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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Colin Campbell

Friday - Sunday April 30, May 1-2, 2010 - DELAWARE HOTSPOTS AND GOURMET WEEKEND

I have led an annual Spring Friday - Sunday trip to southern Delaware (that's south of the C&D Canal) for the DVOC for the past too many years. This year I decided to try a new tack - stick to the coastal plain rather than being based at Trap Pond SP. We had 12 participants and the 'canvas-crowd' stayed at Cape Henlopen State Park while the motellers had a choice of overnights at Lewes accommodations. This was billed as a Delmarva birding and gourmet event so, needless to say, we started on the Friday morning at Helen's Sausage House. I shall only report birding highlights, though the culinary experience also had highlights, even though muskratburgers were once again not on any menu. Damn.

Friday April 30 (117 species): Tricolored Heron (Fowler Beach); Snow Goose (New Rd, Lewes; prob. injured); Wood Duck with 10 ducklings, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, 500+ Black-bellied Plover, 3 American Golden-Plover in summer plumage, 12 Semipalmated Plover, 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Prothonotary Warbler, 4 Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Savannah Sparrow, 4 White-crowned Sparrow (Bombay Hook); Two (!) Eurasian Wigeon drakes, 6 Hooded Merganser (Ted Harvey North Pond); 2 Northern Harrier, 3 Am. Oystercatcher (Mispillion); Bonaparte's Gull (Fowler Beach); Common Nighthawk, Chuck-will's-widow, Whip-poor-will (all heard), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Cape Henlopen SP).

Saturday May 1 (103 species): Merlin, Peregrine, Prairie Warbler (Cape Henlopen hawkwatch); Virginia Rail, Louisiana Waterthrush, Swamp Sparrow (Prime Hook); Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-headed Woodpecker, White-eyed, Blue-headed, Yellow-throated, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Yellow-throated, Worm-eating Warblers, Am. Redstart, Ovenbird (Thompson's Island); 6 Common Nighthawk seen, Chuck-will's-widow seen (Cape Henlopen SP). Bird of the trip was a Sandhill Crane seen and heard over one participant's motel in Lewes and later seen by another observer flying over Thompson's Island.

Sunday May 2 (102 species): Tricolored Heron, Solitary Sandpiper, Bonaparte's Gull, 2 rufous Eastern Screech-Owl (Bombay Hook); Wild Turkey, Kentucky Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Summer Tanager (Cypress Swamp, MD .. just); 4 Cliff Swallow, Boat-tailed Grackle (Rt 9 Appoquinimink Bridge); 4 Vesper and 3 Grasshopper Sparrows (Fleatown Road).

Species total weekend ticks - 157 - just about double the amount of the 6-legged variety found on participants. Take care out there!