June 09, 2018

Odonata and Laurel, DE

Set out looking for Odonata yesterday near Laurel, DE. There are numerous freshwater ponds in the area, mostly accessible from boat ramps (unless you have a boat) with somewhat limited shoreline access. The weather promised to be mostly sunny with temps in the 80's although there was significant cloud cover at times. It is my hope to document species present/not present over time at various ponds to gauge health and diversity of the area. The nearly hour long drive was well worth the effort.

Visited Trussum Pond for the umpteenth time, which has a large stand of Bald Cypress. Although I could see numerous Odonata flying about off shore, very few landed within photographic range.

Next was Trap Pond State Park to walk the trails. The diversity of wildlife found was amazing - Eastern Hognose Snake, Fowler's Toads, White-tailed Deer, Odonata, Lepidoptera and Eyed-click Beetle. Most memorable events were the dozens of baby Fowler's Toads and the awful mosquitoes.

Raccoon Pond was next on the list and was a pleasant surprise. This was my first visit to this pond and found several interesting species. Willow Sawfly (Nematus ventralis) larvae consuming Willow along the bank, Rambur's Fortail eating another damselfly, Northern Red-bellied Cooter sunning on a lily pad and 6 common species of Odonata.

The other ponds, Chipman, Horsey, Records, Portsville and Tussock were not as successful as I had hoped. Limited accessible shoreline or fishermen minimized ability to search. Phillip's Landing Park on Broad Creek was along the way and a stop there found a Common whitetail, Summer Azure and a Broad-headed Sharpshooter.

Although I did not find the Odonata in great numbers as I had hoped, it was a great day.

Posted on June 09, 2018 13:32 by ellendale ellendale | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 28, 2018

Horseshoe Crabs and Red Knots - 2018

Set out yesterday to see the onslaught of spawning Horseshoe Crabs and hopefully catch a glimpse of the Red Knots on their journey north. The Red Knots have always been too far to see well enough for capturing photographs, or I am not in the right place at the right time. I visited Slaughter Beach, DuPont Nature Center, Pickering Beach and Port Mahon. Horseshoe Crabs were found in all locations along with Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Port Mahon additionally had various species of gulls and Cormorants. DuPont Nature Center resulted in Red Knots along with various other shorebirds and the ‘Delaware Shorebird Project’ team was in place and actively counting/assessing shorebirds. Their catch nets sent 1000’s of birds air born – quite a spectacle to see.

For more information on the Delaware Shorebird Project: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Shorebirds/Pages/AboutShorebirds.aspx

Posted on May 28, 2018 14:01 by ellendale ellendale | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 08, 2018

Invasive Species in Delaware - Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula)

For those of you that venture into Delaware, the Delaware Department of Agriculture issued guidelines for detecting and reporting the newly introduced Spotted Lanternfly. The link below provides pictures of the various life stages. This plant hopper is native to China, India and Vietnam, was first observed in Pennsylvania in 2014 and is a potential threat to commercial crops.

https://dda.delaware.gov/plantind/spotted-lanternfly.shtml

Posted on January 08, 2018 13:04 by ellendale ellendale | 1 comment | Leave a comment

March 23, 2017

Tubmill Pond

This pond is amazing. I stop by nearly every day either in the morning or evening and there is always a plethora of wildlife. Unfortunately unless the sun is in the east I am unable to see the far side of the pond very well. Over the last few months I routinely see Ring-necked Ducks, Bufflehead, Mallards, Canada Geese and Gadwall. For the past few weeks there have been six Snow Geese as well. This morning was sunny and I stopped by on the way to work to find the usual Ring-necks, Mallards, Canada and Snow Geese and was delighted to find a Great Blue Heron, 20 Gadwall, two Blue-Winged Teal, two Green-Winged Teal, at least one Northern Shoveler and a Yellow Rumped Warbler.

Posted on March 23, 2017 23:14 by ellendale ellendale | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 12, 2017

Port Penn

I was scheduled to attend a historic town walk in Port Penn and planned extra time to get in some birding. The Route 9 corridor in Delaware is unbelievable with numerous wildlife areas including Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Although I was limited on time I was able to visit Augustine Wildlife Area, Augustine Beach, Woodland Beach Wildlife Area and Little Creek Wildlife Area. I have been trying to find smaller birds but the big ones like Bald Eagles (saw 10 today), Hawks (saw 8 but was only able to photograph 4), geese, swans and ducks keep getting my attention. I did find a Red Bellied Woodpecker and a Golden-crowned Kinglet along with the usual, Red-winged Blackbird, Cardinal and Northern Mockingbird. It was a great day – partly sunny and ended up with temps of 53 degrees. My bird total for 2017 is now 62.

Posted on February 12, 2017 01:25 by ellendale ellendale | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 05, 2017

Duck, Duck, GEESE !!

For the second time in my recent naturalist adventures I set out specifically for one bird and was blown away by a second sighting. In early January I set out to find the Crested Caracara that had been hanging out in Rehoboth Beach. I found it and it was exciting but the excitement waned when I found an Eastern Screech Owl at Prime Hook NWR later in the day. Today, I talked hubby into going with me to Silver Lake in Rehoboth to see the Canvasback Ducks. We saw them, and were excited to see them. On the way home we decided to swing by Prime Hook to see if we could see the juvenile Bald Eagles which we found, way off in the distance. Before turning around for home, we decided to take a peek at Prime Hook Beach on Delaware Bay to see if there was anything interesting, after all it was only another tenth of a mile. WOW, am I glad we did. The largest congregation of Snow Geese we have seen. Based on measurements using Google Earth I estimate the flock stretched more than a quarter mile along the shore. Truly an exciting find and one we will never forget.

Posted on February 05, 2017 22:56 by ellendale ellendale | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 04, 2017

January 4, 2017 WOW ! What a day

I have been aware of a Crested Caracara sighting near Rehoboth Beach and finally had a day off which coincided with nice weather. This is the second sighting of a Crested Caracara since 2013 in Delaware – way out of range. Reports indicated the bird has been routinely seen in the morning and afternoon so I headed out. I arrived at the location, parked my car next to the other birders, aimed my camera and started shooting. I thought for sure I would have to sit for a few hours to see him but luck was with me today. After he flew off I decided to check out a few other spots nearby and had the best birding day ever (for me). On the way home, I decided to stop by Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge for a quick drive through and I am so glad I did. I photographed my first owl - a Screech Owl. Twenty-six identifiable birds were observed today, including another out-of-range bird, the Ash-fronted Flycatcher.

  1. Ash-throated Flycatcher
  2. Belted Kingfisher
  3. Black Duck
  4. Black Vulture
  5. Bluejay
  6. Brown Headed Nuthatch
  7. Canada Goose
  8. Cardinal
  9. Carolina Chickadee
  10. Crested Caracara
  11. Dark eyed junco
  12. Double Crested Cormorant
  13. Eastern Bluebirds
  14. Eastern Goldfinch
  15. European Starling
  16. Great Blue Heron
  17. Herring Gull
  18. House Finch
  19. Red Breasted Nuthatch
  20. Robin
  21. Screech Owl
  22. Snow Geese
  23. Song Sparrow
  24. Tufted titmouse
  25. Turkey Vulture
  26. Yellow Rumped Warbler

Posted on January 04, 2017 22:45 by ellendale ellendale | 0 comments | Leave a comment