DVOC Main Page > Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert
Last updated Thursday, February 28, 2008 2:28 PM

Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert - Thursday February 7, 2008
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)

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

Current report - February 7, 2007

- Birds Mentioned
Click Here for species accounts for many of these birds

Eared Grebe (MD)
Pink-footed Goose (NY)
Barnacle Goose +
Harlequin Duck ++
Barrow's Goldeneye +
Slaty-backed Gull (NY)
Thick-billed Murre (NY)
Black Guillemot (NY)
Townsend's Solitaire +
Bohemian Waxwing +
Bohemian Waxwing ++

Painted Bunting +++
Scott’s Oriole (NY)
White-winged Crossbill (MD)

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

Red-throated Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Fulmar (NY)
Great Cormorant
American Bittern
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Snow Goose
Ross's Goose
Cackling Goose
Tundra Swan
Eurasian Wigeon
Common Teal (Eurasian Green-winged Teal)
Common Eider
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Common Goldeneye
Red-breasted Merganser
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Golden Eagle
Virginia Rail
Red Knot
Purple Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
American Woodcock
Black-headed Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Nelson's Gull
Black-legged Kittiwake (NY)
Dovekie (NY)
Common Murre (NY)
Razorbill (NY)
Atlantic Puffin (NY)
Barred Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Northern Shrike
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Orange-crowned Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Chipping Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Rusty Blackbird
Purple Finch
Common Redpoll

Hotline: Delaware Valley Rare Bird Alert
Email reports to:
Compilers: Steve Kacir 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 February 7, 2008 we highlight reports of BARNACLE GOOSE, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE and PAINTED BUNTING.

For New Jersey:

In Cape May County, the BARNACLE GOOSE was on Lily Lake February 2-3, and a REDHEAD was there on February 2. On February 4, Cape May Point State Park boardwalk revealed an EASTERN PHOEBE and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT. Good numbers of SNOW BUNTINGS were still on the beach at the State Park, and 5 COMMON EIDERS were on the water south of Brainard Ave. A BLACK-HEADED GULL was near the Concrete Ship on February 4, while 60 RED KNOTS and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were at Hereford Inlet. AMERICAN WOODCOCKS displayed at Kimbles Beach Rd and the Woodcock Trail of Cape May NWR. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was at the Schellenger Tract of Cape May NWR on February 4. Higbee Beach WMA had PURPLE SANDPIPERS at the canal. A YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were in Higbee Beach WMA’s fields on February 5. The Villas WMA had RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, 2 REDHEADS, EASTERN PHOEBE and 60 CHIPPING SPARROWS on Jan 31. A GOLDEN EAGLE flew past the Cape May Bird Observatory’s Goshen Center last week, and a COMMON REDPOLL flew over the Northwood Center on February 5. The SHORT-EARED OWL show at Jake's Landing continues with multiple owls seen on Saturday.


In Monmouth County, the Sandy Hook TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE was most recently reported from the maintenance yard at the end of Randolph Rd on February 3. The hen BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was seen in Horseshoe Cove from Batteries Kingman/Mills on Jan 31. An AMERICAN BITTERN was at Spermaceti Cove on Jan 31. At least 3 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were seen through February 3, often seen from the bike path between the scout camp and Guardian Park or the Boy Scout Camp Parking Lot. A male WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was at Spermaceti Cove on February 3. On February 2, a RED-NECKED GREBE was on Lake Como. A EURASIAN WIGEON was foraging with the American Wigeons in the grass by the gazebo at Silver Lake that day, and on February 3 it was feeding on the grass adjacent to Sylvan Lake in Bradley Beach. Wreck Pond had a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on February 3.

In Cumberland County, up to 8 SHORT-EARED OWLS were enjoyed from the end of Turkey Point Rd on February 2.

On February 2 and 4-5, COMMON REDPOLLS fed in birches at the Route 563 access area of Franklin Parker Preserve in Burlington County. The REDPOLLS numbered 7-10 birds. Check the rear section of the bogs where there are abandoned blueberry fields and scattered birch trees. Other birds in that area included ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and 22-38 TUNDRA SWANS. Florence hosted GLAUCOUS, ICELAND and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

On February 4, a CACKLING GOOSE and ICELAND GULL were at Spruce Run State Park in Hunterdon County. That day, a NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen in Hunterdon. On February 5, a LONG-TAILED DUCK was on Round Valley Recreation Area. The BARNACLE GOOSE still visits Califon Pond in Califon.

Three COMMON REDPOLLS were at Plainsboro Preserve in Somerset County on February 2, and two were at the Plainsboro feeders on February 5.

An extralimital COMMON TEAL (also known as Eurasian Green-winged Teal) was with three American Green-winged Teals at Richard W. DeKorte Park in Bergen County. The TEAL was in a pool in the partially drained mudflats between Saw Mill Creek Trail and the nature center, and was most recently reported on February 4.

For Delaware:

In New Castle County, a female or hatch year male PAINTED BUNTING has been visiting feeders in Wilmington since Jan 12. The BUNTING was seen as recently as Jan 31. Due to the location of the house that this bird is visiting, visitation will need to be arranged. Forrest Rowland may be organizing another visit to the property. Contact him at rowbird2005@yahoo.com or call 814-573-1391 for more information. On February 2, a VIRGINIA RAIL called from the Thousand Acre Marsh, and a BARRED OWL called from Barley Mill Rd. A NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL was found at Augustine WMA. The Hillside Mill Rd cove area of Hoopes Reservoir had 2 COMMON GOLDENEYES on February 6.

In Kent County, 450 TUNDRA SWANS were in the field opposite Whitehall Neck Rd near Bombay Hook NWR on February 2. Three SHORT-EARED OWLS were at Port Mahon that afternoon, and other 3 SHORT-EARED OWLS were at Bombay Hook at dusk. A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was with the HORNED LARK flock at Cartanza Rd on Saturday. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were at Little Creek WMA that day.

From the area of Prime Hook NWRin Sussex County, reports indicated the continued presence of an ICELAND GULL and NELSON’S GULL (Herring X Glaucous Gull) at Fowler Beach through February 2. A flock of 22 SNOW BUNTINGS was at Fowler Beach that day. A ROSS’S GOOSE flew past Broadkill Rd, while a RED-THROATED LOON and second winter LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were at Broadkill Beach that day. A SHORT-EARED OWL patrolled Petersfield Ditch near Broadkill Rd at dawn. A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was near the Prime Hook NWR headquarters. The RED-HEADED WOODPECKER at Deep Branch Rd was seen on February 2.

At Cape Henlopen State Park, there were 5 FOX SPARROWS and a PALM WARBLER in the campground and observation tower area. A walk out to the point on February 2 revealed 50 SNOW BUNTINGS and an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. RED-THROATED LOONS, BROWN-HEADED and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES were seen at Cape Henlopen that day. Two COMMON REDPOLLS perched near the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk on February 3. On February 2, a REDHEAD was with the CANVASBACK flock at Silver Lake, and a HORNED GREBE was on Rehoboth Bay. A PIED-BILLED GREBE was on the pond at Abbotts Mill Nature Center. Indian River Inlet had PURPLE SANDPIPER and 6 COMMON EIDERS on February 2.

For Pennsylvania:

In Philadelphia County, the February 3 DVOC field trip to FDR Park found 2 REDHEADS. That day John Heinz NWR at Tinicum had RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, RUSTY BLACKBIRD and EASTERN PHOEBE.

In Montgomery County, the COMMON REDPOLL and 60 PURPLE FINCHES continued to visit feeders at a house near Green Lane Reservoir through February 2. The Walt Rd area of Green Lane Reservoir had a CACKLING GOOSE, 7 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and BALD EAGLES on February 2. That day, a FOX SPARROW was near the Green Lane Nature Center, and 3 COMMON GOLDENEYES flushed from the Church Rd area.

In Bucks County, ICELAND GULL and 20 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at Churchville Nature Center (see also)on February 2. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at Mud Island and Core Creek Park. Recent sightings from the area of Warminster Community Park included WILSON’S SNIPE and HORNED LARKS. Thirteen GREAT CORMORANTS have been on the Delaware River near the Island View Crossing Building. On February 5, Falls Township Community Park had a COMMON GOLDENEYE and 2 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. Peace Valley Park had PURPLE FINCHES, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 2 COMMON GOLDENEYES and 2 BALD EAGLES. A BONAPARTE’S GULL was there on Jan 31. On February 2, Peace Valley Park had RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, HORNED GREBE and 85 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS. Five LONG-EARED OWLS were found at an unspecified location in the county.

Northampton County has been enjoying greater than normal numbers of SNOW GEESE across the county this winter; 30-40,000 SNOW GEESE were seen on a winter raptor survey route. Two LONG-EARED OWLS were at Jacobsburg State Park on February 2. A COMMON REDPOLL fed on black birch catkins and at a thistle feeder in Lower Saucon Township on February 2. That day, an EASTERN PHOEBE was near the Lehigh River boat launch under Route 33.

BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were reportedly near the visitor center at Middle Creek WMA in Lancaster County on Jan 31. On February 3, three SHORT-EARED OWLS patrolled the fields near the Willow Point Trail at Middle Creek WMA. Other birds at Middle Creek that day included TUNDRA SWANS and BALD EAGLES. On February 2, a first winter drake SURF SCOTER was seen on the Susquehanna River from the John Wright parking area, and 350 COMMON GOLDENEYES were seen from there to the area of the Conejohela Flats, where there were 150 TUNDRA SWANS and 3 drake CANVASBACKS. Below Safe Harbor Dam that day, there were BALD EAGLES and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

On February 2, a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was found at Kunkles Mill Rd in Lehigh County. In Lebanon County, BALD EAGLES were seen at Memorial Lake State Park. The Hottenstein Rd area of Kutztown, Berks County has been hosting a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and 3 SHORT-EARED OWLS, seen as recently as February 4. Blue Marsh had a BALD EAGLE and an ICELAND GULL on February 2, and a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL called near there on February 3. Nine drake REDHEADS were at Lake Ontelaunee on February 3.

An extralimital drake HARLEQUIN DUCK in Warren, Warren County was discovered on the Allegheny River on an ice shelf at the north bank of the river about a quarter mile upriver from the Hickory St Bridge on February 2. The bird was still on the river through February 6.


MARYLAND: A WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL has been visiting a feeder in Silver Springs with some regularity through February 7. An EARED GREBE was at Point Lookout State Park on February 2.

New York: The first year male SCOTT’S ORIOLE continued to be seen in midtown Manhattan’s Union Square Park through February 6. The ORIOLE has been seen near the bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the southwest corner of Union Square Park near the corner of East 14th St and Union Square West, but at times is in the park but slightly north of that location in the bare trees or the hollies. The Montauk PINK-FOOTED GOOSE and BARNACLE GOOSE were seen in the pastures and pond near Highway 27 this as recently as February 3. The Ithaca SLATY-BACKED GULL was seen at Stewart Park, Cayuga Lake and the Cornell University compost pile at Stevenson Rd as recently as February 6. The February 3 pelagic out of Freeport noted 18 NORTHERN FULMARS, 66 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, 106 DOVEKIES, 49 COMMON MURRES, 10 ATLANTIC PUFFINS, a THICK-BILLED MURRE and a BLACK GUILLEMOT.


On February 9, Colin Campbell will lead a DVOC field trip to Delaware City in New Castle County, DE for winter birds. The field trip will meet at Veteran’s Park at the Delaware River end of Clinton St at 8:00AM. There is no field trip fee, and non-members are welcome. Please contact Colin Campbell if you plan on attending. Directions and contact information for the trip leader are on the DVOC website: http://www.dvoc.org

The next meeting of the DVOC is on Thursday February 7 at 7:30pm at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, when Nathan Gregory will present “Impacts of Controlled Fires and Traditional Livestock Grazing on Bird Communities in Kenya.” Debbie Beer will present an Ornithological Study entitled “Sexing Bald Eagles.” Details are on the website, and guests are welcome.

See Life Paulagics is running pelagic trips in the Delaware Valley region. On the schedule is a trip out of Freeport, NY on Sunday Feb 3, and a trip out of Lewes, DE on Saturday Feb 23. This is a prime time of year for finding Dovekies, and there have been multiple sighting from shore already this winter. For more information, call 215-234-6805 or visit them on the web at http://www.paulagics.com

The second Delaware Breeding Bird Atlas kicks off this year. Please consider taking part in this massive citizen science project to study the map the distribution of birds breeding in Delaware and compare the data with that gathered by the first Delaware Breeding Bird Atlas from 20 years ago. For more information contact the BBA Coordinator, Anthony Gonzon at Anthony.Gonzon@state.de.us or (302)-653-2880.
More information is available at: http://www.fw.delaware.gov/Breeding%2Bbird%2Batlas%2Bvolunteers.htm

and also at:

Additional resources can also be found at: http://www.dvoc.org/DelValBirding/DelawareBBA/Index.htm

The Delmarva Ornithological Society (DOS) is asking birders to post winter American Kestrel sightings in the state of Delaware. This marks the club’s second year of mapping winter sightings from November 15 to Mar 15. Last year nearly 150 reports were mapped. Please use the web site www.dosbirds.org and the user-friendly map tool to locate and document your sightings.

Wyncote Audubon Society will meet on Feb 15 at 7:30pm at the Plymouth Meeting House at the intersection of Germantown and Butler Pikes in Plymouth Meeting, PA. The program will be “The Dry Tortugas” by Adrian Binns, and the program is free and open to the public.

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 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