Friday, July 12, 2013

Birding The First State - Back at it!

Sunset at Broadkill Marsh on 3 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.
After three long months in the desert southwest, I am back in Delaware. I'll be here for the next two to three years working on a Master's Degree at the University of Delaware. I am really into state/year listing and have been adding birds to my Delaware year list left and right. I have spent most of my time in Sussex County, the southernmost, but also a day or two in Kent and New Castle Counties. Since July 1st, I've added 55 birds to my Delaware year list bringing my year total to 186.

My first day back was spent mostly in the office, but I did make a pass at the Newark Reservoir. My main purpose was to check out the continuing Common Loon. Supposedly, there have been up to four individuals at the reservoir this summer. At the reservoir, I picked up Eastern Kingbird, Northern Rough-winged and Barn Swallows, House Wren, and Gray Catbird for the year.

Common Loon at the Newark Reservoir on 1 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.
I spent the next few days checking out various parts of Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Prime Hook is a really cool place to go birding. It does get a bit "buggy" right before sunset, so if you bird there, go early! Anyway, bird life is very rich at Prime with terns and gulls numbering in the hundreds. Shorebirds are starting to pass through on their southbound journey. Ah, basic plumaged shorebirds are everyone's favorite, right? They're not too bad if you give them a thorough glass and picking through.

Forster's Terns at Prime Hook NWR on 4 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.
Great Blue Heron at Prime Hook NWR on 4 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.
Least Tern at Prime Hook NWR on 4 July 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge was next on my hit list. After three and a half hours of birding, Kyle Horton and I pulled in 74 species. Epic. I added 19 birds to my year list with Dickcissel, Northern Bobwhite, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and my lifer Acadian Flycatcher!

Northern Bobwhite at Bombay Hook NWR on 6 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.
The last major spot I hit was for Red-headed Woodpeckers in Redden State Forest. I spent over an hour walking/birding along West Robbins Rd. looking for the previously reported Red-headed Woodpeckers. After an hour of listening to Prairie Warbler, Red-eyed Vireos, Indigo Buntings, Eastern Kingbirds, and watching Eastern Bluebirds carry food to a nest, I decided it was time to head home and get work done. As I started driving, I saw a woodpecker with white in its wings fly over the road. Bingo. I stopped the car and I saw it fly to a snag and scour it for food.

Red-headed Woodpecker along W. Robbins Rd. on 7 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.
Eastern Kingbird along W. Robbins Rd. on 7 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.
Most photos were digiscoped with an iPhone 4s + Celestron Regal M2 80ED & Phone Skope Adapter.

Cheers and good birding!


  1. Wow, beautiful birds! but second picture looking amazing. Nice write up.

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