Lazy Birder’s Trip Report

Location: DuPont Environmental Education Center/Russell W. Peterson Refuge
Date: January 27, 2024
Trip Leader: Joe Francis

LeConte’s Sparrow documentation photo by Joe Francis.

This was the Inaugural 2024 afternoon walk for this DOS & DNS sponsored monthly event. Weather was pleasant for the season (52F high) with light winds, mostly cloudy skies and sporadic sunshine. Twenty-three new and experienced birders were joined by Bob Meadows of Delaware Fish & Wildlife, who has been involved in the restoration of this amazing freshwater tidal marsh over several decades.

The most sought-after bird, the LeConte’s sparrow, proved elusive though one lucky participant had a brief glimpse of a bright, orange-streaked sparrow near prior sightings but, not surprisingly, somewhat further away from the trail. Folks were encouraged to return in smaller numbers to devote more time to this spot. There were no signs of the prior Orange-crowned Warbler either. 

Highlights included excellent views of Rusty Blackbirds, close studies of Song, Swamp, White-throated, and Field Sparrow, and a variety of distant raptors. Fox Sparrow was seen by several in the group who departed early. Those who stayed until dusk were treated to large flocks of grackles heading to roost, various dabblers, an extremely camouflaged Wilson’s Snipe resting at marsh edge, and a marauding Cooper’s Hawk. As darkness fell, a haunting burst of melodious Swamp Sparrow trill concluded the walk.

See the eBird checklist here:

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