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Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Day in southern Delaware

Sunrise at Port Mahon
Canvasbacks - Silver Lake
      The birding club of Delaware County spent New Year's Day traversing across southern Delaware in search of any avian life forms. We started at Port Mahon Rd in Little Creek and found many Harriers and gulls but could pin down a Short-eared Owl. At Cartanza Road we found a Savannah Sparrow, Am Pipits flying overhead and a singing Meadowlark. Next we headed for Indian River inlet and found Bonaparte's Gulls, Purple Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones, Boat-tailed Grackles, all three species of Scoters and lots of Long-tailed Ducks. At Silver Lake the expected large flock of Canvasbacks were present along with two Am Wigeons. Most of the lake was frozen as was the bay side of Indian River which cut out a lot o waterfowl that we usually observe.
      Cape Henlopen produced a flock of Snow Buntings, Red-breasted Mergansers, Red-breasted and Brown-headed Nuthatches, a Sharpie and Pine Siskens and Black-capped Chickadee. The surprise of the day was at the Cape Henlopen Hawk watch. There was an usually large amount of cars in the parking lot when we approached and when we got to the beach there was a Polar Bear Swim that was just about ready to start. So we stayed and watch the crazy people strip down to their swimsuits and run into the water. Not many of them stayed in for more then a few seconds. I don't blame them.
      Prime Hook was our last stop and we added a few birds on the bay. We ended the day with 74 species and the weather was quite warm for a New Year's Day.

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