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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Martin Selzer
February 21, 2009 (Saturday)
Indian River Inlet and North, DE
Fifteen members of the Wyncote Audubon Society and DVOC joined me on this joint club field trip to the Indian River Inlet and points north. The jetties of the inlet were busy with Herring, Great Black-backed and Ring-billed Gulls, Sanderling, Purple Sandpipers and Ruddy Turnstones. The water around the jetties contained Common and Red-throated Loons, Long-tailed Ducks Red-breasted Mergansers, Horned Grebes and Surf Scoters. A quick stop at the marina, added Bald Eagle, Buffleheads and some of the best views of displaying drake Common Goldeneyes that many of us could remember.
From the inlet and marina we headed north towards Silver Lake in Rehobeth. A birding stop at Silver Lake means Canvasbacks and the flock of 500+ there was a real treat. Also on the lake was a large group of Ruddy Duck, some Northern Shovelers, three Gadwalls and a visitor from the south, a Black-bellied Whistling-duck. While it took some scanning before we found this bird sleeping along the bank, we did find it and then we got lucky. The whistling-duck stretched and flew right to us, stood not 10 feet from the group. Then the whistling-duck got up and flew around the lake in front of us before going back to its original resting spot in the bank. It was quite a show!
Next it was a stop at Cape Henlopen State Park. A walk around the camp ground yielded quick looks at Brown-headed and Red-breasted Nuthatches, Fox Sparrow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse and Golden-crowned Kinglet. After a quick stop for lunch we walked out at Fort Myles and got better looks at both nuthatches, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Eastern Bluebird. We left the park and headed north to Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.
Before going into the refuge proper, we checked out the ponds along Broadkill Beach Road. The ponds held good numbers of Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintails and a Peregrine Falcon. At the refuge headquarters for Prime Hook, we walked the trail around the boat ramp and found more Golden-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Wood Thrush, White-throated Sparrows and Carolina Wrens.
We then continued north to Cartanza Road looking for Horned Larks and found a large flock well off in the field. A quick scan couldn’t pick up anything other than the larks. We then headed on to the entrance road of Bombay Hook. We continued looking for field birds but could only add some feeding killdeers and Tundra Swans before calling it a day.
Thanks to everyone for joining me.