7 SBC members traveled to Virginia in April reported a total of 76 species (list). It was a great trip but we were all surprised that there was not more bird activity at Dismal Swamp NWR. We did find the Swainson's warbler and 3 of us listened to it sing for several hours while 3 of us actually saw it! Warblers included prothonotary, hooded, redstart, yellowthroat, prairie, northern parula and ovenbird. There were virtually no herons or other waterbirds which surprised us. It seems as if the orioles, tanagers and other neotropical migrants had not yet arrived.
We then carpooled to Turkle and Fleetwood Ponds and the Pinewoods Trail We flushed a pair of wood ducks and saw a huge black rat snake on the kiosk. We then walked the loop; highlights were two bright, active Prothonotary warblers, a group of eastern towhees and a single hermit thrush. The checklist for the second leg of the trip is at:
Join Sussex Bird Club on a trip to
Prime Hook NWR and the adjacent state Wildlife Area on Thursday, April 18. Meet at 8 AM at the refuge headquarters. We will bird the headquarters area then carpool to the parking lot on Little Neck Road at the State Wildlife Management Area (conservation access pass required to park). We will walk < .5 mile to the water then back to the cars. From the WMA we may head down Prime Hook Road to the marsh for waterfowl and shorebirds. We plan to be back at PH headquarters by 11 AM.
Come meet award-winning local wildlife artist and "casual birder" Richard Clifton at our April meeting. He will be sharing slides and stories of his life and his amazing art. Visit www.richardclifton.com to learn more and view his "Gallery at Eastwind."
Meetings are held in The Moorings at Lewes auditorium at 2:00 p.m.
Our group of 7 SBC members met at the Nature Center and considered whether to brave the weather: cold (40F), windy and raining. We decided to do an abbreviated walk. We were successful in finding our First of Year osprey on the bay behind the nature center. We also observed all three nuthatches, pine warbler and FOY eastern phoebe. Next we scoped Breakwater Harbor on the bay side of The Point where we found great black-backed gulls, many northern gannets and scoters. Our last stop was at Herring Point where the wind was so stiff as to be unpleasant. More scoters and gannets but not enough to keep us there for more than 10 minutes. Thanks to all who showed up and braved the weather!
Meet at the CHSP Nature Center for our annual "Harbingers of Spring" field trip. We will bird several places at the Park (Seaside Trail, the Point, Herring Point and maybe Gordon's Pond Trail). Our targets for the day are first of year osprey, laughing gull and piping plover. We also hope to see lingering waterfowl and other winter/early spring birds.
Join refuge programs volunteer, Bruce Lantz, for a program about many of the 35 mammal species documented on the refuges. The program will explore the presence and life cycles of many common mammals and examine the interdependence of mammal and bird species found on these two Delaware refuges.
It was COLD, but 8 hardy SBC members had another successful morning of birding with 39 species recorded. Highlights include a pair of wood ducks, several bald eagles, northern harriers, an "explosion" of about 20 great blue herons (rookery?) and close-up looks at 2 red-tailed hawks. Here are 3 of the 7 eBird checklists for this trip:
We plan to first stop in upland habitat at the dog training area, then drive to several other upland and marsh areas in or near the Wildlife Area and ultimately end up at the Delaware Bay on Big Stone Beach Road. We hope to see lingering winter birds, waterfowl, early spring migrants and if we are lucky we may see or hear Virginia rails at the end of Big Stone Beach Road. Meet at the Valero station at the corner of New Wharf Road; we'll carpool from there.
A DE Conservation Access Pass is required for Milford Neck WA.
Our guest speaker for February will be Dr. Michael Smith. The meeting is Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at The Moorings in Lewes.
"In January 2018, Mike Smith and his wife Christine celebrated his 60th birthday by visiting Christine's cousins in Santiago and Puerto Varas, Chile. Although not strictly a birding trip, between the one guided trip, several adventures planned by Christine's family, and a healthy dose of serendipity the result was a rewarding and memorable birding experience."
Join us on our first field trip of 2019 as we travel to Delaware Seashore State Park locations and Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach. We'll be looking for winter waterfowl and seabirds. Meet at Safeway parking lot.