One of the best locations to bird in Spring is the Delaware City area. The wetlands and forests along the Delaware River attract a wide variety of migrants, and nearby Pea Patch Island draws thousands of herons and egrets to its nest in its rookery. Dragon Run Marsh and Thousand-Acre Marsh are all close by, and the variety of birds can be astounding.
On Saturday, April 25, our group converged on the viewing platform at the edge of Dragon Run Marsh. Colorful Wood Ducks whizzed by, Common Yellowthroats and Yellow Warblers sang loudly, and Tree Swallows zipped along as they chased insects.
On the far side of the marsh, Mr. Ernst spotted an adult Bald Eagle perched high in a tree. Through the scope we watched the eagle eat a fish! Glossy Ibis, Gadwall, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, and other waterbirds flew back and forth in search of food.
At Fort DuPont State Park, we looked across the river to Pea Patch Island and saw the trees draped in white! Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets are nesting side-by-side in colonies, and they look like white candles on a Christmas tree. The songbirds in the park were quiet(except for the White-eyed Vireo that hid very well), but we managed to see nice birds like Eastern Phoebe, Northern Cardinal, and Eastern Towhee.
During our lunch break, a young Bald Eagle perched in a tree right not far from the picnic tables!
For dessert, we enjoyed the real treat of the day: Peregrine Falcons! We patiently waited under the Reedy Point Bridge until the male Peregrine brought back a bird he’d killed(a Robin?), and then shrieked loudly to let his mate know that he’d brought home food.. The parents probably have babies by now, so they are feeding a family of feisty falcons.