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Minutes of the DVOC
January 22, 2004

Adrian Binns called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM. 45 members and 6 guests attended, drawn like moths to the flame of the current administration's style and pinache.

The minutes of January 8 were approved as amended.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Anita Guris announced Laverne Lee as a new member, and Robin Madison as our newest applicant. She described the new membership process, omitting the initiation rites involving caning and flying super wedgies.

Conservation: Jan Gordon reported that there was no report.

Larus: Jane Henderson reported that there was no report. Jan accused Jane of plagiarizing her report of no report.

Cassinia: Art McMorris reported that he was looking for articles for the new Cassinia. He also reported that the newly printed Cassinia should be shipped on January 28.

Field Trips: Paul Guris report on the January 11 Dix WMA trip. Sightings included 10-12 Bald Eagles, 6 Catbirds, a dozen Towhees, and a gimpy Virginia Rail. Meteorologically speaking, temperatures were “as cold as a witch's tent”.

Chris Walters reported on a successful Montauk trip on January 11-19. Highlights included a Long-eared Owl in Central Park, a male Barrow's Goldeneye, 3 female King Eiders, 2 American Bitterns, and great looks at Lapland Longspur, Iceland Gull, and Short-eared Owl. A total of 97 species were seen. Erica Brendell circulated some photos. Neither the Secretary nor the President saw these photos, but noted that they heard disturbing descriptions of their content.

Adrian Binns announced the upcoming field trip to Florence for winter gulls on January 24, and the upcoming field trip to the North Shore of New Jersey on January 31.

Programs: Chris Walters announced that next meeting's program would be Dan Brauning discussing Peregrine Falcons. The February 19 program is to be presented by Kevin Karlson on the birds of Stone Harbor Point during the summer of 2003.

Web Site: Bert Filemyr reported that there was no report. He was immediately savaged by Jan and Jane.

Membership Directory: Bert Filemyr gave a report on the membership directory, strictly out of self defense. He told members to pick up their copy if they had not already grabbed it before. He threatened that he would mail the directories to the homes of those members who didn't pick them up. Bert KNOWS how to play hardball.

Archives: Lynn Jackson reported how many minutes she was bound, or something like that. All meeting minutes are now bound except for 2002-2003, which will be completed soon.

E-mail List: Frank Windfelder told the membership what it was for, and how to join. Just drop him a line at fwindfelder@yahoo.com. A more appropriate domain name has never been used.


Anita Guris announced that 6 spots were left on the February 28 Lewes pelagic and signups were moving along well on the March 7 Cape May pelagic.

Adrian Binns read from Wild Bird magazine's Birder of the Year essays. Dick Lutz, a club member, was name their birder of the year, and Adrian read from his article about the late Ray Murgatroyde. He also read an article written by our own Colin Campbell called the Moment of Truth, describing his decision to move to the United States from Scotland. Where were tough immigration laws when we needed them.

Local Notes

Jane Henderson reported a Barred Owl and Rough-legged Hawk at Pennypack.

Nicholaas Haass reported seeing the Pink-footed Goose in Coatesville plus 3 White-fronted Geese, possibly of the Greenland race. Racial comments flew, and he was accused of playing the race card.

Ornithological Studies

Adrian Binns reviewed the latest changes to the AOU checklist. An interesting discussion took place concerning the proper Latin forms of some names, and non-Latin roots of other names. Adrian showed the depth of his ornithological knowledge as well as his stunning insight when he asked our speaker for the evening if “Ovenbirds have both males and females”. The ensuing savaging of our new President was a truly classic DVOC moment.


Chris Walters introduced the evening's speaker, Bob Mulvihill, of Powdermill Nature Preserve. The program, “Powdermill's Top 40” described their long running banding program in great detail. A date of note is that the first bird they banded was an Indigo Bunting caught on June 18, 1961, the very day your humble secretary was born. Bob also spent some time discussing the upcoming Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas, its focus, new data entry techniques, etc.

The DVOC has a long tradition of grilling their speakers during the Q&A period, but this program was so thorough that there was virtually nothing left to ask. It takes a truly excellent speaker and program to render this group speechless.

The meeting adjourned at 9:59 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul A. Guris