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Minutes of the DVOC
January 8, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:45 by President Paul Guris. Thirty-five members and 2 guests were present. The minutes of the December 18 meeting were read and accepted.

Annual Election:

Nominating Committee Chair Colin Campbell reported that no new nominations had been received since the slate was read at the last meeting. He then read the slate of candidates nominated by the Committee:

Officers, for 1-year terms ending January 2010:

President: Paul Guris
Vice President: Frank Windfelder
Secretary: Art McMorris
Treasurer: Bert Filemyr

Councilors, for 3-year terms ending January 2012:

Edie Parnum
Bob Horton

The Officer and Councilor candidates were elected unanimously. President Paul Guris thanked Colin for his hard work, congratulated the officers and new councilors, and thanked outgoing Councilors Connie Goldman and Nate Rice for their dedicated service.


VP/Program Chair Frank Windfelder announced the next few programs. The January 22 meeting will feature member Cindy Ahern, who will present "A Bird's Eye View of Wild Bird Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release"; on February 5, Mary Gustafson will present “Don't just Blink: Look Twice - Texas Style”; and on February 19, Jeffrey Hall will present “Behaving Beautifully.”

Field Trip Reports:

Past field trips: Bob Horton said that the only field trip since the last meeting was Paul Guris’s Bellmawr, NJ pelagic trip on Jan. 2. Since this was a Christmas Bird Count, it will be presented with the other CBC reports.

Up-coming Field Trips:

Chris Walters announced that he and Erica Brendel would be running their annual field trip to Montauk, Long Island, NY, on Martin Luther King weekend (Jan. 17-19), for winter finches, eiders, scoters, alcids, and other winter birds. They have been running this trip each January for over 20 years. This year, participants will be staying in a bed and breakfast. Space is limited; see Chris or Erica if interested.

Adrian Binns announced that he would be running a trip to Canada over Presidents’ Weekend (Feb. 14-15-16). There has been a substantial movement of Great Gray and Boreal Owls this winter, as well as White-winged Crossbills, Pine Grosbeaks and Bohemian Waxwings. The trip itinerary has not been set yet; it may or may not include Amherst Island, Ontario. Space is very limited, so see Adrian right away if interested.

Further details of these trips are on the website at www.dvoc.org.


Bert Filemyr made 3 announcements:
(1) The 2009 directory is ready; Bert asked everyone to pick up their copy (with address label) and copies for other members that they would be seeing soon, to save postage. All copies not picked up tonight will be mailed.

(2) Dues notices are enclosed in the directories. Please send in your dues promptly!

(3) Page 1 of the directory has a list of all club members of 50 or more years standing. Eighteen people have been members for 50 years or more. 2009 is the 50th year for Chuck Hetzel and Harry Armistead. Dale Twining is the longest-standing member, at an amazing 72 years.

Anita Guris announced two pelagic trips being run by Sea Life Paulagics: on Feb. 7, leaving from Lewes DE, and on Feb. 8 from Bellmawr NJ. These are billed as “Dovekie chases,” but other alcids, fulmars and kittiwakes are also to be expected. The trips are filling up; please see Anita or Paul, or their website.

Anita has an extra iPod external speaker, for sale at a reduced price.

Anita showed off the new Nikon EDG binoculars that have just been released for sale to the public. She reported that the optics are truly amazing. List price is approximately $1800.00. She also has the new Monarch X ($500.00), which has not been announced yet. It is similar to the old Monarch but with improved optics. Anita and Paul are now authorized Nikon dealers, and will pass along their discount to club members.

Jeff Holt announced that he had brought more copies of the new book co-authored by himself and Bert Filemyr, “The Composite Plates of Audubon’s Birds of America.” The price is $12.00. It is also available from Amazon.com for $12.99 plus shipping.

Frank Windfelder announced that today’s Philadelphia Inquirer had a story about mitigation for the Delaware River oil spill of several years ago. Planned mitigation projects include removal of old dredge spoil from Tinicum (John Heinz NWR, PA) and remedial projects at Palmyra and Mad Horse in New Jersey.

Structured Announcements:

Treasurer Bert Filemyr presented the annual Treasurer’s Report, and Trustee Chris Walters presented the annual Trustees’ Report.

Local Notes:

Anita Guris recently saw 5 Pine Siskins at her feeders. These were the first siskins she and Paul had had in several years. Several Purple finches were also present.

Jeff Holt reported on the Green-tailed Towhee that had been found on Morrison Ave. in Haddon Township, NJ. The bird was found on New Year’s Day and had been seen by many observers.

Frank Windfelder saw a Glaucous Gull and an adult Kummlein’s Gull at Pennypack Park on Rhawn St.

Hank Hox reported that a Dark-eyed Junco with white cheek patches was being observed at Tinicum. Adrian Binns added that another aberrant Dark-eyed Junco, this one with white spectacles, was present in the yard that was hosting the Green-tailed Towhee.

Vincent Nichnadowicz reported that there was a Barnacle Goose, and also a Barnacle x Canada Goose hybrid, in Califon, NJ. The site is on a tributary of the Raritan River that has been dammed up. The geese come to the site in the evening and depart at about 8:00 in the morning. He noted that the New Jersey Bird Records Committee has accepted Barnacle Goose records in the past.

Paul Guris said that there were reports of White-winged Crossbills in Nockamixon State Park, PA.

Ornithological Studies:

Chair Art McMorris introduced Bert Filemyr, who presented a program entitled “Identification of King and Common Eiders.” Bert discussed winter plumages of the two species, and then showed a photograph of a group of 5 eiders he observed recently off the jetty at Barnegat, NJ. He went through the birds individually and asked audience members to identify each one, and support their identification. Identification of four of the birds was rather straightforward, but the fifth was more problematic.

Election of Fellows of the DVOC:

President Paul Guris announced that Council had named four new Fellows of the DVOC. Members are elected as Fellows in recognition of their excellence in the field of ornithology and their outstanding contributions to the club. Election is by nomination to Council and an affirmative vote by at least 2/3 of Council. Four new Fellows were announced:

Tony Croasdale
Bob Horton
Rob Hynson
Win Shafer

Paul congratulated the new Fellows and thanked them for their exemplary accomplishments.

Main Program:

The Main Program consisted of the results of area Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs), compiled by Frank Windfelder, and presented by Frank Windfelder and Debbie Beer. Reports of 27 CBCs in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware area were given, either by a participant or by Frank or Debbie if no participant was present. Win Shafer gave a brief report of a not-so-local CBC that he had participated in, in Sandwich NH with Bob Ridgely.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM, and re-convened in the atrium for food, beer, wine and conversation.

Respectfully submitted,

Art McMorris, Secretary