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Minutes of the DVOC
December 7, 2006

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order. In attendance were 50 members and 5 guests.

Committee Reports:

Membership: Chairperson Connie Goldman announced that Michael Morell has been accepted for membership.

Conservation: Chairperson Debbie Beer spoke about the upcoming Christmas Bird Counts, saying that these represent a big conservation effort. The count dates this year are December 14th to January 5th. She strongly urged people to participate. For a list of this year’s counts and their coordinators, go to www.dvoc.org , then select the “Field Trips” tab.

Debbie introduced Colin Campbell, who spoke about the recent ban on horseshoe crab harvesting in Delaware Bay. On November 20, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced a two-year moratorium on the harvesting of Horseshoe Crabs in Delaware waters. A similar ban is already in effect in New Jersey.

Field Trips:

Highlights of the Saturday, November 4th trip to Bake Oven Knob were a Golden Eagle and a Northern Goshawk.

The Saturday, November 11th Saw-whet Owl trip resulted in the banding of four Saw-whets.

The Saturday, November 18th trip for gulls, led by Matt Sharp, resulted in the sighting of many Lesser Black-backed Gulls, but nothing rarer.

Details of the following trips are listed at www.dvoc.org:

Friday, January 5th - Pelagic Christmas Count to the Hudson Shelf Valley

Saturday, January 6th – Philadelphia Midwinter Census, coordinated by Keith Russell

January 13th-15th (Saturday thru Monday) - Montauk & Long Island, led by Erica Brendel and Chris Walters – let them know if interested

Upcoming Ornithological Studies:

Chairman Art McMorris announced the following upcoming presentations:

December 21st - Deborah Danila, “Northern Saw-whet Owl Migration, 2006”

January 4th – Jane Henderson, “Sorting Out White-crowned Sparrow Subspecies”

Upcoming Programs:

Details of the following upcoming programs are listed at www.dvoc.org:

Thursday, December 21st – Scott Weidensaul - "Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul"

Thursday, January 4th – Annual Meeting – Christmas Count results and election of club officers, council members, and fellows, followed by refreshments.

Archives Committee:

Lynn Jackson has submitted her resignation, and Jeff Holt has agreed to succeed her. We owe many thanks to Lynn for the fine job she has done.

Nominating Committee:

Chairman Colin Campbell announced the slate of officers, to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. They are Chris Walters (President), Paul Guris (Vice-President), Frank Windfelder (Secretary), and Naomi Murphy (Treasurer).

The new incoming councilors will be JoAnn Raine and Steve Kacir, replacing Doris McGovern and Martin Selzer, whose terms have expired. The other Council members are as follows:

Past President Adrian Binns
Editor Art McMorris, who is appointed by Council
Jeff Holt & Mike Lyman (their terms expire in 2008)
Connie Goldman & Nate Rice (their terms expire in 2009)

The four elected club officers, as above.


Paul Guris announced that a pelagic Christmas Bird Count will be held on Friday, January 5th, out of Belmar, NJ. Go to http://www.paulagics.com for details.

As listed under field trips, Keith Russell’s annual Philadelphia Midwinter Census will be held on Saturday, January 6th. If interested, contact Keith at keith.russell6@verizon.net .

Prior to tonight’s meeting, a group of youths from the Upper Main Line YMCA were treated to a tour of the Academy’s bird department, led by Nate Rice.

Local Notes:

Yesterday, a Black-capped Chickadee showed up at Anita Guris' feeder near Green Lane in NW Montgomery County, PA.

Also yesterday, at Colin Campbell’s feeder along the PA-Delaware border, he saw a Purple Finch and witnessed a pair of Cooper’s Hawks displaying to one another.

Doris McGovern was unsuccessful in trying to relocate a Monk Parakeet that had been reported as being behind the Philadelphia International Airport on December 1st.

On Sunday, December 3rd, Paul Guris ran two simultaneous pelagic trips, one out of Belmar, NJ, and the other out of Freeport, NY. Amazingly, both boats met in the same patch of water way out in the Atlantic Ocean. Highlights included Northern Fulmar, Red Phalarope, Black-legged Kittiwake and Little Gull.

On November 24th, Bob Horton enjoyed two Golden Eagles at Raccoon Ridge in New Jersey. Linda Rowan topped that on the same day, having seen both Le Conte’s and Lark Sparrows in Bucks County, both life birds for her. She also observed a Great Horned Owl perched right in the middle of town in Bristol Borough. Not to be outdone, Matt Sharp reported an Amazing 109 Common Eiders at Barnegat light.

Connie Goldman reported two Cackling Geese in Core Creek Park, Bucks County, PA.

Sandra Keller mentioned that at least one of the two Eared Grebes remains at Lakes Bay, Atlantic County, NJ.

There is currently a nice selection of waterfowl in FDR Park in South Philadelphia.

Main Program: Paul Guris introduced Mary Gustafson, who now lives in McAllen, TX. She gave a wonderful presentation on the "Vagrant Hummingbirds in Eastern North America", in which she shared her experiences in banding hummers in the mid-Atlantic region. Mary’s informal style, together with a well-prepared PowerPoint Presentation and a topic which gets the juices of birders going, made for a very enjoyable evening. Did you know that juvenile hummingbirds show diagonal grooves on the bill?

Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary