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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Lynn Jackson

Saturday April 20, 2013 - Coastal Delaware: South to North

It felt a bit chilly as we gathered at Turkle Pond in Prime Hook for the start of our annual springtime DE field trip. There was some birdsong around us but it took a while for things to get going. Then all the expected species fell into place: Chipping sparrows, Pine Warblers and Yellow-throated Warbler. The first surprise of the day came with the sighting of a gorgeous, and very cooperative, Prothonotary Warbler.

We then headed over to the visitors center to begin a walk along the dike, out to the observation tower in search of an immature White Ibis reported in the area. And there it was (thanks to Frank Rohrbacher) feeding in the reeds. Everyone was treated to excellent scope views of this southern visitor. Also along with walkway we had close up Greater Yellowlegs, Yellow Warbler and lots of Ospreys.

Back at the visitors center we enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch while watching the Purple Martins before continuing the field trip with a quick stop at Broadkill and Prime Hook Beack Roads. Water levels were pretty high.

Driving north to Mispillion Light we found a few new birds: Willets, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers hauled up onto the beach, Gannets moving north in the bay, American Oystercatchers, and lots of Dunlin, Sanderling and Ruddy Turnstones.

Arriving at Bombay Hook we found large flocks of shorebirds including Avocets and Black-necked Stilts. Among the many Black-bellied Plovers, Martin pulled out a gorgeous American Golden Plover in full breeding plumage. The Black-crowned Night-Heron roost yielded at least 35 birds but we were unable to find the 2 Yellow-crowneds reported in the colony.

It was a great way to end a great day of birding that produced over 90 species of birds. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a fun day.