Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Cape Henlopen SP

Taj Schottland and I spent Saturday morning at Cape Henlopen Sate Park scouring the veg for migrants. We found a Common Yellowthroat, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and two Red-eyed Vireos. Pretty lame, right? It got better as soon as we walked out to the beach near the hawk watch. We found a decent-sized flock of gulls resting on the beach containing Laughing, Ring-billed, Herring, and Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. There were five Lesser Black-backed Gulls mixed in with the flock. We later had two flyovers.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls are relatively common along the Delaware coast in fall and winter, but can be found year round.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls records for August through March. Credit – eBird.org

I cannot remember the ages of all five gulls, but I have photos of at least three different birds. Two adults and one immature bird. I don’t have much experience with ageing, but I think the immature bird is a second or third winter bird. Suggestions or corrections are greatly appreciated.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull at Cape Henlopen State Park on 28 September 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull at Cape Henlopen State Park on 28 September 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Second or third winter Lesser Black-backed Gull at Cape Henlopen State Park on 28 September 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Cape Henlopen State Park on 28 September 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

The four bottom photos were digiscoped with an iPhone 4S + Celestron Regal M2 80ED & Phone Skope Adapter.

Again, let me know in the comments what you think about the ageing of these gulls. Thanks!

Until next time, bird hard my friends.

RBA: Birdline Delaware, March 22nd, 2013

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

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 1st, 2013

Common Mergansers along Red Clay Creek on 1 March 2013. Photo by Derek Stoner.

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.

Although not reported on the weekly RBA, a lone Common Redpoll has been frequenting a feeder in Chadds Ford for a week or two now.

Common Redpoll in Pennsylvania. Photo by Kim Steininger.

RBA
* Delaware
* Statewide
* March 1, 2013
* DEST1303.01

Hotline: Birdline Delaware
Date: March 1, 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 1st, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. No new birds were reported this week with the 2013 Delaware state annual list remaining at 179 species.

There has been a plethora of gull sightings in New Castle County. Fox Point State Park off of I-495 near Edgemoor has been a hotbed of activity. A first-year GLAUCOUS GULL was reported there this week sitting on the docks at the south side of the park. Also reported have been ICELAND GULLS, and 3 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS. Several GREAT CORMORANTS of also been seen flying past.

Another first-year ICELAND GULL was reported down in Bear, Delaware. That bird was in the retention pond behind St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church off Route 7. Also seen there was RUDDY DUCK and PIED-BILLED GREBE. RING-NECKED DUCK was seen at another retention pond in Bear. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was also seen at Battery Park in New Castle. Five BRANT continue there, along with 5 WOOD DUCKS seen flying up the river.

Brant at Battery Park in New Castle, Delaware on 24 February 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

The previous reported BLACK-HEADED GULL continues at the Wolfe’s Point Sewage Treatment Plant near Midway, along with two dozen BONAPARTE’S GULLS. A CACKLING GOOSE was seen among the flock SNOW GEESE near Route 1 there. Another CACKLING GOOSE was reported at US Route 9 near Lewis. BRANT, RING-NECKED DUCK, and LESSER SCAUP were reported in the retention pond behind the SuperFresh in Rehoboth Beach. Silver Lake still has 750 CANVASBACK plus two dozen RUDDY DUCK. RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was seen again at Canal Pointe north of Rehoboth Beach. Also seen there were 10 BLACK VULTURES, BALD EAGLE, EASTERN PHOEBE, and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH.

The EARED GREBE continues to be seen at Indian River Inlet. That bird was seen in the water off the entrance road to the North Marina, known as Bottom Hills Drain. HORNED GREBES were also seen close by for comparison along with a single PIED-BILLED GREBE. AMERICAN BITTERN was also reported in the marsh there. Some other birds reported have been a large raft of both GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD, RED-BREASTED and HOODED MERGANSER.

RAZORBILL and COMMON EIDER were both reported at the south side of Indian River Inlet, along with BLACK and SURF SCOTER and a raft of 85+ LONG-TAILED DUCKS. GREAT CORMORANT and PURPLE SANDPIPER were reported at the jetty, NORTHERN GANNETS, RED-THROATED and COMMON LOONS were reported offshore. SNOW BUNTINGS were reported at the South inlet campground, along with flyovers of BLACK VULTURE and BALD EAGLE.

A pair of ROSS’S GEESE were seen among the flock SNOW GEESE along Route 1, 10 miles south of Milford. One of those birds was reported to be a blue morph. TREE SWALLOWS were reported flying along the coast at Slaughters Beach this week.

The ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD continues to be seen in Newark. The hummingbird is at Diane and Steve Freebery’s house 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.

Some first signs of spring in western Sussex County have been singing PINE WARBLERS along with BROWN-HEDED NUTHATCHES, west of Georgetown. WOOD DUCKS were seen at the Pete Gum Tract along with RUSTY BLACKBIRD in the Nanticoke Wildlife Area. AMERICAN WOODCOCK was calling at Philips Landing near Laurel, along with 16 WILD TURKEYS. 12 RING-NECKED DUCK and A PIED BILLED GREBE were seen along Broad Creek. HORNED GREBE was reported at the Record’s Pond boat ramp. PINE SISKINS were  reported at TRAP POND.

AMERICAN WOODCOCK were also displaying by the visitor center at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Also seen there was a SHORT-EARED OWL hunting along the hedgerow. Two BARN OWLS and GREAT HORNED OWL were also calling in the evening by the visitor center. BLACK-NECKED STILT continue be reported Raymond Pool along with several GREATER YELLOWLEGS. 53 WILSON’S SNIPE reported at the Bear Swamp. Waterfowl at the refuge included TUNDRA SWAN, RUDDY DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED and COMMON MERGANSER.

There’ve been several sightings of WOOD DUCKS this last week. Four were seen on pond north of Smyrna. Two were seen along the Brandywine Creek at the swinging bridge north of the Josephine Gardens. Also seen there were LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, and RING-NECKED DUCK. Six WOOD DUCKS were seen along Red Clay Creek at Ashland Nature Center. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HERMIT THRUSH, and PINE SISKIN were also reported there.

NORTHERN PINTAIL were reported at Pike Creek golf course this last week, as they start their northern migration. SNOW GEESE and TUNDRA SWANS reported flying over White Clay Creek heading out towards Lancaster County. 200 to 300 COMMON MERGANSERS were reported on Tuesday on Churchman’s Marsh off of I-95.

There still a good variety of waterfowl on Hoope’s Reservoir. Seen there this week was a COMMON LOON along with several PIED-BILLED GREBES. Also reported were LESSER SCAUP, COMMON GOLDENEYE, RING-NECKED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, and RUDDY DUCK. The reservoir also had 2 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, completing the merganser trifecta with HOODED and COMMON MERGANSERS also reported. PINE SISKIN has also been reported at Flint Woods near Centerville. PILEATED WOODPECKER and FOX SPARROW were reported there. AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was found at Brandywine Creek State Park. AMERICAN KESTREL and NORTHERN HARRIER reported in the fields along the entrance road to the nature center.

A VIRGINIA RAIL was heard calling at Grier’s Pond at Thousand Acre Marsh along Dutch Neck Road. Three RED-THROATED LOONS were seen at Augustine Beach. Also seen there were RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.

Many thanks to those people that helped put together the Birdline this week including, Diane Freebery, Sally O’Byrne, John Dunn, Judy Montgomery, Kim Steininger, Jim White, Gina Sheridan, David Fees, Glen Lovelace, Sharon Lynn, Bill Stewart, Sue Gruver, Lynn Smith, Derek Stoner, Tim Schreckengost, Alan Kneidel, Taj Schottland, David Lackart, and Maurice Barnhill. Please call your reports to me at 302-792-9591 or email to ednieap@verizon.net. Until next time, good birding!!!

Andy Ednie
Claymont, Delaware

Iceland Gulls at Fox Point State Park

While searching for a previously reported Glaucous Gull at Fox Point State Park this evening, we found two Iceland Gulls at the north end of the park. The two birds were first observed by Mason Sieges in flight as they flew upriver to the gull roost that Kyle Horton and I were sifting through. There were about 1500 Ring-billed and 1000 Herring Gulls with 6 Lesser and 10 Great Black-backed gulls mixed in.

Iceland Gull - Delaware

One of two Iceland Gulls at the north end of Fox Point State Park on 25 February 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Iceland Gull - Delaware

One of two Iceland Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull at the north end of Fox Point State Park on 25 February 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Here’s the link to the eBird checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S13191382

The video and photos were taken with an iPhone 4s and Celestron Regal 80 F-ED using an iPhone 4s Phone Skope Case.

Photo RBA: Birdline Delaware, February 15th, 2013

Long-tailed Duck at the Indian River Inlet in Sussex County, Delaware on 9 February 2013. Photo by Derek Stoner.

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
* February 15, 2013
* DEST1302.15

Hotline: Birdline Delaware
Date: February 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, February 15th, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The 2013 Delaware state annual list increased to 176 species this week.

New this week was an EARED GREBE seen on Saturday in Indian River Inlet. That bird was seen next to HORNED GREBES, with a nice contrast of throat and bill. The EARED GREBE was later seen in North Marina at the inlet and from the Burton’s Island Causeway. During the week, the bird was seen from the bluff over the causeway along the ditch between Rehoboth Bay and Bottom Hills Drain in Delaware Seashore State Park. Also seen in the area have been HORNED and PIED-BILLED GREBES, HOODED MERGANSER, and COMMON GOLDENEYE.

There have been 2 COMMON EIDERS at Indian River Inlet along with all three species of SCOTER: WHITE-WINGED, SURF, and BLACK, and a raft of over 60 LONG-TAILED DUCK. A peak count of 4 RAZORBILLS was reported, along with GREAT CORMORANT. PURPLE SANDPIPER and RUDDY TURNSTONE continue to be seen out on the jetty. 67 SNOW BUNTINGS were counted at the south inlet campground.

Common Eider at the Indian River Inlet in Sussex County, Delaware on 9 February 2013. Photo by Derek Stoner.

Razorbill at the Indian River Inlet in Sussex County, Delaware on 10 February 2013. Photo by Howard Patterson.

White-winged Scoter at the Indian River Inlet in Sussex County, Delaware on 9 February 2013. Photo by Derek Stoner.

A trip on the Cape May – Lewes ferry this week produced 9 RAZORBILL and 3 other large Alcids on the trip over to New Jersey. Also seen were BLACK and SURF SCOTER plus LONG-TAILED DUCK plus  NORTHERN GANNETS, along with flyby RED-THROATED LOONS and BRANT.

SNOW BUNTINGS were also seen out at the point in Cape Henlopen State Park along with HORNED GREBE and NORTHERN GANNETS. The jetty at Cape Henlopen had GREAT CORMORANT and SURF SCOTER. A BROWN CREEPER was seen by Fort Miles. RED-HEADED WOODPECKER continues to be seen at Canal Pointe in Rehoboth Beach. PALM WARBLER and EASTERN PHOEBE were also seen there by the retention pond off Chelmer Dr., along with 7 KILLDEER. There continues to be 3 REDHEAD at the Retreat at Love Creek off Route 24 west of Rehoboth Beach. 135 RING-NECKED DUCK and LESSER SCAUP were also seen. There were still over 400 CANVASBACKS at Silver Lake in Rehoboth.

Eastern Phoebe near the retention pond along Chelmer Drive. Photo by Alissa Kegelman.

Palm Warber at the retention pond along Chelmer Drive. Photo by Alissa Kegelman.

A EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be seen at Prime Hook Beach Road in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Milton. There were still 15 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS at Beach Plum Island in Broadkill Beach. The impoundments at Broadkill Beach this week had 4 LONG-TAILED DUCK, CANVASBACK, and LESSER SCAUP. Three BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS were seen at Fowler’s Beach in Prime Hook. VIRGINIA RAIL was also reported there. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were seen along the woodland from the Fowler’s Beach Road.

The previous reported ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD continues to be seen Newark, assisted by heat lamps during freezing weather. The hummingbird is at Diane and Steve Freebery’s house 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.

Anna’s Hummingbird in Newark, Delaware on 9 February 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

A NORTHERN GOSHAWK and 3 LAPLAND LONGSPURS reported along Savannah Rd., south of Leipsic near the intersection with Squawigm Road. EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, HORNED LARK and AMERICAN PIPIT were also seen there. A SHORT-EARED OWL continues to be seen at Pickering Beach south of Little Creek. AMERICAN BITTERN was also found there. EURASIAN WIGEON was seen again the Port Mahon impoundments at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area. That bird was in with a large flock of AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALL, and several HOODED MERGANSERS.

Short-eared Owl along Pickering Beach Rd. on 10 February 2013. Photo by Maurice Barnhill.

ROSS’S and CACKLING GOOSE were seen in the fields along Route 6 at Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, just east of the intersection with Route 9. There were 7 LESSER SCAUP reported at the Aquatic Center this week.

Ross’s Goose on 10 February 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

A REDHEAD and RED-THROATED LOON were reported at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. Also seen there were TUNDRA and MUTE SWAN, AMERICAN WIGEON, HOODED MERGANSER, BUFFLEHEAD, and RUDDY DUCK. AMERICAN BITTERN continues to be seen at Sheerness Pool just north of the Daly Pullout. Three BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS were also seen at Sheerness. BLACK-NECKED STILT and AMERICAN AVOCET were seen at Raymond Pool, along with GREATER YELLOWLEGS and WILSON’S SNIPE. A MERLIN was seen with a fresh killed MOURNING DOVE. RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS continued reported at the refuge. Also seen was AMERICAN TREE and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, GRAY CATBIRD, and RUSTY BLACKBIRD.

AMERICAN WOODCOCK were reported displaying at the backside of Bear Swamp in Bombay Hook. WOODCOCKS were also reported displaying further south at Woodland Golf Course in Seaford and at Oak Grove, west of Seaford.

There was a count of 13 REDHEADS on Hoopes’ Reservoir this week, all those birds were drakes. Hens and drake REDHEADS were also seen together, pushing the total count to 18 birds there. A COMMON LOON was seen at Hillside Mill Cove today, along with 9 PIED-BILLED GREBES, GADWALL and a NORTHERN SHOVELER. Other waterfowl seen at the reservoir included GREATER SCAUP, RING-NECKED DUCK, COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED and COMMON MERGANSER, plus RUDDY DUCK. At the nearby Valley Garden Park there were 22 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS. COMMON GOLDENEYE was also seen along the Red Clay Creek at Ashland Nature Center. FIELD, SAVANNAH, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW reported at Coverdale Farms. GREATER and LESSER SCAUP reported at Pike Creek. A SNOW GOOSE was reported at Carousel Farms off Limestone Road. EASTERN MEADOWLARK was also seen near there. There were about 200 NORTHERN PINTAIL at Churchman’s Marsh along with 15 BONAPARTE’S GULLS.

Redheads at Hoope’s Reservoir on 9 February 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Newark Reservoir off Paper Mill Road has had an influx of waterfowl this week. There was a peak count of 37 LESSER SCAUP, 18 COMMON MERGANSERS and a pair of RING-NECKED DUCKS this week. EASTERN BLUEBIRD and SAVANNAH SPARROW were also reported. RED-SHOULDERED HAWK along with HERMIT THRUSH and WINTER WREN were reported at Middle Run Natural Area in Newark. PILEATED WOODPECKER and RUSTY BLACKBIRD reported at Woodland Park near Price Corner. A BARRED OWL has been hanging out in Brandywine Hundred, near the intersection of Marsh and Grubb Road.

There still good numbers of winter finches reported. PURPLE FINCH was reported coming to a feeder in Deerhurst off Concord Pike. PINE SISKINS reported at Walnut Ridge near Centerville, and at Fairfield Crest in Newark. Downstate, PURPLE FINCH was reported at Love Creek along with PINE SISKIN. PURPLE FINCH was also reported in Milford. PINE SISKINS reported coming to a feeder near Blair’s Pond. There was a report of a pair of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS visiting a bird bath in downtown Wilmington two weeks ago that were was missed in last week’s Birdline.

A flock of BRANT continue be seen at Battery Park in New Castle. DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was seen along the river at Gambacorta Marsh. Also seen there were MERLIN, GRAY CATBIRD, and FOX SPARROW this week. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was reported on the south jetty at Reedy Point. A RED-THROATED LOON was seen along the Delaware River at Augustine Beach

Brant at Battery Park in New Castle, Delaware on 9 February 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Many thanks to those people that helped put together the Birdline this week including, Diane Freebery, Melissa Jernakoff, Sally O’Byrne, Jim White, John Hoyt, Anthony Gonzon, Jim Lenhard, Matt Grasso, Stacie Cantu, Alissa Kegelman, Susie Ball, Chuck Brandt, David Fees, Glen Lovelace, Joy Peters, Jason Beale, Gina Sheridan, Bill Stewart, Lynn Smith, Sue Gruver, Phil Thompson, Derek Stoner, Tim Schreckengost, Alan Kneidel, Chris Bennett, Lauren Morgans, Matt Sarver, Joe Russell, Maurice Barnhill, and Frank Rohrbacher. Please call your reports to me at 302-792-9591 or email to ednieap@verizon.net. Until next time, good birding!!!

-end transcript

I dipped on the Black-headed Gull, but these Ring-billed Gulls provided good photo opps.

After a whole bag of potato chips and no Black-headed Gull, I gave up and decided to photograph the growing flock of Ring-billed Gulls at Hunt Valley Towne Centre in Baltimore County, Maryland.

After the first round of chum, AKA delicious potato chips, this bird walked right up to the car window. We had a staring match, and I won.

I guess this one did something illegal and posed for a mug shot.

This one ate too many chips and had to take a rest. At this point, I was ready to do the same.

This bird stood out among the others, but is still a regular ol’ Ring-billed Gull and nothing special.

For some reason, this bird was raiding the dumpster at the restaurant next door and was throwing this bone up and trying to catch it in it’s bill. It failed multiple times.

This last shot is amusing. I don’t know what this bird is trying to choke down, but it had a tough time. Possibly a bird, a plane, or just a piece of bread. Who knows.