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Minutes of the DVOC
January 22, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 PM by Rick Mellon, sitting in for President Paul Guris. There were 25 members and 4 guests present.

Guests Eric Ahern, Scott Ahern, Lamar Corls and Stan Shur were introduced.

Correction to last minutes of January 8th: Frank Windfelder reported that the CBC Reports were compiled by Frank and reported on at the meeting by both Frank and Debbie.

Committee Reports:

Chair Connie Goldman announced the receipt of an application for membership from Wong Kong of Sicklerville, NJ. This person did not include any information about himself. Connie will contact him for a bio and then submit the application to Council. Tony Croasdale said he has spoken by phone to this person; Frank Windfelder reported this birder was on at least one DVOC field trip with him.
No other committees had new information to report.

Field Trips:
Frank Windfelder reported on the 1/17/09-1/19/09 trip to Montauk NY with co-leaders Chris Walters and Erica Brendel. Among species seen were American Woodcocks, Snowy Owls and an impressive flock of 23 Lapland Longspurs at Jones Beach along with other barren ground birds. A somewhat surprising miss on the trip this year was Razorbill.
Bert Filemyr reported on the 1/17/09 combined Wyncote Bird Club/DVOC trip to Cape May with leader Martin Selzer. The trip started at the Villas site, where 75 Rusty Blackbirds were seen. Also notable for the trip were the Rufous Hummingbird at a feeder in the Cape May area, and an Eared Grebe. The day ended with a good sighting of 4 to 5 Short-eared Owls at Jakes Landing.
Upcoming Field Trips:
Tom Reeves invited participants on his 1/24/09 Conowingo Dam and Perryville, MD area trip for the coming weekend.
Tony Croasdale announced his upcoming 1/25/09 field trip to Husted Landing to target the Sandhill Crane flock in Southern NJ. Habitats to be visited will include stubble fields and salt marsh with specific spots to include Bivalve and Turkey Point, with the cranes expected to be seen as they come in to roost later in the day. The trip will end at Jakes Landing at dusk with the Short-eared Owls as primary target there.
Adrian Binns announced that on Feb 1st Debbie Beer will lead the trip to Roosevelt Park in Philadelphia. In addition to a general search for wintering birds, the focus will be on waterfowl in the open water there.
Adrian also announced that Colin Campbell will lead a trip to Delaware City on Feb. 7th. Birds on the Delaware River and the areas freshwater ponds will be explored.

Frank Windfelder announced upcoming programs including:
Feb. 5th – Mary Gustafson “Don’t Just Blink – Look Twice, Texas Style” – double-checking bird IDs.
Feb 19th – Jeff Hall “Behaving Beautifully” – behaviors of Florida birds captured in photography.
March 5th – Jeff Gordon – “Kingfishers and their Allies.”
April 2nd – Bill Evans – topic not yet announced, but a popular speaker.

Adrian Binns announced that he had with him the new Nikon 50mm compact field scope. Weight is just 18 oz, making it ideal for travel. Price is under $700. Paul and Anita Guris are now Nikon dealers, if anyone is interested.
Tony Croasdale announced that he’s working on an offering of a DVOC trip to Belize for January 2010. He has contacts that are starting up an Eco-lodge there and are looking to draw birders in. It is to be an environmentally sensitive operation, with solar and micro-hydroelectric power sources and composting toilets, etc. Birds likely for the trip include Tody Motmot, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Emerald Toucanet and many others. A relative who is a travel agent will help keep costs low.
Bert Filemyr announced that the Conservation Committee is looking for suggestions for our DVOC conservation grant for 2009. Contact Debbie Beer.
Bert also announced that dues are due! 2009 Directories are here. Take yours and take those of your friends; otherwise they will be mailed.
Bert announced he had acquired colorful bird postcards that could be appropriate for education, available to the first taker – Josh Robeson took them!
Frank Windfelder reported on plans underway for oil company clean-up and preservation for nature of an old spill site in Camden. There was a link to the article about this in last Sunday’s (1/18/09) DVOC list-serv Digest.

Local Notes:
Cindy Ahern reported Pine Siskins, Black Vulture and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at her home in Meadowbrook. She had a Chipping Sparrow visited for a week there. A Bald Eagle flew over her house.
Phil Witmer also has Pine Siskins in Havertown. At Bartram Gardens he witnessed a Cooper’s Hawk go after a Cardinal. He saw a Great Blue Heron out of its usual habitat, walking around on a baseball field.
Linda Rowan reported the dead White-winged Crossbill found outside the Silver Lake Nature Center in Bucks County. No flock of live crossbills has been spotted there.
Bert Filemyr reported a flock of 25 siskins at his feeder in Abington.
Frank Windfelder reported that on 1/16 Chuck Hetzel had a large flock of siskins at his home near Schuylkill Valley Nature Center and that Chuck heard flyover crossbills there.
Steve Kacir reported 30 White-winged Crossbills at Valley Forge National Historic Chapel. Redpoll was also seen.
Doris McGovern reported on the Philadelphia Mid-winter Census coordinated by Keith Russell. Possible smaller numbers than the average, though this has not yet been confirmed by final reports. Of note were the sighting of Orange –crowned Warbler and Long-eared Owl during that week, though not on count day. So far, 95 species have been reported. Al Bilheimer saw, in the Chestnut Hill section of the count, 8 Screech Owls and 2 Pileated Woodpeckers.
Tom Bailey reported Rough-winged Swallows continue at the water treatment plant. There was a discussion about the number of birds there being in proportion to the number of midges. Workers at the plant report swarms of midges at times.
Rick Mellon reported a single crossbill identified in the Water Gap area of PA. He stopped at Lake Nockamixon, finding 20 crossbills there. He noted that they can be concealed in the treetop while feeding and may make no vocalization then. Listen for a sound of “light rain” as debris falls away as they eat.

Ornithological Study:
Adrian Binns displayed a few remarkable photographs of birds with formed ice built up on their bill, breast feathers or other parts. While no definitive explanation was available, the photos stimulated discussion about the rarity of sightings like these, and why it may have happened to these individual birds.

Cindy Ahern presented her program about Tri-state Bird Rescue. Her interesting PowerPoint and poster display focused on the organizations multiple roles in rehabilitation of birds brought in as the result of nesting failures, injuries and oil spills.

The meeting was adjourned by 9:30pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Connie Goldman,
Sitting in for Art McMorris, DVOC Secretary