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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Lynn Jackson

Saturday April 18, 2009 - Coastal Delaware

Saturday was a great day to go birding. The weather couldn’t have been nicer as 8 members of DVOC and Wyncote Audubon set off to explore coastal Delaware.

We started at Dragon Run Marsh where we had great looks at Wood Duck and Caspian Terns as well as Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, Coots and lots of singing Red-winged Blackbirds.

From there we headed south to the Grass Dale Center where a brief stroll yielded Eastern Bluebirds, Field Sparrows, dueling Mockingbirds, Yellow-rumped Warblers and 2 very bold Thrashers. Our route continued along the Canal and Dutch Neck Rd and brought us great looks at our target bird when we found over a hundred Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage decorating a local lawn.

South along Rt 9 we stopped in a small woodlot and found a single Pine Warbler and then stopped to watch the first of the returning Cliff Swallows visiting a nest under the bridge.

Lunchtime found us at the Aquatic Center above Woodland Beach where we had a nice picnic lunch while watching Red-shouldered Hawk and a kettle of 8 soaring Bald Eagles overhead.

Arriving at Bombay Hook we found the Purple Martins soaring around their nest boxes. Out on the refuge we found large expanses of mudflats teaming with shorebirds, mostly Dunlin, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs and Black-bellied Plovers but we were able to pull out a few Short-billed Dowtichers, some Semi-palmated and Least Sandpipers and great looks at an American Golden Plover just coming into
breeding plumage. 2 Black-necked Stilts were found feeding along the dike as were a lone Snow Goose and a single Tundra Swan.

We ended the day watching a beautiful red phase Screech-Owl sunning himself in a Wood Duck Box. With over 85 species for the day we finally called it quits and headed home after a fun day.