Bald Eagle at Assawoman Wildlife Area by Ken Arni


November 21, 2019 was a beautiful, seasonably cold morning when 11 SBC members traveled to Assawoman Wildlife Area. We scoured the skies and fields of Sassafrass and Mulberry Landings, and climbed the "scary" observation tower. Highlights included 11 species of ducks and an aerial display by 2 belted kingfishers. (photo © Kevin Moore) There are 3 eBird checklists for Assawoman WA:, and

Our final stop was Indian River Inlet south. We had good views of 7 ruddy turnstones and 3 purple sandpipers. We also saw one lone brown pelican and one long-tailed duck.

 On the morning of Thursday, November 7, 2019, eighteen SBC members and guests converged at the James Farm Ecological Preserve. It was a beautiful chilly fall day. We walked through the woods and spent time at the bayfront observation deck. We saw lots of yellow-rumped warblers and brant:

We then drove a short distance to Quillens Point where we saw more brant as well as a large flock of red-winged blackbirds, dunlin, and greater yellowlegs:

10 birders gathered in the parking lot at Phillips Landing. The temperature was 40F with fog on the water. Parking lot action included 4 bluebirds, pine and yellow-rump warblers. Saw a beaver in the river. Walked the woodland trail and had several hermit thrush. We then went to the Nanticoke WA fields and saw some hawks and sparrows. Best moment of the day was a low flyover of a red-tailed hawk who screamed at a pair of coopers hawks flying high above him. We had a total 36 species in 2 eBird checklists:    (photo © Dick Plambeck)

Eleven members and two guests of Sussex Bird Club met at Indian River Inlet on the south side of Delaware Seashore State Park. Winter waterfowl had not arrived but we did see Caspian, royal, common and Forsters terns, cormorants and three white winged scoters.

Next the group crossed the inlet and headed to the Burton Island trail. Highlights were two black-crowned night herons, palm and yellow-rumped warblers and two eastern phoebes.

We finished the morning with an early lunch at Big Chill Beach Club with a view of the ocean where we saw a lesser black-backed gull and a ring-billed gull on the beach.

11 Sussex Bird Club members birded the refuge HQ area including the boardwalk trail and Turkle and Fleetwood Ponds. We observed some 36 species including an elusive solitary sandpiper. Then we carpooled to Fowler Beach via Prime Hook Road and Cod’s Road, stopping several times. Two northern harriers put on a show and a Coopers Hawk was seen from the road. We saw many sparrows and finally identified at least one as a savannah sparrow. We had planned to head to Slaughter Beach and the Marvel Saltmarsh boardwalk but we spent all our time at PHNWR headquarters and Fowler Beach. The eBird checklists for this trip are: and (photo of savannah sparrow © Sharon Lynn)

Seventeen Sussex Bird Club members were lucky enough to spend the morning at the Edelen property near Anderson Corner in rural central Sussex County. We started on the deck overlooking the pond while the sun rose above the trees. Many blue jays, catbirds, cardinals, chickadees, mourning doves, a belted kingfisher, one northern parula and an immature blue grosbeak were flitting into fruiting black chokeberry and devil’s walking stick. Warblers zoomed into the mature pines and oaks around the pond.

We then walked around the pond and into the woods, ultimately to the feeder and bird creek. We ended the morning back on the deck where abundant chickadees, titmice, catbirds and cardinals were feeding on the fruiting shrubs.        eBird checklist:   (Photo © Dick Plambeck)

This was an overnight trip via CML Ferry with 8 members participating. Birding stops on Tuesday included Cape May Point SP (both hawk watch & trails), Cape May Bird Observatory Northwood Center, Rea Farm (beanery), Higbee Beach WMA, and TNC's South Cape May Meadows.

Wednesday's avian adventures included return visits to Higbee Beach and the hawk watch, then The Wetland Institute (Stone Harbor), Nummy Island, and Cape May NWR Two Mile Unit.  A fun time was had by all! Click here to see the complete trip report and eBird checklists.

Six members traveled to Middle Run Natural Area outside Newark for a day of birding. We were met there by Joe Swertinski, who kindly acted as our local guide. Our goal was to find fall migrants such as warblers, vireos and flycatchers and we were successful. We spent about 2 hours walking the mowed trails at Middle Run and saw many redstarts, black-throated green and Canada warblers along with red-eyed and white-eyed vireos and a family of blue grosbeaks. A screech owl responded to the “Bird Magic” owl and chickadee mobbing tape that Joe played to drum up some activity.

We then followed Joe to White Clay Creek State Park and enjoyed a warbler and vireo fallout in the parking lot; more Canada warblers, northern parula and as many as 20 red-eyed vireos. After lunch we went on to the Ashton and Baxter tracts of Augustine Wildlife Area, Augustine Beach, Thousand Acre Marsh and Greer Pond, and finally Bombay Hook NWR! We finished the day with some 76 bird species, tired but pleased with our...

August 27 was a successful summer day for 11 SBC birders who traveled south to Chincoteague, Virginia. Highlights included 5 tern species, 84 white ibis, marbled godwits, and 2 clapper rails. We also had good looks at wild horses and cattle egrets. There are 6 eBird checklists with a total of 65 species for this trip! Click on these links for lists and photos: Queen Sound Landing, Visitor Center & Environs, NWR, Wildlife Drive, Island Creamery, and one final species at Queen Sound Causeway.

12 members of Sussex Bird Club walked the Gordon's Pond trail south from Herring Point parking lot to around bend from bench 5 and back. We tallied 45 species in the course of 2.5 hours.

Link to the eBird checklist here.

Photo of green heron © Sharon Lynn

 It was hazy, hot and very humid on Friday, August 2, when 15 SBC members scoured the Prime Hook NWR headquarters area, Dike Trail, and Broadkill marsh searching for anything avian. And we were very successful! We saw or heard 55 species in the headquarters area and 17 species at Broadkill marsh. There are 2 eBird checklists for this trip:

(Photo of purple martins © Dick Plambeck)

The club’s first field trip of the summer started at 8 AM at the refuge headquarters. 19 members walked out the road in the hopes of finding the dickcissel, meadowlark, grasshopper sparrow (photo © Sharon Lynn), blue grosbeak and indigo bunting. Success on all counts! Also observed were several eastern bluebirds, yellow-billed cuckoo, prairie warbler and common yellowthroat. The meadow was very colorful with purple bergamot, black-eyed susan, and a blue-flowered vetch. Next we walked the boardwalk trail where we got orchard oriole, chipping sparrow, common yellowthroat and Acadian flycatcher. We observed a total of about 50 species; not bad for a hot humid day in late June! We called the trip early due to heat but some ventured out to Fowler Beach Rd. to try for a willow flycatcher, and after a few stops we had success--a year bird for all! The eBird checklists follow:

Sussex Bird Club traveled north to the Blye Cabin in Susquehanna County, PA in search of breeding birds. Highlights of this 3 day trip included yellow warblers, barred owl, rough-winged swallow, ruffed grouse, blue-winged warbler, fledgling raven, bobolinks, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and chestnut-sided warbler. Kevin Moore took this photo of a beautiful barred owl. There are 5 eBird checklists for this trip with more of Kevin's photos. Click here for a detailed trip report.

This SBC trip to Cecil County, MD evolved into a full day of birding throughout Delaware and an amazing total of 81 species for the day! At Fair Hills NRWMA five SBC members found an abundance of singing bobolinks and meadowlarks, redstarts, and Acadian flycatcher. A stop at Bombay Hook NWR turned up 3 gull-billed terns. Click here for a detailed report of their birding extravaganza. (Photo © Sharon Lynn)

There are 6 eBird checklists:

7 SBC members walked along Ponders Road to the Connector Path on right then to Ingrams Branch and back to Ponders Road and parking lot for a 3 hour hike. Highlights were several territorial summer tanagers, scarlet tanager, a wet but spunky black and white warbler, several Acadian flycatchers and many singing pine warblers. We also saw lots of interesting reptiles, amphibians and plants.

There is one eBird checklist:

Click here for a more detailed trip report.

(Photo © Edward Crawford)

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Field Trip contact info:

Rob Blye


Treasurer, Sussex Bird Club

PO Box 177

Lewes, DE  19958