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Last updated Thursday, November 8, 2007 7:19 AM
Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert - Thursday October
brought to you from Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and the Academy of Natural Sciences
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Current report - October 4, 2007
* PA, NJ, DE
Roseate Spoonbill +
Welcome to the Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert, a service provided by the joint efforts of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (DVOC), covering the Delaware Valley Regions of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
I'm Steve Kacir your guide for birding in the Greater Philadelphia Region. For October 4, 2007 we highlight reports of AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, ROSEATE SPOONBILL, COMMON EIDER, GOLDEN EAGLE, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, PARASITIC JAEGER, NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, BICKNELL’S THRUSH, CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD, CONNECTICUT and MOURNING WARBLERS. Tomorrow, notable sightings from this evening’s Local Notes at the DVOC meeting will be added to the on-line version of the RBA, so remember to check out the website for additional content and information
BALD EAGLES, AMERICAN KESTRELS, COOPER’S and SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS were sighted regularly at hawk watches this week. The BROAD-WINGED HAWK migration continued to slow, and BROAD-WINGS were less reliable at many locations this week. RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS were regular at the Rose Tree Park Hawk Watch in Delaware County, PA and were noted at the Raccoon Ridge Hawk Watch in Warren County, NJ and the Ashland Nature Center Hawk Watch in New Castle County, DE.
Sightings of MERLINS and PEREGRINE FALCONS increased at Raccoon Ridge, Rose Tree Park and the Cape Henlopen State Park Hawk Watch in Sussex County, DE. MERLINS were reliable at Hawk Mountain, and both falcons were easy to see at Cape May Point State Park with 53 PEREGRINES noted October 2. COMMON RAVENS were at Raccoon Ridge September 28-29. Cape May Point had a GOLDEN EAGLE on September 30. NORTHERN GOSHAWKS flew by Rose Tree Park September 29 and Hawk Mountain September 30.
For New Jersey:
An adult male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD frequented the gardens at Karen Johnson’s house October 2-4. Karen, a Cape May Bird Observatory Naturalist, has given birders permission to come see the CALLIOPE at 1695 Route 47, Eldora, NJ. Her house is the fourth house on the left past the southern split of Route 347 and Route 47 as you travel north on Route 47. Park safely, well off the road on Route 47; do not pull into the driveway. Walk down the driveway A SHORT DISTANCE and step carefully through an opening in the vegetation on the left, well before the arbor. This will give you access to the front yard and chairs and benches that Karen and Brian have set up. The bird has been feeding from 2 sage/salvia gardens in front of the house.
On September 29, a DICKCISSEL fed near the hawk watch at Cape May Point State Park in Cape May County; BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER were at the park too. On September 30, SWAINSON’S, GRAY-CHEEKED and BICKNELL’S THRUSHES called before dawn, and BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, LINCOLN’S SPARROWS; CAPE MAY, YELLOW-THROATED, BAY-BREASTED, WILSON’S and CONNECTICUT WARBLERS were at the park. On September 28, The Nature Conservancy’s Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge had 2 flyby DICKCISSELS and third on the trail near the Plover Pond, 2 DICKCISSELS flew by the meadows October 1. A LINCOLN’S and a LARK SPARROW were near the refuge Observation Deck on September 30. PARASITIC JAEGER numbers have increased at the Rips, and a BLACK TERN and BLACK SCOTERS were seen around Cape May Point. A female COMMON EIDER was seen from the St Mary’s Jetty September 29.
On September 30, the Villas WMA had 2 RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS and a BLUE GROSBEAK, and a CONNECTICUT WARBLER was reportedly at Lily Lake. On October 2, a census of nocturnal migrants at Norbury’s Landing noted 25 GRAY-CHEEKED and 15 SWAINSON’S THRUSHES. On September 29, the Rea Farm had a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, and the Higbee Beach WMA Morning Flight tallied 4000 migrants. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were at Higbee on September 29-30. A GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH and 23 warbler species were noted on September 30. Highlights from the Morning Flight included BAY-BREASTED, CAPE MAY and CONNECTICUT WARBLERS; YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER; PURPLE FINCHES; AMERICAN PIPIT and DICKCISSEL. An AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER was at Two-Mile Landing in Wildwood on October 3.
The Avalon Sea Watch had GREAT CORMORANT; PARASITIC JAEGER; LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL; BRANT; WHITE-WINGED, BLACK and SURF SCOTERS this week. Nummy's Island hosted MARBLED GODWITS and YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS October 2, and a LARK SPARROW was at the dredge pond at Stone Harbor Point October 3.
The ROSEATE SPOONBILL was seen through October 1 at Edwin B Forsythe NWR at Brigantine in Atlantic County. The AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN was there September 27-29, and 2 AMERICAN AVOCETS were near the north dike dogleg on September 29. On September 27, a NELSON’S SHARP-TAILED was with SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS in the phragmites along the north dike, and a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER was at the parking lot. A RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was found September 27, and an AMERICAN BITTERN was spotted October 1. On October 2, NELSON’S and SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS were at the end of Seven Bridges Rd in Tuckerton, Ocean County.
On September 29, Monmouth County’s Sandy Hook had a flyby AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, PHILADELPHIA VIREOS, DICKCISSEL, SWAINSON’S THRUSHES and LINCOLN’S SPARROWS. Among the 22 species of warblers noted were BLUE-WINGED, CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED and HOODED WARBLERS. A CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and flyby AMERICAN PIPITS were at Plum Island.
The dredge spoils west of Pedricktown, Salem
County had NORTHERN BOBWHITES on September 29 and 7 CONNECTICUT WARBLERS
on September 27. On September 29-30, Burlington
Cove Nature Park (see also)
had GRAY-CHEEKED and SWAINSON’S THRUSHES, PHILADELPHIA VIREOS, LINCOLN’S
SPARROWS, and CONNECTICUT WARBLERS with 10 CONNECTICUTS on September 30.
On September 30 Palmyra had a NELSON’S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW, SORA,
RUSTY BLACKBIRD, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS and PURPLE FINCH. A WILSON’S
WARBLER was there September 29.
In New Castle County, an AMERICAN PIPIT flew past the Ashland Nature Center Hawk Watch Platform on September 29. Other birds at Ashland over the weekend included LINCOLN’S SPARROW; PURPLE FINCH; YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER; SWAINSON’S THRUSH; LEAST FLYCATCHER; YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT; MOURNING and TENNESSEE WARBLERS. On October 1, Ashland had PURPLE FINCHES, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, WINTER WREN, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, TENNESSEE and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS. On October 4, Ashland had YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, WINTER WREN, PURPLE FINCHES and BLACKPOLL WARBLER. On September 30, birding around Brandywine Creek State Park and Woodlawn Preserve turned up BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, BLUE-HEADED VIREO and MARSH WREN. A survey of the Middle Run Natural Area on September 28 noted PILEATED WOODPECKER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and MAGNOLIA WARBLERS. White Clay Creek State Park had LINCOLN’S SPARROW and PURPLE FINCH on September 29. The weekly survey of Flint Woods Preserve noted BLUE-HEADED VIREO, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, PURPLE FINCH and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK.
In Kent County, Bombay Hook NWR has had extremely low water levels and few shorebirds, though LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS and WESTERN SANDPIPERS were at the remains of Shearness Pool. On September 29, a MARBLED GODWIT was at Shearness and a KENTUCKY WARBLER was near the visitor center. On September 30, a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was near Finis Pool and a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was at Bear Swamp. Flocks of SNOW GEESE were seen from Bombay Hook September 29-30. Taylor’s Gut had 8 AMERICAN AVOCETS on September 28. The marshes of Duck Creek at Armstrong Farm east of Smyrna had BALD EAGLES, MERLIN, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON and VIRGINIA RAIL on September 27. Port Mahon Rd was very birdy on September 29 with sightings of PEREGRINE FALCON, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Port Mahon had good numbers of ROYAL TERNS September 29-30, and there were 2 flyby CASPIAN TERNS and an adult BALD EAGLE on September 30. A “small sit” at the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor on September 29 noted 41 species including TRICOLORED HERON, BRANT and RUDDY DUCKS.
In Sussex County, the Cape Henlopen State Park Hawk Watch noted BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCHES September 29-30. BROWN PELICANS were seen from the hawk watch on October 2-3, with 20 in formation October 2. Prime Hook NWR’s Boardwalk Trail was teeming with birds on September 29: 3-4 LINCOLN’S SPARROWS, BLUE GROSBEAKS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, TENNESSEE and BLACKPOLL WARBLERS. On September 28, the Broadkill Beach Rd impoundment had BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, while Gordon’s Pond State Park had CASPIAN and ROYAL TERNS, 50-75 AMERICAN AVOCETS, BLACKBURNIAN and PINE WARBLERS. At Angola Neck this week a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER and 2 GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES were reported.
On September 30, Philadelphia County’s John Heinz NWR at Tinicum had PECTORAL and STILT SANDPIPERS. On October 2, 2 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS were at Clividen in Germantown and 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES were at Fairmont Park. In Delaware County, the Rose Tree Park Hawk Watch noted a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK on September 27, and 6 COMMON LOONS flew past on October 1. Norristown Farm Park in Montgomery County had 2 BLUE-HEADED VIREOS and a BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER on September 29. Chambers Lake/Hibernia Park in Chester County had an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, RING-NECKED and MANDARIN DUCKS, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, NASHVILLE WARBLER and RUSTY BLACKBIRD on September 30. On September 29, SWAINSON’S THRUSH and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK were reported there, and BLUE-HEADED VIREOS were seen on both days.
Reports from the Churchville Nature Center (see also) in Bucks County included BALD EAGLE, PECTORAL SANDPIPER and NASHVILLE WARBLERS. A CONNECTICUT WARBLER was at the Churchville wildflower garden on September 29, and a bird walk that day found RUDDY DUCK, PINE WARBLER and BLUE-HEADED VIREO. Kemper Park had WILSON’S WARBLER, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and SCARLET TANAGER on September 29. Peace Valley Park had regular sightings of BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, BALD EAGLES, PURPLE FINCHES and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. The cold front that pushed through on September 29 brought YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, SCARLET TANAGER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and LINCOLN’S SPARROW to Peace Valley. On October 2, Pine Run had 2 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS, and Peace Valley had RUDDY DUCKS.
On September 29, a bird banding demo at the Pennsylvania Power & Light Grasslands in Northampton County noted a MARSH WREN, LINCOLN’S SPARROW and BOBOLINKS. On September 29, the Koch property had SCARLET TANAGER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS and MERLIN. LINCOLN’S SPARROWS were frequently reported at the property, with at least 10 on October 1. A MARSH WREN, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and PINE WARBLER were at the Koch property October 3. On October 2, Kirkridge Lookout had YELLOW-THROATED and PHILADELPHIA VIREOS; CAPE MAY, BAY-BREASTED, WILSON’S, ORANGE-CROWNED and CERULEAN WARBLERS. A MARSH WREN, LINCOLN’S SPARROW and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS were at Bear Swamp Park October 2.
The Conejohela Flats in Lancaster County had AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS September 28-October 1, with WILSON’S SNIPES, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and AMERICAN PIPITS noted September 30-October 1. On September 28, the Flats had 2 SANDERLINGS, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, AMERICAN BITTERN, 2-3 SORAS, PEREGRINE FALCONS, SNOW GOOSE and 22 PIED-BILLED GREBES. On October 1, the flats had 3 juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, BALD EAGLES, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and a MARSH WREN. At the small weedy islands west of Bainbridge there were BOBOLINKS, a RUSTY BLACKBIRD and a PURPLE FINCH on September 30. The Speedwell Forge area had 20 PURPLE FINCHES on October 3. On September 28, Lehigh County’s Jordan Creek Parkway boasted NASHVILLE WARBLER and LINCOLN’S SPARROW.
County, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
reported 8 WINTER WRENS on September 27. A PINE SISKIN and 7 BLUE-HEADED
VIREOS were there on September 30, and 23 PURPLE FINCHES flew past Hawk
Mountain October 2. Blue Marsh Park had LINCOLN’S SPARROWS on September
30. On that day, SGL 110 hosted a calling COMMON LOON, 3 PHILADELPHIA
VIREOS, WINTER WRENS, a late OVENBIRD for the site, NASHVILLE and CAPE
MAY WARBLERS. Three NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS were netted in western Schuykill
County on the evening of September 29, these birds are the first September
SAW-WHET captures for those conducting research through the Ned Smith
Center for Nature and Art in Millersburg. For more, see our Announcement
*** ANNOUNCEMENTS ***
Frank Windfelder will lead a DVOC field trip to the Tuckerton Marshes for Sharp-tailed Sparrows on Oct 6. The trip will meet at the end of Seven Bridges Rd at 7:30am sharp. There is no field trip fee, and members and non-members are welcome to attend. Participants should bring high boots or wellies and a packed lunch should they plan to continue on the Edwin B Forsythe NWR at Brigantine for the second half of the trip. Please contact the trip leader if you plan on attending. Details and an analysis of past years’ Sharp-tailed Sparrow trips can be found on the website: http://www.dvoc.org
The next meeting of the DVOC will be at 7:30pm on Thursday Oct 4 at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Adrian Binns will fill in for Lillian Armstrong, presenting “The Lighter Side of Birding,” and presumably Adrian Binns will also present his “Fecal Sacs” Ornithological Study. Details and directions are on the website, and guests are welcome.
A pelagic is scheduled out of Lewes, DE for Saturday October 20. Last year's trip at that time of year found North America's second Cape Verde Shearwater. For more information, call 215-234-6805 or visit http://www.paulagics.com
Scott Weidensaul announced the beginning of the eleventh season of SAW-WHET OWL migration research through the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art in Millersburg on September 30. On September 29, the researchers netted their first ever September SAW-WHETS. Northern Saw-whet Owl migration is a cyclical phenomenon, and after two very poor seasons, this year we are poised for an irruption of Saw-whets into our region this fall. Recent reports from Canadian banding stations indicate large numbers of Saw-whets are moving south already. For more information on the banding project check out the website: http://www.nedsmithcenter.org/06sawwhet.html
Bombay Hook NWR’s Boardwalk Trail and associated parking lot will be closed for repairs until further notice, and the back section of the refuge including Finis Pool and Bear Swamp will be closed all day on October 8, 10 and12 for muzzleloader hunting.
The Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert is a weekly report on birding in the Delaware Valley Region including Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. To report birds or significant upcoming birding events and planned pelagic trips, please email . This is Steve Kacir, good birding to you all and thanks for calling, surfing and reporting.
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DVOC Rare Bird Alert Committee
Steve Kacir - Chair