Northern Wheatear – Fox Point State Park, Delaware

Alex LamoreauxBird Finding Tips, Birding, Chase, Rarities2 Comments

On December 22nd, Colin Campbell was biking around Fox Point State Park near Wilmington, Delaware and discovered a Northern Wheatear. This is a very rare species to North America and only the 2nd record ever for Delaware. The first record was in 1957. I carpooled down this morning to see the bird. Kyle Aldinger, Ian Gardner, and I arrived at the State Park at 8:15am, just in time for the guard to open the gate. At least 21 other cars worth of birders were present to see this beautiful bird, which we all found instantly at the far end of the park foraging on the grass. The wheatear seemingly didnt mind all the attention it was getting, and wandered around eating and occasionally flying to the chain link fence or down onto some rocks along the shoreline. There were so many huge cameras present, my friend Ian commented he was worried there might be a “window strike” if the bird flew towards the wall of massive lenses! After about an hour, most birders had left and there were only a handfull of us left to enjoy the bird privately. Below are some photos I took this morning of the Northern Wheatear. By the way, the name “wheatear” is actually a euphemism for its distinctive white rump, from the Anglo-Saxon ‘white arse’.

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear

At the State Park, we also saw many gulls, Canada Geese, an American Kestrel, Double-crested Cormorant, and one flyby Great Cormorant!

Great Cormorant (left) and Double-crested Cormorant (right)

American Kestrel

To see all the photos I took of this bird, visit my photo album at this link.