Loggerhead Shrike, 13 curves style!

As I drive around Sussex County, I’m always looking for vagrants/rarities. Western Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Mississippi Kite, you name it and I’m looking for it. One species I never seek out, but is always in the back of my mind, is Loggerhead Shrike. Loggerhead Shrike is an uncommon vagrant/migrant in Delaware with only 10 previously accepted records for Delaware.

Bobby Wilcox and I were driving down Thirteen Curves Rd. when I noticed a bird with bold whit wing patches flush off a tree and I yelled, “Shrike!” I immediately pulled the car over and started telling Bobby about how rare to uncommon shrikes are in Delaware.I thought here were more records, but as it turns out there are only ten accepted records. Why not add another to it?

As you can see, there are only TEN previously accepted records by DOS, so this represents the 11th state record, pending acceptance of course. I think this photo, as well as epic shots from Chuck Fullmer (see below), will get the record accepted.

Loggerhead Shrike - Delaware

It looks like a Loggerhead Shrike, or LOSH, right? The records committee should accept it, right? I hope so! I mean, I know my photo is nothing EPIC, but Chuck Fullmer laid down this crushing shot.

That’s what a 600mm lens can do. Some day, some day, I will have something that will produce a photo like this. Chuck is awesome. Everyone should hang out with him! Also, if you have a boat and need it wrapped and stored, check out Pontoon Express!

Everyone likes boats, right?

ABA Camp Avocet – Are you going?

Ruddy Turnstone at Cape Henlopen State Park, Sussex County, Delaware, on 29 July 2013. Digiscoped with an iPhone 4S + Celestron Regal M2 80ED & Phone Skope Adapter. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Next week, August 11th – 17th, the American Birding Association (ABA) is hosting Camp Avocet at Cape Henlopen State Park in southern Delaware. Cape Henlopen State Park is a great place to bird during fall migration. Shorebirds, terns, and gulls are plentiful, especially at The Point.

Osprey, Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers, American Oystercatcher, Ruddy Turnstone, and Sanderling are seen in good numbers in mid-August. Least, Caspian, Common, Forster’s, and Royal Terns are common in Cape Henlopen as well. If you’re lucky, a Sandwich Tern may present itself. Songbirds like Brown-headed Nuthatch, Pine Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, and Blue Grosbeaks are plentiful.

If you’re participating in this ABA Summer Young Birders Camp, you will not be disappointed. Check out this link for more information on the camp and to register: http://events.aba.org/camp-avocet/

Lifer Red Knot, finally!

Finally, finally, finally. I finally saw my lifer Red Knot at Prime Hook NWR (eBird Checklist) two nights ago. Actually, I saw 68 of them, some in alternate plumage, but most in basic. Just seeing a handful (give or take) in alternate plumage makes me long for knot migration next spring. Anyway, the birds were distant, but I did take some Phone Skoped shots of the flock.

Red Knots at Prime Hook NWR on 8 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Red Knots at Prime Hook NWR on 9 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Red Knots at Prime Hook NWR on 9 July 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Shorebird migration is on. Get out and check those mudflats!

Tropical Kingbirds return to Ahakhav Tribal Preserve!

The Tropical Kingbirds were first found at Ahakhav Tribal Preserve (CRIT) in May 2011 and then returned to breed in 2012. My first visit to CRIT this year produced nothing of the sort. I was scheduled to return to CRIT this morning and as soon as I stepped out of the car, I heard the distinct call of the Tropical Kingbird. I had to wait a few hours before I could officially investigate, but I finally laid eyes on one individual.

Tropical Kingbird at Ahakhav Tribal Preserve, La Paz Co, AZ on 5 June 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

I didn’t have a chance to search for a nest, but I suspect there are two birds nesting in a “chosen” Fremont Cottonwood. I will continue my investigation next Wednesday and report my findings then.

Ahakhav Tribal Preserve, La Paz, US-AZ
Jun 5, 2013 7:03 AM – 8:47 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments: Submitted from BirdLog NA for iOS, version 1.5.3
20 species

Gambel’s Quail  2
White-winged Dove  7
Mourning Dove  3
Anna’s Hummingbird  1
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  3
Vermilion Flycatcher  2
Ash-throated Flycatcher  1
Tropical Kingbird  1
Western Kingbird  4
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1
Cliff Swallow  3
Verdin  4
Northern Mockingbird  3
Lucy’s Warbler  3
Abert’s Towhee  4
Summer Tanager  1
Great-tailed Grackle  3
Brown-headed Cowbird  3
Bullock’s Oriole  1
House Finch  10

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S14342946

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Good birding,


A Three Scoter Day in Lycoming County, PA

After a few days of rather warm weather and south winds, colder weather, rain showers, and north winds came in and so did the waterfowl. I first stopped out at Rose Valley Lake to see what had dropped in. As soon as I got to the lake I noticed four large ducks among the ~200 Ruddy Ducks. Floating among the Ruddy Ducks were 3 female Black Scoters and 1 female Surf Scoter. I watched them forage for a while then continued on around the lake. A Common Loon, 11 Bufflehead, and a Horned Grebe rounded out the interesting waterfowl. I also picked up my first Rusty Blackbird of the fall. I attemped to digiscope the Black Scoters and ended up with a half decent picture of the three birds together.

After birding Rose Valley Lake for about an hour I headed down to the dam in Williamsport where waterfowl were less numerous but I still picked up 14 White-winged Scoters and 1 female Black Scoter.