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Minutes of the DVOC
January 17, 2008

President Paul Guris called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM. In spite of the inclement weather 21 members and 2 guests were in attendance. The minutes of the Jan. 3 2008 meeting were accepted as submitted.

Committee Reports

Membership: Chair Connie Goldman welcomed three new members: Erin Quinn, Jason Loghry and Peter Burns.

Field Trip Reports: Paul Guris reported on the annual Hudson Shelf pelagic Christmas Bird Count conducted on Jan. 4. The trip had all the expected coastal species of waterfowl and seabirds plus a good mix of offshore species. Highlights were 7 Razorbills, 2 Common Black-headed Gulls and good numbers of Bonaparte’s Gulls and Gannets.

Reports were received from several groups that participated in the Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census on January 12. Marty Dellwo reported that Tinicum had lots of ducks. Frank Windfelder had a Red-shouldered Hawk and a Lesser Black-backed Gull in his area, and reported that Keith Russell, the Census organizer, said that 91 species were recorded overall with 5 areas yet to report. Chris Walters reported a Rough-legged Hawk in his census area near Fort Mifflin.

Full reports are on the website: www.DVOC.org.

Up-coming Field Trip Announcements:

Jan. 19-21 (Sat. – Mon.), Montauk (Long Island), NY, for winter finches, seabirds and any Eurasian accidentals. Leaders: Chris Walters and Erica Brendel.

Jan. 26 (Saturday), Cape May, NJ, for seabirds and wintering waterfowl. Leader: Martin Selzer.

Feb. 3 (Sunday), Roosevelt Park, Philadelphia, for winter waterfowl. Leader: Debbie Beer.

May 29 – June 1 (Thursday – Sunday), North Carolina “Surf and Turf Specialties”, Manteo, NC., for pelagic specialties (the trip includes 2 pelagic trips) and land birds. Leaders: Paul Guris and Adrian Binns. Only 3 spaces are left for the pelagic portions of the trip.

Details of all these trips are on the website: www.DVOC.org.

Announcements: Anita Guris announced that See Life Paulagics has added 3 new North Carolina pelagic trips, on June 6, 7 and 8, and two winter trips for Dovekie and other winter pelagic birds, leaving from Freeport, NY and from Lewes, DE. Details are on the web at www.Paulagics.com. Paul Guris announced that he would again be leading a 5-day pelagic trip from San Diego, CA on The Searcher. See Paul or Anita for details.

Treasurer Bert Filemyr announced that club dues are now due, and asked everyone to pick up copies of the club directory, to save postage. All copies remaining after tonight will be mailed. Third, Bert encouraged people to become Life Members. Life Membership costs $375.00 (15 times annual dues), payable in 3 annual installments of $125.00 each. Life membership dues go into the endowment fund, which generates income and supports the club in perpetuity.

Dave Long asked about the 2007 DVOC Conservation Award. The award will be presented at the Feb. 21, 2008 DVOC meeting because the recipient is unavailable until then.

Membership Chair Connie Goldman announced that DVOC business cards are available. The cards have basic information about the club and our web address. See Connie if you would like some cards to give out to people interested in the club.

Hank Hox invited people to become members of the Friends of the Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. The Friends support conservation at the refuge and publish 4 newsletters per year. Tony Croasdale pointed out that the Friends, being a non-governmental organization, could do things at the refuge that the refuge management isn’t allowed to do itself.

Paul Guris announced that Dan Kunkle is working on a guide to birding in eastern Pennsylvania for PA DCNR and other organizations, and would like people to come to a meeting at Muhlenberg College on Feb. 2 to provide input.

Local Notes: Connie Goldman had a “one-day wonder” Common Redpoll at her house on Jan. 12. The bird disappeared, but then another appeared on Jan. 17. Frank Windfelder heard two Great Horned Owls outside his window. Frank also reported that at Tullytown dump on Tuesday 1/15 there were 210 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, one adult Kummlein’s Iceland Gull and a first-cycle Glaucous Gull.

Ornithological Studies: Chair Art McMorris announced the next two Ornithological Studies: On Feb. 7, Debbie Beer will speak on “Sexing Bald Eagles,” and on Feb. 21 the program will consist of the presentation of the 2007 DVOC Conservation Award. He then introduced Frank Windfelder who spoke on “Black-capped vs. Carolina Chickadee: How Can You Really Tell?” Frank gave a fact-filled and entertaining description of the characters that allow separation of these species and their hybrids, and led a free-wheeling discussion of the subject.

Program: Vice-President Frank Windfelder announced the next two programs. On Feb. 7 Nathan Gregory will speak on the “Impacts of Controlled Fires and Traditional Livestock Grazing on Bird Communities in Kenya,” and on Feb. 21 Mary Gustafson will present a program entitled “TexMex Birds.”

Frank then introduced tonight’s speaker, Jeffrey Hall, who spoke about “Birds on the Rocks (Seabirds in the Canadian Maritimes).” He described visits to breeding colonies of murres, gannets, and other seabirds in Newfoundland, Quebec, Machias Seal Island, and other North Atlantic locations, plus the whales, seals and other creatures that share the marine habitat of the region.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Art McMorris, Secretary