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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Delco sightings during June and July 2020

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks at Heinz
          June is considered by most birders to be a slow month for birding. But just so you are aware many decent sightings were still reported in June and for that matter the first half of July. This is just an update to let birders know what has been seen in Delaware County during the month of June and the first half of July.
          On June 2nd Sharon and I were in Cape May when a report came from Hoy's Pond at Heinz (Delco) that Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were roosting at the far side of the pond. Being in Cape May, I figured I wouldn't be able to see them because I wasn't leaving for a few more hours plus driving time to get home to drop off Sharon and pick up my bike, I assumed they would be long gone. On the way home I got a call from Jim McConnell that the ducks were still present so when we arrived home I loaded up the bike and off I went. I was fortunate that the birds hung around all day long and that I was able to add them to my county list (#301).
        During this summer period, four species of Vireos were recorded throughout the county, including Yellow-throated Vireo. There were several reports of Wild Turkey throughout the period all of them from the Chadds Ford area.

           Rob Fergus kept busy birding during these summer months and was able to find some really good birds. He discovered a small colony of Cliff Swallows under the bridge on Rt100 that crosses the Brandywine River in Chadds Ford. Cliff Swallows have been absent from the county for the last three years, at least in their previous nesting site in Ridley Creek State Park. It's good to have another nesting site in the county. He also was able to hear a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at the Chadds Ford Marsh behind Hanks Restaurant along Rt 1. 
Cliff Swallow

          Black-bellied Plover was still present behind the Phila Airport into early June as were a few Bonaparte's Gulls. Yellow-billed Cuckoos were apparently nesting at First State National Historic Area.

           Also present at 1st State were at least three Blue Grosbeaks seen and recorded by Dave Eberly.
Blue Grosbeak

         Caspian Terns were recorded on the flats behind the airport in both June and July. I always enjoy seeing these large terns fishing in the river and roosting on the flats. Fortunately, I was able to see the terns both in early June, before my hip replacement, and in late July, after my recovery.
Caspian Tern

          Debbie Beer and Adrian Binns had a remarkable find at Ridley Creek State Park on July 11th when they came across a breeding plumaged White-throated Sparrow. Very rare for this time of year.
         An Eastern Meadowlark has been hanging around the eastern tip of the airport for some time leading to speculation that there might have been a possible nest.
Eastern Meadowlark on airport structure

          A Yellow-breasted Chat, hard to find in Delco, has been sticking around First State National Historic Site for most of the period and is probably breeding there. Fourteen species of warbler have been noted throughout the period also.
          Another great find was a pair of Whimbrel on the flats behind the airport by Jason Horne during tropical storm Fay. The two birds were only seen for a few seconds as the heavy rain slowed down enough to see the flats. They then took flight quickly after that.


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