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Minutes of the DVOC
February 4, 2004

Rick Mellon called the meeting to order at 7:50. 40 members and 2 guests attended.

The minutes of January 22 were approved, with some commentary on their style.

Two visitors were introduced.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Three new candidates for membership were introduced.

Conservation: Jan Gordon reported that Toll Brothers were blocked from building a new development within the bounds of Valley Forge Park.

Cassinia: The latest Cassinia was made available at the meeting. Members were asked to pick theirs up to save on postage. Art McMorris had no report on the upcoming edition of Cassinia.

Larus: Jane Henderson noted that the deadline for items to be included in the next Larus was March 15.

Field Trips: Martin Selzer reported for the globetrotting Adrian Binns.

The January 24 Florence trip had 15 participants. Overall numbers of gulls were down, but great looks were had of Iceland, Glaucous, Lesser Black-backed, and one first winter Thayer’s Gull.

The January 31 North Shore trip was cold and encountered a fair amount of ice, but highlights included Red-necked Grebe and Eurasian Wigeon. Frank Windfelder once again provided grist for the DVOC story mill by misplacing his wallet in the bottom of his pant leg.

Chris Walters belatedly reported on the January 10 Philadelphia mid-winter census. Though temperatures were as low as 3 degrees, 59 observers in 20 parties found 96 species, including Iceland Gull, Long-eared Owl, Redpolls, and a Goshawk.

Upcoming trips include Conowingo Dam with Tom Reeves on February 15, and Indian River, DE on February 28. Leaders are praying for warmer weather.

Chris Walters announced that a trip was planned for March 13 to Barnegat, and hopefully a group of young birders from the Upper Mainline YMCA would be joining us. Paul Guris asked for volunteer “scope monkies” to help out with the kids.

Programs: Chris Walters announced that next meeting's program would be presented by Kevin Karlson on the birds of Stone Harbor Point during the summer of 2003. The next program after that will be Jeff Gordon presenting the “Birdsong Grammies”. It is supposed to be an entertaining and interactive program, though hopefully without an avian version of Janet Jackson’s Superbowl antics.


Anita Guris announced that the February 28 Lewes pelagic was filled and the March 7 Cape May pelagic was over half filled.

Lynn Jackson announced that DVOC plates were available for $5 and centennial tapes for $10, both absolute bargains. Patches are still plentiful and free.

Naomi Murphy’s IRS background showed as she told everybody to pay their dues. She asked for payment at the meeting if possible so the club did not have to pay to mail out notices or send large men in dark trenchcoats to people’s doors.

Naomi Murphy reported that Millard Lindauer died. He had joined the club in 1935.

Lynn Jackson announced that Barbara Stoddard was writing a book and was looking for contact info for Austin Jenkins.

Chris Walters made a “Birders Beware” announcement at the request of DVOC Council, warning of problems on birding tours. A warning to ask about reputations before going on any trip was issued.

Local Notes

Erica Brendell had a pair of Pileateds a block from Carpenter’s Woods.

Roy Hendrick had Bluebirds already staking out boxes in Bucks County, and a probable returning Screech Owl that reappears for a short time every year since 1994.

John Fryburg had 4 Red-necked Grebes on the river near Valley Forge.

Alan Brady reported that a potentially harmful oil slick was released off Monmouth County, NJ.

Doris McGovern report 170 Canvasbacks and 31 Greater Scaup on the Delaware River near the airport on 01/25.

Roy Frock gave a second-hand report of 8 Redpolls in Chalfont, PA.

Colin Campbell et al made an attempt to find 100 species in a day in January in Delaware. They fell short, but had a personal best of 90 species.

Frank Windfelder reported Purple Finch, White-crowned Sparrow, 7 Fox Sparrows, and about 200 White-throated Sparrows at the Peace Valley Park feeders. Roy Hendrick reported that a Sharp-shinned Hawk had reduced their numbers to 199.

Nicholas Haass reported seeing the Harris’s Sparrow up in Northampton County, PA, along with about 40 White-crowned Sparrows.

Dan Brauning showed us a specimen of a juvenile Sabine’s Gull found a week before Hurricane Isabelle hit the region.

Rick Mellon had an Eastern Towhee and a Purple Finch as yard birds.

Anita Guris report a male Sapsucker and 60 Purple Finches at her Green Lane feeders.

Ornithological Studies

Paul Guris gave a presentation entitled Plain Brown Intermediate Juvenile Long-tailed vs. Parasitic Jaegers. The silence after the presentation had Paul hoping he had done a thorough job on a difficult topic, though perhaps the seat of his pants had just split.


Chris Walters introduced the evening's speaker, Dan Brauning. Dan’s program was called “Peregrine Falcons – The Saga of Recovery” and discussed the reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons in our area. Dan asked that we interrupt with questions at will. DVOC members were only too happy to oblige, leaving Dan to reflect on the wisdom of the old saying, “be careful what you wish for…”.

The meeting adjourned shortly before 10:00.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul A. Guris