DVOC Main Page > Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert
Last updated Thursday, November 8, 2007 7:19 AM

Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert - Thursday October 4, 2007
brought to you from Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and the Academy of Natural Sciences

Presently this RBA is only available on the web. It will also be available via phone when some technical issues are worked out.

Submit reports to (Submission guidelines)

How can we make this RBA better? Submit your thoughts to

Current report - October 4, 2007

* PA, NJ, DE
* Delaware Valley: Southeast PA, Central/Southern NJ & DE
* PADV0710.04
* October 4, 2007

- Birds Mentioned

Roseate Spoonbill +
Calliope Hummingbird +

+ (Details requested by New Jersey Birds Records Committee)
++ (Details requested by Pennsylvania Ornthological Records Committee)
+++ (Details requested by Delaware Records Committee)

Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Great Cormorant
American Bittern
Tricolored Heron
Black-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Snow Goose
Mandarin Duck
Ring-necked Duck
Common Eider
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Ruddy Duck
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Northern Goshawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Northern Bobwhite
Virginia Rail
Black-bellied Plover
American Golden-plover
American Avocet
Marbled Godwit
Western Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Red-necked Phalarope
Parasitic Jaeger
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Black Tern
Black-billed Cuckoo
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Pileated Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Bicknell's Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
American Pipit
Blue-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Kentucky Warbler
Connecticut Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Hooded Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Clay-colored Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Rusty Blackbird
Purple Finch
Pine Siskin

Hotline: Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert
Email reports to:
Compilers: Steve Kacir, Mike Lyman, Rob Hynson
Delaware Valley Ornithological Club
URL: http://www.dvoc.org/RBA/Current/Active/Index.htm

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

Local Notes Summary from the 4 October 2007 DVOC Meeting

A singing HOUSE WREN was discovered at the Willistown Friends Meeting House in Delaware County, PA recently, and a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT was a first for the pond at Paul and Anita Guris’s House in Montgomery County, PA. In Philadelphia County, John Heinz NWR at Tinicum has had multiple SORAS recently, in fact, Doris McGovern mentioned that she has not heard so many SORAS at the refuge in 26 years. A total of 72 species were reported from Tinicum over the weekend, with highlights of 11 species of warbler including WILSON’S WARBLER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER in addition to the aforementioned SORAS. East Point Reservoir in Philadelphia County has had singing GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, and singing birds seem to outnumber migrants there. In other Philadelphia County news, Frank Windfelder has reached 224 birds for his Philadelphia Big Year with a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE. Turning to Delaware, a BAND-RUMPED STORM-PETREL was discovered on a fishing trip out of Lewes, Sussex County, DE about a week and a half ago. The BAND-RUMP was seen from Ed Sigda’s boat “The Snow Goose” when it was 40-45 miles out where the water temperature jumped five degrees. Other birds from that fishing trip included POMARINE JAEGER and GREATER SHEARWATER.


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.


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 County’s Palmyra 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.

On September 28, Somerset County’s Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve hosted a probable MOURNING WARBLER and CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, and a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was found on September 29. LINCOLN’S SPARROWS were there September 28-29, and one was at Lord Stirling Park on September 29. On September 30, 2 SUMMER TANAGERS, 2 CONNECTICUT WARBLERS, 7 LINCOLN’S SPARROWS, PURPLE FINCH, TENNESSEE and BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS were at Warren Green Acres/Glenhurst Meadows. Four CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS were at Spruce Run State Park on September 30. On October 3, the William L. Hutcheson Memorial Forest had 2 LINCOLN’S SPARROWS and a BOBOLINK.

For Delaware:

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.

For Pennsylvania:

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.

In Berks 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 Section.


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.



On this page....


  • Daily Field Checklist (A handy pocket list for your daily adventures. Available to everyone courtesy of the DVOC)
  • Delaware Valley Birding Checklist (A major publication covering status and distribution of Delaware Valley birds. Available to everyone courtesy of the DVOC)


General Guidelines for Submission

- Rarities
- Good concentrations (e.g. 8 sp. of shorebirds at Green Lane)
- High numbers (e.g. 2,000 Common Mergansers at Peace Valley)
- Early/late occurrences (1st Indigo Bunting, lingering Phoebe)
- Unusual breeders
- BRIEF report on out of area mega rarities(e.g. Red-footed Falcon or even a stint in MA)
- Announcements (DVOC meetings and field trips, Academy events, CBC dates and pelagics!)






What is the Delaware Valley?

The Delaware Valley is the name given to the region that lays on either side of the Delaware River, centered on Philadelphia. This consists of southeastern Pennsylvania, central and southern New Jersey and the state of Delaware.
The following counties fall within our boundaries.
(Click on a county name for information specific to the county)

In Pennsylvania;
Berks County
Bucks County
Chester County

Delaware County

Lancaster County

Lebanon County

Lehigh County
Montgomery County

Northampton County
Philadelphia County

Schuykill County

In New Jersey;
Atlantic County
Burlington County

Camden County

Cape May County

Cumberland County

Gloucester County

Hunterdon County

Mercer County

Middlesex County

Monmouth County

Northampton County
Ocean County
Salem County

Somerset County

Warren County

In Delaware;
New Castle County
Kent County

Sussex County



DVOC Rare Bird Alert Committee
Steve Kacir - Chair
Tony Croasdale
Bert Filemyr
Paul Guris
Rob Hynson
Mike Lyman
Nate Rice