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Last updated Thursday, November 8, 2007 3:30 PM

Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert - Thursday November 1, 2007
brought to you from Philadelphia by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and the Academy of Natural Sciences

The phone number to report sightings or hear the current RBA is 215-240-7547. You may leave your sightings after the recording or hit the one (1) key at any time to skip the recording and leave a message. The Hotline will be updated every Thursday afternoon and a weekend wrap-up update will be recorded every Monday morning. The Hotline will also be updated in the event any especially important rarities appear in the Delaware Valley Region such as Ivory Gull, Long-billed Murrelet, Red-footed Falcon, etc.

This spoken word version of the hotline is an abbreviated version of what's available here. Our current announcer for the RBA is Tony Croasdale, though, there will doubtlessly be others who contribute in this respect. Please call in and enjoy the Hotline, and feel free to call that number to report rarities.

Submit reports to or 215-240-7547
(Submission guidelines)

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Current report - November 1, 2007

* PA, NJ, DE
* Delaware Valley: Southeast PA, Central/Southern NJ and DE
* PADV0711.01
* November 1, 2007

- Birds Mentioned

Anhinga +
Swainson's Hawk ++
Eurasian Collared-dove +
Cave Swallow +

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

Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Northern Gannet
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Great Cormorant
American Bittern
Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose
Cackling Goose
King Eider
Common Eider
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bald Eagle
Northern Goshawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Golden Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Clapper Rail
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Black-bellied Plover
American Golden-plover
Semipalmated Plover
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Red Knot
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
American Woodcock
Parasitic Jaeger
Bonaparte's Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Black-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Eastern Screech-owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Pileated Woodpecker
Western Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
Blue-headed Vireo
Common Raven
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
American Pipit
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Pine Warbler
Summer Tanager
Clay-colored Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Snow Bunting
Blue Grosbeak
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
Red Crossbill
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
Evening Grosbeak

Hotline: Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert
Email reports to:
Compilers: Steve Kacir, Rob Hynson, Mike Lyman and Tony Croasdale - Delaware Valley Ornithological Club
Phone: (215) 240-7547
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 November 1, 2007 we highlight reports of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, CAVE SWALLOW, RED CROSSBILL and EVENING GROSBEAKS.


BALD EAGLES continued to make regular appearances at most hawk watches after the storms passed. The Cape May Point State Park Hawk Watch in Cape May County, NJ was the most reliable for MERLINS and PEREGRINE FALCONS, which have been noted less frequently this week in the Delaware Valley. RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS pushed through in good numbers across the region. BROAD-WINGED HAWKS were still noted from Cape May Point, and one flew past Ashland Nature Center’s Hawk Watch in New Castle County, DE. On October 29, Cape May Point had a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, and the Second Mountain Hawk Watch in Lebanon County, PA had a SWAINSON’S HAWK on October 25. NORTHERN GOSHAWKS and GOLDEN EAGLES were reported more frequently this past week. The Bake Oven Knob Hawk Watch in Lehigh County, PA has been the best location for both of these species this week, perhaps best exemplified by the 8 GOSHAWKS and 8 GOLDEN EAGLES seen on October 28. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County, PA has also had frequent GOLDEN EAGLE sightings. COMMON RAVENS were reported from Bake Oven Knob, Second Mountain and the Raccoon Ridge Hawk Watch in Warren County, NJ.

For New Jersey:

The RED CROSSBILL continued to visit feeders at The Nature Conservancy’s Delaware Bayshore Office at The Eldora Nature Preserve in Cumberland County through October 28. The street address is 2350 Route 47, Delmont, NJ 08314. (See pictures of this bird at Karl and Judy Lukens's Website).NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS were reported from private residences in Cumberland and Cape May Counties on October 29.

A EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE flew past the Hawk Watch Platform on October 27 at Cape May Point State Park in Cape May County, and a YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD flew by on Friday. The first CAVE SWALLOW of the season flew past the hawk watch on Sunday, and an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was noted that afternoon. An ANHINGA flew over the Hawk Watch on Monday. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was at the Bunker Pond on Saturday. On Monday, a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, AMERICAN PIPIT and PURPLE FINCHES were at the State Park. A SHORT-EARED OWL was spotted from the Hawk Watch before putting down at The Nature Conservancy Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge (The Meadows), where a BLUE GROSBEAK, CLAY-COLORED and VESPER SPARROW were seen on Saturday. Ipswich SAVANNAH SPARROWS have also been seen at the refuge.

A bird walk at the Rea's Farm (The Beanery) on October 26 found WINTER WREN, WILSON’S SNIPES, BRANT, MERLINS, AMERICAN PIPITS, VESPER SPARROWS, COMMON LOONS and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. A late adult male SUMMER TANAGER was at the Rea Farm on October 28. A BALTIMORE ORIOLE, AMERICAN PIPIT, PINE SISKINS and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were at the Rea Farm on Monday, and a SANDHILL CRANE flew over the Rea Farm, Hidden Valley Ranch and the Higbee Beach dike on Monday. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER put on a show at Higbee Beach WMA on Friday, and highlights from Sunday included CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, WINTER WREN, PINE WARBLER, RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, PURPLE FINCHES, PINE SISKINS and a flyby CACKLING GOOSE. On Monday, a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was seen from the Higbee dikes. The Villas WMA had a flyby WESTERN KINGBIRD on October 28. A VESPER SPARROW was found at the Magnesite Plant. A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO flew over the Garden State Parkway on Monday.

The Avalon Sea Watch had a record-breaking Scoter flight on October 26, with 158,699 birds tallied. Tens of thousands of both BLACK and SURF SCOTERS and hundreds of NORTHERN GANNETS were reported October 25-26. Other species noted at the watch through the week included RED-THROATED LOONS, GREAT CORMORANTS, BROWN PELICANS, YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, BONAPARTE’S GULLS, PARASITIC JAEGERS, a MARBLED GODWIT, CANVASBACKS, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, KING and COMMON EIDERS. Sea watching was fruitful around Cape May Point on Saturday with a KING EIDER off Convention Hall and COMMON EIDERS noted around the Point through the week. MARBLED GODWITS were seen over the weekend at Stone Harbor Point.

The AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN at Edwin B Forsythe NWR at Brigantine in Atlantic County was seen through October 31, as were MARBLED GODWITS. Notable lingering shorebirds on October 31 included an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER; a RED KNOT; LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER; WESTERN, WHITE-RUMPED and STILT SANDPIPERS. Other notable Halloween birds included BALD EAGLE, PEREGRINE FALCON, BRANT, AMERICAN PIPIT, PURPLE FINCHES, PINE SISKIN and SALTMARSH SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS.

On October 31, Sandy Hook in Monmouth County had 2 NASHVILLE WARBLERS at Fishermans Trail, 2 COMMON EIDERS at North Beach and NORTHERN GANNETS off Lot C and North Beach. At Island Beach State Park in Ocean County, 10 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS were banded on October 31. Three SANDHILL CRANES were at Compromise Rd in Salem County on October 26.

On October 25, the Merrill Creek Reservoir in Warren County provided views of 9 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 3 SURF SCOTERS, 196 BRANT, 5 BALD EAGLES, a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and VESPER SPARROW. A RED CROSSBILL was seen on October 28 from the Raccoon Ridge Hawk Watch in Warren County along with a PURPLE FINCH, and there were 5 EVENING GROSBEAKS on October 30. Raccoon Ridge reported BLACK SCOTER on October 27 and PINE SISKIN on October 29.

For Delaware:

On October 26, New Castle County had AMERICAN WOODCOCKS at the Ashland Nature Center and Flint Woods Preserve. PINE SISKINS were at a private feeder north of Hockessin on Saturday, and the Ashland Nature Center Hawk Watch on October 28-29. Ashland had a FOX SPARROW on Monday, and some flyby ducks that were probably dark-winged SCOTERS. Ten EVENING GROSBEAKS flew past the Hawk Watch on October 30, PURPLE FINCH and PINE SISKIN were also noted that day. On Halloween 27 PURPLE FINCHES were counted at Ashland, and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was found that day on private property near Ashland. Brandywine Creek State Park had a CACKLING GOOSE, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK and 6 species of woodpecker including 4 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS.

Sightings logged at Bombay Hook NWR in Kent County October 21-27 included PEREGRINE FALCON and EASTERN SCREECH-OWL. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED and a CACKLING GOOSE were seen from Raymond Tower on Sunday, and shorebirds include around 500 AMERICAN AVOCETS; 2-3 MARBLED GODWITS; WESTERN, SEMIPALMATED and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS. A SNOW BUNTING and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO were reported from Finis Pool.

On Saturday, the Cape Henlopen State Park’s Hawk Watch in Sussex County sighted juvenile NORTHERN GANNETS and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. Scoters were seen from the Hawk Watch October 27 and 31. At least 8 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS roosted on the beach at Cape Henlopen on October 27, and a light morph and a dark morph PARASITIC JAEGER were seen from Herring Point. BROWN PELICANS flew past the Cape Henlopen Hawk Watch October 27-28.

A conservative estimate had 6000 SCOTERS flying by Indian River Inlet on Saturday, with all three species noted, along with BRANT, NORTHERN GANNETS, RED-THROATED LOONS, 4 BROWN PELICANS, a BONAPARTE’S GULL and a COMMON EIDER that landed briefly at the mouth of the inlet. A PURPLE SANDPIPER was on the South Jetty and a PEREGRINE FALCON flew past. An AMERICAN BITTERN flew in to the marsh between the marina docks and the Burtons Island Causeway, and the marsh along the back of the campgrounds had CLAPPER RAILS, a MARSH WREN and an AMERICAN BITTERN.

At Abbotts Mill Nature Center, a COMMON MOORHEN has been on Abbotts Pond October 31-November 1. The best place to look for the bird is from the millyard.

For Pennsylvania:

Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County had 5 SURF SCOTERS, 7 COMMON LOONS and 174 BRANT on October 25. The next day Nockamixon had all three species of SCOTER and 16 BRANT. Churchville Nature Center early in the week had PURPLE FINCH, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, BRANT and SURF SCOTER. Peace Valley Park had 29 BRANT, HORNED GREBES and LONG-TAILED DUCK on October 25. A PILEATED WOODPECKER was at the Peace Valley Mini-loop Trail on October 25. On Saturday, Core Creek Park hosted a SPOTTED SANDPIPER.

The Rose Tree Park Hawk Watch in Delaware County had a PILEATED WOODPECKER, and flyby AMERICAN PIPITS and PURPLE FINCHES on October 26. PINE SISKINS visited feeders at a private residence in Montgomery County on October 26.

On October 25, BRANT were seen in Northampton County, including 66 from the Portland Foot Bridge and 125 from Lake Minsi. On October 26, Lake Minsi had 30 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, 200+ BRANT, 17 SURF SCOTERS and 29 BLACK SCOTERS, while Echo Lake had 2 REDHEADS and a BRANT. That day, the Little Gap Hawk Watch noted 23 BRANT. On Saturday, Lake Minsi had 87 BLACK SCOTERS and 22 SURF SCOTERS, and a flooded field on Lake Minsi Drive had 11 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS. Four GREAT CORMORANTS were at Martins Creek Quarry on October 27. On Monday, DUNLINS and AMERICAN PIPITS were at a flooded field along Nazareth-Tatamy Rd. A NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL called from National Park Dr on October 25. An EVENING GROSBEAK was at a feeder in Plainfield Township on October 30.

The October 25 waterfowl fallout included 5 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS at Struble Lake in Chester County. There were also 9 SURF SCOTERS, 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 2 HORNED GREBES and 2 COMMON LOONS at Marsh Creek State Park that day, and on Saturday there were 2 BRANT near Martin House Point. A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was at Chambers Lake and Hibernia County Park through October 27, when 3 PINE SISKINS, 4 AMERICAN PIPITS and 10 DUNLIN were also found.

On October 26, the Conejohela Flats in Lancaster County had SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, RUDDY TURNSTONE, WILSON’S SNIPES and LAUGHING GULLS. The Flats had PIED-BILLED GREBES, BRANT, BONAPARTE’S GULLS, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and DUNLIN on October 26 and 28. Notable high counts included 292 DUNLIN on Friday and 122 PIED-BILLED GREBES on Sunday. On Sunday the flats hosted a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, PEREGRINE FALCON, BALD EAGLE, 134 GADWALL and 836 AMERICAN COOT. An immature GREAT CORMORANT was seen on rocks south of the Route 462 bridge from the Wrightsville boat launch on October 28, and 20 PURPLE FINCHES fed in ash trees west of Elizabethtown that day.

From Lehigh County on Saturday, a SCOTER was reported from Leaser Lake, and a BLUE-HEADED VIREO and an AMERICAN PIPIT flock were reported from Bake Oven Knob. On October 25, Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County had 2 RED-THROATED LOONS, and there were 15 BLACK SCOTERS, 9 COMMON LOONS and 2 BRANT on the lake the next day. On October 25, 155 BRANT flew past Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and the next day SNOW GEESE and BRANT were seen. Hawk Mountain had PINE SISKINS and PURPLE FINCHES through much of the week, with a high count of 44 PINE SISKINS on October 29, and a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was reported on October 30.

The Second Mountain Hawk Watch in Lebanon County reported SNOW BUNTINGS and a PURPLE FINCH on October 30.

Outside the Delaware Valley, a COMMON REDPOLL was seen in southern Cambria County on October 27. EVENING GROSBEAKS were spotted in Centre County on October 26, Monroe and Lycoming Counties on October 29, and Westmoreland County on October 31. A LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was at the intersection of Pumping Station Rd and Cunningham Rd on October 31, outside of Gettysburg in Adams County.


On Saturday November 3 , Frank Windfelder and Bert Filemyr will lead a DVOC field trip to Bake Oven Knob in Berks County, PA. The trip will meet at the parking lot at 8:30AM. There is no field trip fee, and members and non-members are welcome to attend. Please contact the trip leader if you plan on attending, and if you go bring a packed lunch. Details can be found on the website: http://www.dvoc.org

The next meeting of the DVOC is on Thursday November 1 at 7:30pm at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, when Kevin Loughlin will present “Panama’s Darien: Still Wild After All These Years.” Bert Filemyr will present the Ornithological Study “Bird Names - Apostophes.” Details are on the website, and guests are welcome.

Tickets are already on sale for the Annual DVOC Banquet, which will take place on Wednesday, December 5, 2007. Please join us for the upcoming DVOC banquet. This event is open to members, non-members, and guests. Note the day and date which is a departure from our usual Thursday evening in November. Our speaker, Dr. Don Kroodsma, is a Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Massachusetts. He is THE man in the science of bird song, which he has studied for thirty years. Dr. Kroodsma has written a book about the art and science of birdsong in which he demonstrates its diversity through 30 carefully chosen examples. His focus and approach to this study is unique inasmuch as he tours the US on his bicycle, collecting bird songs along the way. Dr. Kroodsma maintains that there is no better way to hear a continent sing than by bicycle.
Complete information is available on the DVOC website: http://www.dvoc.org/Banquet/Banquet2007.htm

See Life Paulagics has 3 early December pelagic trips scheduled. One is out of Freeport, NY on Dec 1; one is out of Belmar, NJ on Dec 2; and the last is out of Lewes, DE on Dec 8. See Life Paulagics will also run their annual Christmas Bird Count Pelagic out of Belmar, NJ on Jan 4. For more information, call 215-234-6805 or visit http://www.paulagics.com

On November 16 the Wyncote Audubon Society will meet at Plymouth Meeting House at 7:30pm, when Naomi Murphy will present “Butterflies of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.” On November 10, Andy Fayer will lead a Wyncote Audubon field trip to Bake Oven Knob, Lehigh County, PA. The field trip will meet at the Borders bookstore across from the Montgomeryville Mall (northbound side of Route 309) at 7:30am; alternatively, one can meet up with the field trip at the Bake Oven Knob parking lot at 8:30am. Bring lunch, water and hiking boots for the climb. For details, call Andy at 215-542-8114 or email AndyFayer@aol.com

A hybrid LESSER BLACK-BACKED X HERRING GULL hatched and was banded this past summer at Appledore Island in Maine. The bird has a large white-on-green “N02” band on the left leg, and a silver ring on the right. If you see this bird, please contact Bill Etter or email us at rba@dvoc.org and we will forward the sightings to the interested parties. For photos of this gull, visit http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v230/billetter/Apple/

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