NYC Audubon


Brooklyn Bird Club


     Long Pond Greenbelt
Date:  May 15-17, 2009

Location:  Delmarva

Reported by: Joe Giunta

The Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) peninsula is located about 200 miles south of New York City. It is a must
birding destination for any serious birder. This year our group of eight birders started the trip at 9am on Friday May 15. We
took the van from the Audubon office and after about three hours of driving, with one break, we arrived at our first birding
venue, Bombay Hook NWR. Funny as this may seem, our first task was to have lunch. The birds kept interfering. We almost
immediately saw a Blue Grosbeak, one of the key birds of our trip. Bluebirds and Indigo Buntings were also seen. There is
nothing like seeing all these “birds of blue”. Next was a very cooperative Orchard Oriole. We got in the van and rode the
auto loop making several stops. One of the best stops was when we easily saw a beautiful Marsh Wren. The bird was singing
and did a display flight. At another great stop we saw several Black-necked Stilts. A surprise was an Eastern Screech Owl
which peeked out of a wood duck nesting box. Before we left this venue we had an adult Bald Eagle fly over.

Our next stop was probably our most impressive. We drove about 10 miles until we reached Little Creek WMA, the Port
Mahon entrance.  The beach was moving with shore birds. A few thousand Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstones, and Semipalmated
Sandpipers were seen very closely, within 30 feet. Also in this group were three Red Knots. All these birds were feeding on
the eggs of Horseshoe crabs. It was a sight none of us will ever forget. We continued on our way to Salisbury where we had
dinner and checked into our hotel, Microtel Inn and Suites. I might say that this hotel was excellent and we would
definitely stay there again.

On the next day, Saturday May 16, we started with an excellent enhanced continental breakfast at the hotel. This enabled
us to get an early start and head towards our first venue of the day, Whaleyville, the Pocomo swamp. As soon as we got out of
the van at Whaleyville we heard the Worm-eating Warbler singing. The bird was a key bird of our trip and seen by
everyone. Next, another key bird of the trip was seen; a lovely male Prothonotary Warbler, singing and displaying, was
right next to us. He must have been nesting real close. The Prothonotary Warbler would become so common that someone
would say “It’s just another Prothonotary”. At this venue we saw/heard Acadian Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and
Scarlet Tanager. At one point while we were looking at a Yellow-throated Vireo someone was to say “the problem with the
birds is that they are so close I can’t use my binoculars”. As we were leaving we tried an area that looked promising for
Prairie Warbler but instead we found and clearly saw a Blue Grosbeak and a fabulous Red-headed Woodpecker.

We picked up lunch and made our way to the second Saturday venue which was Assateague Island, the north end. We went
to the woodland trail where we almost immediately saw and heard the Yellow-throated Warbler, another key bird of the
trip. We also had Pine Warbler and a quick view of a Clapper Rail. We would see this bird much better the next day. On the
marsh trail we had binocular views of several of the ‘Ponies of Assateague’. We drove about one half hour until we came to
the beautiful Nassawango Creek. Next to the creek in a grassland area we saw a Bluebird Trail with many boxes and a few
Bluebirds. Also present were a few Purple Martin houses with many Purple Martins flying around. We parked the van and
then had one of the most memorable moments of the trip. A beautiful male Summer Tanager was right in front of us. With
the male was an equally beautiful female. To top off the experience was a singing Scarlet Tanager about 20 feet away. We
walked the mile woodland/swamp trail looking for the Swainson’s Warbler but we had to be satisfied with more
Prothonotary Warblers and a few Louisiana Waterthrushes. As we were just about to leave we picked up another Red-
headed Woodpecker. We had dinner at a local restaurant and prepared for our next day.

On Sunday we again had breakfast at the hotel and left early so that we could catch the ferry to Cape May, NJ. The weather
turned on us and we picked up some showers, the first rain that we had experienced. The ferry ride was relatively smooth
with our group seeing many dolphins and a few Northern Gannets along the one hour and twenty minute ferry ride.  We set
the Tom-Tom for Reeds Beach hoping to see more shorebirds. When we arrived at Reeds Beach the rain become more
intense and scanning the beach from the van produced little in the way of bird life. We decided to have lunch before we
moved on. It was a good decision as the rain let up and we were on our way to the last venue of the trip, Brigantine NWR.

As soon as we got to Brigantine we saw the rarest bird of the trip, a White-faced Ibis. We all had excellent looks, seeing the
bird first through our scopes and then through our binoculars and finally with just our eyes. It was a ‘lifer’ for more than
half of our group. We drove the auto trail making several stops along the way. Some of the excellent birds that we saw were:
Whimbrel, Clapper Rail (excellent view), both Seaside and Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows, and many Gull-billed Terns.
On our way out the last bird that we saw was another Eastern Bluebird. Altogether the group saw 125 species and almost all
with excellent quality views. We arrived back at the Audubon office a little before 8pm.


Northern Gannet

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Tricolored Heron

Snowy Egret

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Glossy Ibis

White-faced Ibis

Mute Swan

Snow Goose

Canada Goose


Green-winged Teal


American Black Duck

Blue-winged Teal

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Bald Eagle

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Peregrine Falcon

Ring-necked Pheasant

Clapper Rail

American Oystercatcher

Black-necked Stilt

Black-bellied Plover

Semipalmated Plover


Short-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher


Greater Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

Solitary Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper


Ruddy Turnstone

Red Knot

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper


Ring-billed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Herring Gull

Laughing Gull

Gull-billed Tern

Common Tern

Forster's Tern

Black Skimmer

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Eastern Screech-Owl

Chimney Swift

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Acadian Flycatcher

Eastern Phoebe

Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Kingbird

Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

Cedar Waxwing

Carolina Wren

House Wren

Marsh Wren

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

Eastern Bluebird

Wood Thrush

American Robin

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Carolina Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

American Crow

Fish Crow

European Starling

White-eyed Vireo

Yellow-throated Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Northern Parula

Yellow Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Pine Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

American Redstart

Prothonotary Warbler

Worm-eating Warbler


Northern Waterthrush

Louisiana Waterthrush

Common Yellowthroat

Scarlet Tanager

Summer Tanager

Eastern Towhee

Chipping Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Seaside Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Blue Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Red-winged Blackbird

Boat-tailed Grackle

Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird

Orchard Oriole

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

Species seen - 125