Bald Eagle at Assawoman Wildlife Area by Ken Arni


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.

We will be traveling to Cape May, NJ for an overnight field trip September 17-18, 2019. We will carpool to NJ on the Tuesday 8:45 a.m. ferry and return on the 6:00 p.m. ferry Wednesday. Meals and lodging are at participants' choice and expense. Participants also have the option of making it a day trip, returning on the Tuesday 6 p.m. ferry.

Birding plans: Cape May Point State Park CMBO Hawk Watch Platform and trails on Tuesday. Higbee Beach, Cape May Meadows, The Beanery and elsewhere as time and interest permit. Early morning start on Wednesday (daybreak for migrating passerines).  Registration with Rob Blye is required for ALL participants!

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...

Tuesday, September 10 field trip to Middle Run Natural Area near Newark, DE. We will carpool to Middle Run in time to join the bird walk (8-10 a.m.) led by a naturalist from Delaware Nature Society. Middle Run is a fall migrant trap often with abundant warblers, vireos, flycatchers, thrushes and sparrows. Don't miss this great opportunity to see some exciting birds after Hurricane Dorian passes north! Meet at Lowes in Lewes at 6:00 a.m. to carpool. Must register with Rob Blye. Depending on group interest and migrant activity we may bird on the way home: White Clay Creek, Greer's Pond, Ashton Tract, Penn Tract, Bombay Hook or ??

Ray Bryant's presentation at our September meeting was very well received. He told many fascinating stories about his experiences as a volunteer with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research. He encouraged everyone to get involved as bird transporters and to donate to this worthwhile organization. SBC President Ruth Ann Kaufman is shown presenting a check to Ray Bryant, while program director Nancy Cunningham holds one of the items we donated to Tri-State.

September 8, 2019  2:00 pm, Lewes Library

Ray Bryant of Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research will speak at our September meeting about his role as a Transporter and Re-Nesting Team member for Tri-State. In that capacity Ray travels about 10,000 miles a year, and with a team of local volunteers he has helped rescue and or re-nest over 1000 birds from Southern Delmarva over the last 5 years. Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research is one of the premier wildlife rehabilitation centers in the United States.

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.

Join Sussex Bird Club on a field trip to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia on Tuesday August 27, 2019. Meet at Lowes (Lewes) parking lot by 6:00 am, or meet at the Queen Sound (VA) boat ramp at 7:45 am. After birding Queen Sound we'll grab a quick breakfast in Chincoteague. Then we'll bird the refuge by car and brief walks on refuge trails. Lunch will be in Chincoteague before Wildlife Drive opens at 3:00 pm, and we will drive that loop then head home with expected arrival about 6:30 pm. This trip should be great for ponies, shorebirds, herons, gulls, terns and early passerine migrants.

Registration (for all) required by noon on Monday. Email
(Photo © Dick Plambeck)

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

 Thursday, August 15, 2019   8:00 a.m.

Meet at the lower Herring Point parking lot. We will walk the Gordons Pond Trail or the Walking Dunes Trail in search of early fall migrants.

Entrance fee or park pass required.

 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)

Friday, August 2, 2019   8:00 a.m.

SBC will conduct a field trip at Prime Hook NWR. Meet at the Refuge HQ parking lot. We will choose birding locations within the refuge based on recent sightings and the desire of the group. No need to register.

It is likely we can find the resident dickcissels along the entrance road and indigo bunting, blue grosbeak, field sparrow and a migrating bobolink or eastern meadowlark for good measure. Shore bird migration will be in full swing so we may carpool to Broadkill or Prime Hook marshes for newly arrived sandpipers or gulls and terns. (Photo © Sharon Lynn)

On Thursday July 18, SBC will travel to Bombay Hook NWR to observe the early fall migrant shorebirds, hopefully still in breeding plumage. 
We will meet at Lowes in Lewes at 8:30 AM to carpool, arriving at the Refuge HQ around 10:00 AM. Low tide is at 8:16 AM and high tide is 2:05 PM so we should catch a rising tide forcing the birds into the freshwater side of the dikes. We should see 15 or more species of shorebirds plus herons, raptors and song birds. In years past we have found little egret, little gull, ruff, peregrine falcon, gull-billed tern plus lots of other interesting things. We will bird at least until noon, more likely 1 PM if the birds, bugs and weather cooperate. Contact Rob Blye to carpool. Vehicle fee/pass required at Refuge.

(Photo © DPlambeck)

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.

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© 2019 by Sussex Bird Club. All rights reserved.

Field Trip contact info:

Rob Blye


Treasurer, Sussex Bird Club

PO Box 177

Lewes, DE  19958