Birds in Delaware

Birdline Delaware

Rare Bird Alerts - April 21, 2017

To Report: Andy Ednie 302-792-9591 (VOICE)
Compiler/Transcriber: Andy Ednie (
Coverage: Delaware, Delmarva Peninsula, nearby Delaware Valley, Southern New Jersey, Maryland

For Friday, April 21st, this is Birdline Delaware from the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville. The new unofficial Delaware year list increased to 246 species this week. New arrivals included LEAST BITTERN, KING RAIL, STILT, SOLITARY, and SPOTTED SANDPIPER, LEAST TERN, BLACK SKIMMER, COMMON NIGHTHAWK, CHUCK WILL'S WIDOW, WHIPPOORWILL, EASTERN KINGBIRD, WARBLING VIREO, BANK SWALLOW, WORM-EATING WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, and ORCHARD ORIOLE.

This news just in, a WHITE-WINGED DOVE was reported today in Brandywine Hundred along Marsh Road between Silverside and Grubb Road. The bird was seen feeding along the roadway but flew back into the yards and has not been re-found. If you have a bird feeder in the Brandywine Hundred area, please keep an eye out this weekend.

After almost a week's absence, there are now two RUFFS at the Port Penn impoundments of Augustine Wildlife Area. These birds are being seen from the phrag pullout along Route 9 just north of the intersection with Port Penn Road. One bird is a brightly chestnut and black plumage male with the other a REEVE. These birds were discovered yesterday and seen again today. Other highlights at Port Penn included the first BANK SWALLOW of the season along with COMMON GALLINULE plus KING and CLAPPER RAIL. The first SOLITARY SANDPIPER of the season was reported Port Penn on Saturday, other shorebirds included PECTORAL and LEAST SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, WILSON'S SNIPE, plus GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. The sandbar to the back of the impoundment had CASPIAN and FORSTER'S TERNS plus a single BONAPARTE'S GULL. A TRICOLORED HERON was seen from the Boardwalk today, along with SNOWY EGRET, LITTLE BLUE HERON, and GLOSSY IBIS. RUDDY DUCK was seen on the pond across the road.

SANDHILL CRANE was reported at Thousand Acre Marsh from both Grier's Pond and the Ashton Tract. The first LEAST BITTERN of the season was calling from the reeds at Grier's Pond along Dutch Neck Road. LITTLE BLUE HERON, GLOSSY IBIS, and WILSON'S SNIPE were seen at the pond. RING-NECKED PHEASANT continue be seen along Dutch Neck Road. WILD TURKEY and MERLIN were reported at the Ashton Tract. A PROTHONOTARY WARBLER was calling at the entrance gate on Sunday. Other WARBLERS reported included YELLOW-THROATED, YELLOW-RUMPED, a dozen PALMS, and PINE WARBLER along with PURPLE FINCH. PURPLE FINCH was also reported coming to feeders at Augustine Creek Farms.

VIRGINIA and KING RAIL were found at Dragon Run Marsh near Delaware City. Waterfowl reported included PIED-BILLED GREBE, MUTE SWAN, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, GADWALL, and WOOD DUCK. RUSTY BLACKBIRD plus YELLOW and PALM WARBLER were found in the wood. A PEREGRINE FALCON was photographed on St. George's Bridge. 75 WILD TURKEYS were reported at Fraser Road west of Glasgow.

A pair of CLIFF SWALLOWS continues to be seen at the Appoquinmink Bridge along Route 9 near Odessa. Also found was calling KING RAIL and MARSH WREN. KING and CLAPPER RAIL were calling at Stave's Landing along Route 9, south of Odessa. AMERICAN KESTREL was found along Steve's Landing Road.

The first WHIPPOORWILL of the season was found at Middle Run Natural Area near Newark on Tuesday evening. The first CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW was heard at Bethany Beach on Sunday. A COMMON NIGHTHAWK was reported flying over North Star near Newark this week.

An INDIGO BUNTING was seen at Middle Run today. Other birds at Middle Run included BLUE-HEADED VIREO, OVENBIRD, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, YELLOW-RUMPED, PALM, and PINE WARBLER. BROAD-WINGED HAWK was reported on Wednesday with other raptors including SHARP-SHINNED and COOPER'S HAWK plus MERLIN. GREEN HERON and BARN SWALLOW reported at the Middle Run Pond complex.

Warblers are arriving at White Clay Creek State Park near Newark. New this week were NORTHERN PARULA, YELLOW, YELLOW-THROATED, BLACK AND WHITE, PALM, PINE, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH, and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. WOOD THRUSH and BLUE-HEADED VIREO were found this week along with the first SPOTTED SANDPIPER of the season today. SPOTTED SANDPIPER was also found at the University of Delaware Ag Farm.

A BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE was found at Battery Park in New Castle on Saturday, an amazing find this far north along the Delaware River. Originally found at the New Castle Yacht Club, it was seen feeding along the shoreline to the north. A pair of SNOW GEESE was seen on the Delaware River. A PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen being harassed by FISH CROWS along the woods edge. Also reported was OSPREY, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, and BALD EAGLE plus KILLDEER and CASPIAN TERN.

Late feeder birds included BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE continuing at Middle Run. Another BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE was found continues along Shipley Road in Brandywine Hundred. A YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER plus BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER and BLUE-HEADED VIREO was reported along Grubb Road. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was reported at the Village of Lindell.

Two COMMON LOONS were found at Hoope's Reservoir. One bird in breeding plumage was seen at the Hillside Mill Cove. 83 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT were seen flying over Ashland Nature Center. The first WARBLING VIREO of the season was reported at Ashland on Thursday. A GREATER SCAUP was reported in Brandywine Park in downtown Wilmington, along with BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED and CLIFF SWALLOW. EASTERN MEADOWLARK was reported at Brandywine Creek State Park.

The first STILT SANDPIPER of the season was reported at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna. Over 600 AMERICAN AVOCETS were reported this week plus 6 BLACK-NECKED STILT. Other shorebirds included AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, PECTORAL and LEAST SANDPIPER, WILLET, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, WILSON'S SNIPE, plus both YELLOWLEGS. A pair of LESSER SCAUP were seen at the southeast corner of Bear Swamp along with MUTE SWAN, SNOW GOOSE, RUDDY DUCK, and BUFFLEHEAD. A peak count of 25 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS were found at Night Heron Island plus SNOWY EGRET, LITTLE BLUE HERON, GREEN HERON and GLOSSY IBIS. PROTHONOTARY WARBLER was found at Finis Pool. Other WARBLERS reported included YELLOW, PALM, PINE, and PRAIRIE. BLUE-HEADED VIREO was found at the Raymond Tower pullout. SEASIDE SPARROWS were reported along the marsh edge. CASPIAN and FORSTER'S TERNS were seen flying out over the impoundments. WILD TURKEY and NORTHERN BOBWHITE were found along the Allee House Road. There was a peak count of 35 BALD EAGLES reported at Shearness Pool on Monday including 22 EAGLES feeding on the mud flats plus 7 EAGLES in the trees and six birds overhead. We've come a long way from when a total of eight BALD EAGLES were in the entire state.

Eight RUDDY DUCKS were reported at Port Mahon on along with 8 OSPREY and 20 FORSTER'S TERNS. 35 GADWALL and 225 GREEN-WINGED TEAL were reported at Little Creek Wildlife Management Area today. Shorebirds seen included 6 BLACK-NECKED STILT, 30 BLACKBELLIED PLOVERS, and 3 WILLITS.

The previous reported UPLAND SANDPIPERS at the Reb yard in Frederica off Johnny Cake Landing Road were still present on Saturday and Sunday but have not been seen since. GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH and PALM WARBLER were found at Abbott's Mill Nature Center west of Milford.


Late WINTER WREN and HERMIT THRUSH were found at the Chapel Branch Nature Center in Seaford along with OVENBIRD and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER. OVENBIRD, PROTHONOTARY, and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER were also found at Phillip's Landing in Nanticoke Wildlife Area near Laurel. PILEATED WOODPECKER and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH were also found. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was reported at the Big Fields area in Nanticoke.

The first AMERICAN REDSTART of the season, along with NORTHERN PARULA and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was found at Little Neck Wildlife Area near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. The first WORM-EATING WARBLER was reported by the Prime Hook headquarters along with OVENBIRD, PRAIRIE, PALM, PINE, YELLOW, YELLOW-RUMPED, YELLOW-THROATED, and WHITE-EYED VIREO. RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, with BLUE-WINGED, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL were found along the observation point trail. AMERICAN AVOCETS and BLACK-NECKED STILT were found at Broadkill Marsh along with BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, PECTORAL and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, WILLET, plus both YELLOWLEGS. A peak count of 6 PIPING PLOVERS were found at Fowler's Beach along the Delaware Bay plus NORTHERN GANNET and BONAPARTE'S GULLS offshore. The first BLACK SKIMMER of the year was found at Mispillion Inlet on Saturday, along with WILLET and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.

PIPING PLOVER, SANDERLING and BRANT were seen at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park. BROWN-HEADED and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, OVENBIRD, and PALM WARBLER were reported at the Seaside Nature Center. Raptors reported this week included the falcon trifecta AMERICAN KESTREL, MERLIN, and PEREGRINE FALCON. A late FOX SPARROW was reported coming to a feeder near Harbeson.

There was a single report of CRESTED CARACARA flying over Indian Beach, south of Dewey. Anybody traveling to this area should be on the lookout for any unusual large raptors. The first LEAST TERN of the season was reported Thursday at Burtons Island in Delaware Seashore State Park. Two TRICOLORED HERONS were reported in the marsh along with GREAT EGRET, and GREEN HERON. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was seen flying from Burtons Island and heading south. A peak count of 50 BUFFLEHEADS were found along the waterway.

Six AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS were found along Route 54 at Fenwick Island. MUTE SWAN, WOOD DUCK, and WILD TURKEY were reported at Assawoman Wildlife Area. PILEATED WOODPECKER, OVENBIRD and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER were found in the woodlands.

A dozen DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT are now nesting on the green channel marker on the Delaware River near Claymont off Gov. Prince Boulevard. BALD EAGLE continues to be nesting on the cell phone tower behind Ellmore Auto Body in Edgemoor. Another BALD EAGLE nest was discovered along the Delaware River just south of the Claymont train station along I-495. The PEREGRINE FALCONS at the Brandywine Building continue to feed their hatchlings.

Thanks to those that contributed this week, including, Christine Anderson, Debbie Beer, Armas Hill, Jeff Holmes, Diane Kane, Elizabeth Porter, Ellen Jacobson, Michael Bowen, Peter Gibb, Billy Kaslow, Katie Bird, Dave Miller, Scott Lewis, David Belford, Amy White, Zoe Yost, Jason Wood, Sean O'Connor, Andrew Bogush, Richard Julian, Chris Bennett, Colin Campbell, Dean Coffin, Kitt Heckscher, Keith Leonard, David Fees, Andy Dunn, Joel Martin, Nancy Cunningham, Bob Edelen, , Dick Plambeck, Joe Sebastiani, Derek Stoner, Phil Thompson, Chris Rowe, Gerry Teig, Jerald and Aaron Reb, Ken Wat, Bill Stewart, Kim Steininger, Alissa Kegelman, Kelley Nunn, Hannah Greenberg, John Skibicki, Lynn Smith, John Long, Rachel Shapiro, Tim Freiday, Frank Lenik, Joe Russell, and Joe Swertinski. Remember, the Birdline needs your sightings. Please call your reports into 302-792-9591 or email Until next week, this is Andy Ednie wishing you good birding!

Birdline Delaware is compiled by Andy Ednie, the 2010 recipient of Delaware Audubon's Conservation Award. It is posted on the Delaware Audubon web site as a public service. The Birdline is not sponsored by the Delaware Audubon Society.