‘state game birds’ have been omitted, as has Hawaiian Goose, Blue Hen Chicken, and Rhode Island Red Chicken).

  1. American Avocet
  2. American Bittern
  3. American Black Duck
  4. American Coot
  5. American Crow
  6. American Dipper
  7. American Flamingo
  8. American Golden-Plover
  9. American Goldfinch (also state bird for IA, NJ, and WA)
  10. American Kestrel

    ‘Merica Kestrel – photo by Steve Brenner

  11. American Oystercatcher
  12. American Pipit
  13. American Redstart
  14. American Robin (also state bird for CT, MI, and WI)
  15. American Three-toed Woodpecker
  16. American Tree Sparrow
  17. American White Pelican
  18. American Wigeon
  19. American Woodcock
  20. Arizona Woodpecker
  21. California Condor
  22. California Gnatcatcher
  23. California Quail (also state bird for CA)
  24. California Thrasher
  25. California Towhee
  26. California Gull (also state bird for UT)
  27. Carolina Chickadee
  28. Carolina Wren (also state bird for SC)

    Carolina Wren – photo by Steve Brenner

  29. Connecticut Warbler
  30. Florida Scrub Jay
  31. Kentucky Warbler
  32. Louisiana Waterthrush
  33. Mississippi Kite
  34. Tennessee Warbler
  35. Virginia Rail
  36. Bald Eagle
  37. Wild Turkey
  38. Northern Flicker (AL)
  39. Willow Ptarmigan (AK)
  40. Cactus Wren (AZ)
  41. Northern Mockingbird (AR, FL, MS, TN, and TX)
  42. Lark Bunting (CO)
  43. Brown Thrasher (GA)

    Brown Thrasher – photo by Steve Brenner

  44. Mountain Bluebird (ID, NV)
  45. Northern Cardinal (IL, IN, KY, NC, OH, VI, and WV)
  46. Western Meadowlark (KS, MT, NE, ND, OR, and WY)
  47. Brown Pelican (LA)
  48. Black-capped Chickadee (ME, MA)
  49. Baltimore Oriole (MD)
  50. Common Loon (MN)
  51. Eastern Bluebird (MO, NY)
  52. Purple Finch (NH)
  53. Greater Roadrunner (NM)
  54. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (OK)
  55. Ruffed Grouse (PA)
  56. Ring-necked Pheasant (SD)
  57. Hermit Thrush (VT)

RBA: Birdline Delaware, March 29th, 2013


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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.

RBA
* Delaware
* Statewide
* March 29, 2013
* DEST1303.29

Hotline: Birdline Delaware
Date: March 29, 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 29th, this is Birdline Delaware, home of the Fighting Blue Hens, from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The 2013 Delaware state annual list hit 195 species this week.

Northern Lapwing at Bombay Hook NWR on 29 March 2013. Photo by Dawn Miller.

A NORTHERN LAPWING was found today at Bear Swamp Pool in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. The bird was found on mudflats in the impoundment just past the Bear Swamp sign along the straightaway on the east side of the pool. LAPWING has been anticipated in Delaware since the incursion that occurred after Hurricane Sandy. Several reports of multiple birds have been along the East Coast this year already, including birds in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, and Georgia. This is the fourth state record and also fourth for the refuge the first reported in 14 years.

Other birds seen in the area was a first of the year PECTORAL SANDPIPER and over 75 WILSON’S SNIPE. Other shorebirds seen included BLACK-NECKED STILT, AMERICAN AVOCET, and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER at Raymond Pool, along with lots of DUNLIN and both species of YELLOWLEGS. Three AMERICAN BITTERNS were reported at Sheerness Pool, two were calling today. GLOSSY IBIS and GREAT EGRET also been reported. Waterfowl seen included MUTE and TUNDRA SWAN, 60 RING-NECKED DUCKS, PIED-BILLED GREBE, BUFFLEHEAD, RUDDY DUCK, and HOODED and COMMON MERGANSER. SHORT-EARED OWL and 4 AMERICAN KESTRELS were reported along the entrance road to the refuge. BARRED OWL was reported at Finis Pool. Three WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS continue to be seen at the feeders at the visitor center.

The previous reported CRESTED CARACARA that was found last week was last reported on Saturday along White Neck’s Road near Millville in Sussex County. This area is just west of Bethany Beach along Route 26, Atlantic Avenue, not far from Holts Landing State Park. There have been no more reports later in the week, if seen please notify the birdline. PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen at Holts Landing.

In northern Delaware, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were seen at the intersection of McDaniels and Orchard Road in Tallyville off Route 202, the Concord Pike. Those birds of been seen sporadically all week. Other winter finches reported included PINE SISKINS at Ashland Nature Center and in Cheswold. PURPLE FINCH was reported at a feeder in Lewes.

A VESPER SPARROW was seen at Brandywine Creek State Park, flushed from the field along the entrance road during the controlled meadow burn. Also seen during the fire were 3 AMERICAN KESTRELS hunting along the edge. SNOW GEESE and KILLDEER were seen at the park today, along with FOX SPARROW, EASTERN PHOEBE, and WINTER WREN. WOOD DUCK and COMMON MERGANSER were seen along the Creek, also OSPREY being pursued by a BALD EAGLE on Sunday.

The previous reported ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD coming to a feeder near Newark is now molting into male plumage. 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.

An amazing 5 ROSS’S GEESE were found in a flock of 1500 SNOW GEESE next to Dover Air Force Base on Sunday. A BLACK HEADED GULL was reported at the North Pond of the Logan Lane Tract at Ted Harvey Conservation Area near Kitts Hummock. 120 AMERICAN AVOCETS were found at the south impoundment, along with PEREGRINE FALCON. Also reported were SAVANNAH SPARROW, EASTERN MEADOWLARK, and BROWN THRASHER. Five BLUE-WINGED TEALS were seen at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area, in the ponds to the left of the central tower. Also reported at Little Creek were over 1000 AMERICAN COOT, 400 NORTHERN PINTAIL, 200 AMERICAN WIGEON, 22 RING-NECKED DUCK and LESSER SCAUP.

A EURASIAN WIGEON continues to hang out at Assawoman Wildlife Area near Fenwick Island. Also seen there were RING-NECKED DUCK, MUTE SWAN, and HOODED MERGANSER. PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen in the woods.

The previous seen EARED GREBE was last reported last Saturday at Bottom Hills Drain near the North Marina at Indian River Inlet. There were several HORNED GREBES molting into breeding plumage also seen, plus GREATER SCAUP and BRANT. A BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON was reported at the entrance to Burton’s Island Causeway. There still a raft of over 40 LONG-TAILED DUCKS along the jetty at Indian River Inlet, plus BLACK and SURF SCOTER and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. PURPLE SANDPIPERS and RUDDY TURNSTONES were seen along the rocks. GREAT CORMORANT was seen on the jetty tower. NORTHERN GANNETS have been seen close to the shore from the South Inlet Bathhouse.

There are still over 100 CANVASBACKS at Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach. BLUE-WINGED TEAL and RING-NECKED DUCK were also seen on the lake. There is also about 3 dozen RUDDY DUCKS. RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues to be seen at Canal Pointe Condominiums north of Rehoboth Beach.

The first BARN SWALLOW of the year was reported at the Dupont Nature Center at the Mispillion Inlet today. Also seen were BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN, and 5 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS. GREATER SCAUP, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, and BLACK SCOTER were seen offshore, along with a single LONG-TAILED DUCK and BONAPARTE’S GULL.

ICELAND GULL was seen at Fowler’s Beach at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge along with 2 CLAPPER RAILS. Eight SNOWY EGRETS and 2 LITTLE BLUE HERONS were seen with GREAT EGRETS along the Boardwalk Trail at the refuge headquarters. Also reported were WILD TURKEY, BROWN THRASHER, EASTERN PHOEBE, and WINTER WREN.

A CACKLING GOOSE was found at Hoope’s Reservoir near Greenville last weekend. Also seen on the reservoir were LESSER SCAUP, RUDDY DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, and COMMON MERGANSER. A few PIED-BILLED GREBES were also been reported along with BALD EAGLES and TREE SWALLOW. Newark Reservoir has both COMMON LOON and HORNED GREBE molting into breeding plumage. COMMON MERGANSERS were also reported along the Red Clay Creek near Yorklyn. SNOW GEESE were reported flying over Pike Creek.

Cackling Goose

Cackling Goose at Hoope’s Reservoir on 23 March 2013. Photo by Taj Schottland.

PINE WARBLERS were reported at several locations this last week including Turkell Pond at Prime Hook, one was coming to a feeder in Lincoln, 2 were coming to a yard in Bear, and  a pair PINE WARBLERS were singing at the powerline cut along the Pickering Beach Road. RUSTY BLACKBIRD was reported at a feeder in Claymont.

BLUE-WINGED TEALS were reported at Lewes and Dragon Run. Also reported at Dragon Run were PIED-BILLED GREBE, RING-NECKED DUCK, WOOD DUCK, and AMERICAN WIGEON.

The monthly Heron Survey at Delaware City in Veterans Park had LITTLE BLUE HERON, SNOWY EGRET, GLOSSY IBIS, and the first CATTLE EGRETS of the season. While GLOSSY IBIS is expected at this time year, SNOWY EGRETS are increasing in regularity in the early spring, and CATTLE EGRETS were uncommonly early. LITTLE BLUE HERON was also reported at Grier’s Pond in Thousand Acre Marsh. Up to 9 BALD EAGLES were reported in the Port Penn area.

A few wintering gulls remained at Fox Point State Park last weekend. ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULL were found along with 14 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and LAUGHING GULL. Six BRANT continue to be seen at battery Park in New Castle. There were 5 BONAPARTE’S GULLS seen over the river. A RED-THROATED LOON and GREATER SCAUP were seen at Gambacorta Marsh, along with PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. An unusual bird marsh at Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington was PILEATED WOODPECKER.

PEREGRINE FALCONS continue be reported at their nest box at the Brandywine Building in downtown Wilmington. The Cape Henlopen Spring Hawk Watch is starting to pick up with increasing falcon reports. Three MERLIN and 3 AMERICAN KESTREL were seen today. There is also been scattered MERLIN reports throughout the state, including Bay Vista Golf Park, Dragon Run, Delaware City, and both Bombay and Prime Hook.

Many thanks to those people that helped put together the Birdline this week including, Sharon Lynn, Diane Freebery, Nancy Goggin, Sue Gruver, Derek Stoner, Chuck Brandt, Chris Bennett, Joel Martin, Colin Campbell, Lisa Smith, Mike Smith, Lynn Smith, Bill Stewart, Kim Steininger, Mike Hudson, John Dunn, John Bradley, Alan Kneidel, Matt Haley, Ben Tebbens, Andrew Bogush, Christopher Rowe, Anthony Gonzon, Mason Sieges, Taj Schottland, and Joe Russell. Please call your reports to me at 302-792-9591 or email to ednieap@verizon.net. Until next time, Go Lady Hens and good birding!!!

-end transcript

RBA: Birdline Delaware, March 22nd, 2013


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Pine Warlber along Camp Arrowhead Rd. in Lewes on 23 March 2013. Photo by Katharine Boyd.

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.

RBA
* Delaware
* Statewide
* March 22, 2013
* DEST1303.22

Hotline: Birdline Delaware
Date: March 22, 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 22nd, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The 2013 Delaware state annual list increased to 187 species this week with 2 new spring arrivals.

The previous reported CRESTED CARACARA that was found last week was last reported on Wednesday along White Neck’s Road near the Ellis Point community near Millville in Sussex County. This area is just west of Bethany Beach along Route 26, the Atlantic Highway, not far from Holts Landing State Park. Although seen sporadically, the bird is still be in the area. Some locals refer to it as the eagle with the parrot’s bill.

In Kent County, a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was seen with a flock of SNOW GEESE at Bergdoll Road near Dover Air Force Base. That bird was not seen later in the week. Some other birds in the area included AMERICAN AVOCETS at the south side of the Logan Tract near Kitts Hummock. SHORT-EARED OWL was seen at dusk at Pickering Beach. There is a large flock of waterfowl at the impoundments at Port Mahon in Little Creek Wildlife Management Area, including SHOVELER, GADWALL, and 45 HOODED MERGANSER.

Back in Sussex County, the previous reported EARED GREBE near the North Marina at Indian River Inlet has not been seen for over a week now. HORNED and PIED-BILLED GREBES were reported along with COMMON GOLDENEYE, LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. The SNOW BUNTINGS at the south inlet campground were not seen this week, but GREAT EGRET was seen in the marsh. An AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER flew by Indian River inlet jetty. RUDDY TURNSTONE and PURPLE SANDPIPER were still seen on the rocks there. Waterfowl seen included 30 LONGTAILED DUCKS, BRANT, BLACK and SURF SCOTER, and 4 GREAT CORMORANTS on the jetty tower. There were also several close-in NORTHERN GANNETS.

Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach still has hundreds of CANVASBACK. Also seen were LESSER SCAUP, RING-NECKED DUCK, and two dozen RUDDY DUCK. A RED HEADED WOODPECKER was reported at Canal Pointe, north of Rehoboth Beach. PIPING PLOVER and AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER were seen at the bayside point at Cape Henlopen State Park. SURF SCOTER, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and both species of LOON, RED-THROATED and COMMON were in the Harbor of Refuge.

Tons of waterfowl were seen along the Prime Hook Beach Road at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. GADWALL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, PINTAIL, GREEN WINGED TEAL and HOODED and COMMON MERGANSERS were reported. Also seen were AMERICAN AVOCET, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, and FORSTER TERN. TWO LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were reported at Fowler’s Beach along with AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER and RUDDY TURNSTONE. There were 5 OYSTERCATCHERS on the jetty at the Mispillion Inlet, across from the DuPont Nature Center. Also seen were 20 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. CLAPPER RAIL was found in the marsh.

Some first signs of Spring included a SNOWY EGRET with 15 GREAT EGRETS at Broadkill Beach Impoundments at Prime Hook. Singing PINE WARBLERS was found along the pinewoods trail and FOX SPARROW the boardwalk trail. LAUGHING GULLS in several areas including Oak Grove, Millsboro, and in the parking lot at the Wal-Mart in Milford. OSPREYS were reported at Cape Henlopen State Park, in Lewes, Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, and along the St. Johns River in Dover. Further north, OSPREY was also seen at Churchman’s Marsh and Lum’s Pond State Park. More singing PINE WARBLERS were at Love Creek and Redden State Forest. FOX SPARROW was in a yard along Cods Road. 20 WILSON’S SNIPE were reported along Fisher Rd. near Harbeson.

There still some winter finches around. Five PURPLE FINCHES continue to come to a feeder at Love Creek also seen there was RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. SISKINS were also reported at Milford, along with both WHITE and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. PINE SISKINS were also reported in Redden State Forest, Cheswold, and Walnut Ridge near Centerville.

The first BLUE-WINGED TEAL of the season was reported at Finis Pool today in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Other waterfowl seen included both MUTE and TUNDRA SWAN, RING-NECKED DUCK, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED and COMMON MERGANSER, and RUDDY DUCK. BLACK-NECKED STILT continue to be seen at Raymond Pool along with AMERICAN AVOCET and both LONG-BILLED and SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER. WILSON’S SNIPE was seen at Bear Swamp. CLAPPER RAIL was also reported along with AMERICAN BITTERN and GREAT EGRET near Sheerness Pool, plus a PILEATED WOODPECKER near Sheerness Tower. Eight WILD TURKEYS, AMERICAN PIPIT, and WHITE CROWNED SPARROW were reported by the visitor’s center.

American Bittern at Bombay Hook NWR. Photo by Andy Ednie.

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.

Signs of spring are returning to White Clay Creek State Park included EASTERN PHOEBES seen from almost every bridge along the creek. Also reported were several PILEATED WOODPECKERS, BARRED OWL at Wedgwood road, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, WOOD DUCKS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and COMMON MERGANSERS. A PINE WARBLER was singing at Covered Bridge Farm, north of Newark. Newark Reservoir had both HORNED GREBES and a pair of COMMON LOONS going into breeding plumage.

HORNED GREBES were seen in several locations this week including Silver Lake in Middletown and along the Delaware River at Battery Park in New Castle. Other birds in New Castle included 6 COMMON GOLDENEYE on the river, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, WOOD DUCK and Gambacorta Marsh, and 6 BRANT at Battery Park one of those birds was wounded. RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and RED THROATED LOON were seen at Fox Point State Park near Wilmington. LESSER BLACK-BACKED, ICELAND, and GLAUCOUS GULL were also reported. GREAT CORMORANTS were reported along the Delaware River in Claymont on the green channel marker off of I-495.

A flight of over 150 TREE SWALLOWS were reported over the Brandywine Creek at Woodlawn Trustees property, soon to become a national park! EASTERN PHOEBE was seen at Brandywine Creek State Park at Ramsey Road along with COMMON MERGANSER, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and WOOD DUCK. Several PILEATED WOODPECKERS were also reported along Ramsey road. MERLIN and AMERICAN KESTREL were both reported along the entrance road to Brandywine Creek State Park off Adams Dam Road.

Hoope’s Reservoir continues to have a large number of waterfowl there including both LESSER and GREATER SCAUP, RUDDY and RINGNECKED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, and COMMON MERGANSER. PIED BILLED GREBES were also seen there. Several BALD EAGLES continue be seen over the reservoir.

It’s been a good year for LESSER SCAUP, several were seen at Becks Pond near Bear, also at Port of Wilmington ponds, and Thousand Acre Marsh. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were also reported near Grier’s Pond along with WILSON’S SNIPE and AMERICAN WIGEON. Dragon Run at Delaware City had 5 GREAT EGRETS and 6 MUTE SWANS, along with WOOD DUCK and TREE SWALLOW.

Finally, I’m sad to report the passing on March 7th of Howard Holmquist that often contributed sightings to the Birdline. He counted Bluebirds and watched the feeders at Brandywine Creek State Park for the last 15 years. He was also a chemist for the DuPont Company, avid golfer, and saxophonist. His dogged determination was an inspiration to all.

Many thanks to those people that helped put together the Birdline this week including, Sharon Lynn, Diane Freebery, Frank Rohrbacher, Nancy Goggin, Sally O’Byrne, Sue Gruver, Derek Stoner, Chuck Brandt, Matt Sarver, Rachel Shapiro, Kitt Heckscher, Chris Bennett, Glen Lovelace, Joel Martin, Colin Campbell, Amy White, Rich Ehrlich, Doug Gill, Al DelPizzo, Jason Beale, Donald Stockley, Brian McCaffrey, Richard Clifton, Laura Balascio, Judy Montgomery, Bob Strahorn and Joe Russell. Please call your reports to me at 302-792-9591 or email to ednieap@verizon.net. Until next time, good birding!!!

-end transcript

RBA: Birdline Delaware, March 15th, 2013


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Red-bellied Woodpecker 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.

RBA
* Delaware
* Statewide
* March 15, 2013
* DEST1303.15

Hotline: Birdline Delaware
Date: March 15, 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 15th, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The 2013 Delaware state annual list increased to 185 species this week. Winter finches are still present but beware the Ides of March as spring arrivals are returning!

The CRESTED CARACARA found last week in southern Delaware by Holts Landing State Park near Millville was reported yesterday, but not today. 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, and flying over Rt. 26 in Millville. If determined to be wild, this would be a first state record! Some other birds in the area include an immature BALD EAGLE at Holts Landing, along with a huge raft of over thousand BUFFLEHEADS on Indian River Bay, plus MERLIN and AMERICAN WOODCOCK reported along Old Mill Road.

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

The previous reported EARED GREBE continues to be seen at Indian River Inlet by the North Marina. That bird was last seen Monday. A BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen at the inlet along with 6 BONAPARTE’S GULLS and a FORSTER TERN. A LEAST SANDPIPER with PURPLE SANDPIPER and RUDDY TURNSTONE, along with 8 GREAT CORMORANTS were seen at the jetty. 55 LONG-TAILED DUCK, plus BLACK and SURF SCOTER, and LESSER and GREATER SCAUP were also reported. NORTHERN GANNETS were seen offshore. There are still 4 SNOW BUNTINGS at the South Inlet campground.

The raft of 600+ CANVASBACK at Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach included 4 REDHEADS last weekend. Also seen on the pond were 55 RUDDY DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, along with the first LAUGHING GULL season there. A ROSS’S GOOSE was reported at Wolfe’s Point Sewage Treatment Plant near Midway. BLACK-HEADED GULL and 2 BONAPARTE’S GULLS with 100 NORTHERN SHOVELERS were also seen.

20 AMERICAN AVOCETS were reported at Fowler’s Beach in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, LESSER and GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and WILSON’S SNIPE were also reported.  A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was found along the Prime Hook Beach Road. CHIPPING SPARROWS were found along Deep Branch Road. Five GREAT EGRETS and OSPREY were reported at the Broadkill Beach impoundments. FOX SPARROW, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and PINE WARBLER were seen along the entrance road to the refuge.

The first PIPING PLOVERS of the season were reported at Cape Henlopen State Park. Three were seen at the point, along with AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER. There still a huge raft of over thousand SCOTERS on the ocean off Cape Henlopen. Included in that flock were several WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. The hawk watch at Cape Henlopen has restarted, recording BALD EAGLE and OSPREY this week. PINE SISKIN, BROWN-HEADED and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were reported at the Seaside Nature Center feeders. Two WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were found at Fort Miles.

Other winter finches reported in the area included PURPLE FINCHES at Love Creek. PINE SISKINS were reported at Bay Vista, along with both WHITE BREASTED and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. OSPREY and BALD EAGLE were also seen there. Three species of nuthatches are coming to feeders at Old Landing. PURPLE FINCH and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER were found in Georgetown along with first of the year TREE SWALLOW and singing PINE WARBLERS. PINE SISKINS of also been seen at feeders in Seaford. WOOD DUCK was reported at Philips Landing at the Nanticoke Wildlife Area. The first LAUGHING GULL of the season was reported at Oak Grove west of Seaford on Saturday. Also reported was 35 WILSON’S SNIPE along Horseshoe Road near Oak Grove.

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. PILEATED WOODPECKER was also seen from the Freebery’s deck.

Gulls continue to be seen at the Port of Wilmington along I-495. ICELANDGLAUCOUS and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS were seen in the spoils area outside the entrance to the port. Those birds were seen on the roof of the big blue building.

Eight WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were found in Tallyville off of US route 202 the Concord Pike in Brandywine Hundred behind Johnny’s Hotdog Stand. PINE SISKINS were reported at feeders in Fairview Crest in Newark, Walnut Ridge, Yorklyn, Ashland Nature Center, and Flint Woods. There were several BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE sightings reported this week including Newark, Pike Creek, Brandywine Creek State Park, and as far south as Summit Bridge. FOX SPARROWS also turned up at feeders in Yorklyn and Claymont. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES also still being seen at feeders through the northern part of the state.

There were several exciting owl sightings this week. A SAW-WHET OWL was reported along Dutch Neck Road near Thousand Acre Marsh by the Gray Fox Sheep Farm. A SHORT-EARED OWL was reported at Middle Run Natural Area near Newark hunting over the field. SHORT-EARED OWL was also reported at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna, where it’s been seen along the hedgerow at the entrance. BARN, BARRED, GREAT HORNED, and EASTERN SCREECH OWLS were all reported at Bombay Hook.

Hoope’s Reservoir continues to be a great spot for waterfowl. COMMON LOON and PIED-BILLED GREBES were reported there waterfowl seen included a single female REDHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, COMMON MERGANSER, and RUDDY DUCK. There is also a BALD EAGLE on nest at the reservoir. Also reported the area was PILEATED WOODPECKER, WINTER WREN and singing PINE WARBLERS.

Some other waterfowl included flyover TUNDRA SWANS at Middle Run. TUNDRA SWANS was also seen on the ground at Summit Bridge.  GREATER SCAUP and RING-NECKED DUCK were reported at Middle Run. LESSER SCAUP, RING-NECKED DUCK, and a female RUDDY DUCK were reported at Carousel Park near Pike Creek. HOODED MERGANSER was seen at the Route 100 ponds near Brandywine Creek State Park. WOOD DUCKS were seen at Middle Run and Dragon Run in Delaware City.

Some first signs of spring have been return of TREE SWALLOWS seen at Ashland Nature Center and Dragon Run. AMERICAN KESTRELS were seen at Coverdale Farms near Ashland Nature Center and at Brandywine Creek State Park. Hopefully those birds were nests in the area. CHIPPING SPARROW was seen at Coverdale Farms also. EASTERN MEADOWLARKS reported at Brandywine Creek. A GRAY CATBIRD was at Port Penn by the boardwalk. BROWN THRASHER was seen at Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area. A RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was reported in Bear. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS continue be seen at Woodland Park near Price Corner. AMERICAN WOODCOCK were displaying at Flint Woods near Centerville.

The previous reported EURASIAN WIGEON was again seen at Big Stone Beach in Milford Neck Wildlife Area along with a large numbers of AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALL and NORTHERN SHOVELER. A single ROSS’S GOOSE was reported nearby. 75 RED BREASTED MERGANSERS and a few SURF SCOTERS reported on the Delaware Bay at Big Stone Beach. Two BROWN THRASHERS were reported along Stratham Lane at Milford Neck. Another ROSS’S GOOSE was reported along Route 36 west of Fort Saulsbury near Slaughters Beach. AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER was reported at Mispillion inlet. A third ROSS’S GOOSE was reported near the Logan Lane Tract off the Kitts Hummock Road.

LAPLAND LONGSPURS in breeding plumage were reported along Whitehall Neck Road, the entrance road to Bombay Hook on Saturday. There were over 200 AMERICAN AVOCETS plus the previous reported BLACK-NECKED STILT at Raymond Pool, along with 4 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS. AMERICAN BITTERN continues to be seen at Sheerness Pool along with BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON. Waterfowl reported included HORNED and PIED-BILLED GREBE, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, TUNDRA SWAN, RING-NECKED and RUDDY DUCK, and COMMON and HOODED MERGANSER. Eighteen WILD TURKEYS, plus WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS continue to be seen near the visitor center. First of spring birds included COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, TREE SWALLOW, and BROWN THRASHER.

Wild Turkeys at Bombay Hook NWR. Photo by Brian McCaffrey.

The Wilmington PEREGRINES now have three eggs on nest at the Brandywine Building. You can watch the nest site from your computer at DOSBirds.org.

Many thanks to those people that helped put together the Birdline this week including, Sharon Lynn, Diane Freebery, Frank Rohrbacher, Nancy Goggin, Sally O’Byrne, Sue Gruver, Lynn Smith, Derek Stoner, Chuck Brandt, Joe Sebastiani, Lauren Morgens, Al Guarente, Rachel Shapiro, Dan Altif, Kitt Heckscher, Chris Bennett, Glen Lovelace, Joel Martin, Ian Stewart, Mike Moore, Hank Davis, Andrew Bogush, Brian Henderson, Taj Schottland, Joe Hanfman, Colin Campbell, Amy White, John Dunn, Jim Dunn, Tom Johnson, Mary Lukaszewski, 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!!!

Bufflehead at Bombay Hook NWR. Photo by Brian McCaffrey.

RBA: Birdline Delaware, March 8th, 2013


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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.

RBA
* 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