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Minutes of the DVOC
May 21, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 by President Paul Guris. Twenty-two members and 3 guests were present.

Secretary Art McMorris announced that, to save time at meetings, the minutes would no longer be read. The minutes will be posted on the website one week in advance, and printed copies will be available at the meeting for anyone who would like a copy. The Secretary will ask for additions or corrections for incorporation into the minutes, and then a vote will be taken to accept them. There being no additions or corrections, the minutes of the May 7 meeting were accepted as submitted. Art thanked Connie Goldman for taking the minutes of the May 7 meeting in his absence.


Publications: Cassinia Editor Art McMorris reported that Volume 71 would be sent to the printer imminently.

Conservation: Chair Debbie Beer reported that DVOC’s team, the Nikon/DVOC “Lagerhead Shrikes,” had won the World Series of Birding on May 9 with 229 species. All funds raised will go to support the Willistown Conservation Trust’s bird banding station at Rushton Woods Preserve in Chester County, PA. It’s not too late to pledge: everyone was urged to pledge generously to this worthwhile cause, and a pledge form was circulated with the sign-in notebook. Pledge forms can also be downloaded from the website: www.DVOC.org. Debbie said that she had recently visited Rushton Woods Preserve, and it is truly a wonderful place.

Field Trips:

Trip Reports: Chair Bob Horton conducted the reports of recent field trips:

Steve Kacir ran his field trip to Turkey Point, NJ for rails and other night birds on Friday May 8. In Steve’s absence there was no report.

Bill and Naomi Murphy ran a field trip to Fort Washington State Park, PA on Sunday May 3. In their absence, there was no report.

Frank Windfelder gave the report of his field trip to Tinicum (John Heinz NWR, PA) on Sunday May 10. In spite of the bad weather they had a good trip, with 10 species of warblers and many other goodies.

Bob gave a brief report of Sandra Keller’s trip to Glassboro Woods, Gloucester County, NJ on May 11. Eight to 10 warbler species were found, and many other birds as well.

In Phil and Bonnie Witmer’s absence, Art McMorris reported that no one signed up for their overnight trip to the lower Poconos for the mid-week dates of May 13-14. Phil and Bonnie went by themselves and had a great time.

Art McMorris reported on his May 17 trip to Ridley Creek State Park, PA. In spite of scattered showers and a weather pattern that chased out recently-arrived migrants and blocked new migrants from arriving, 46 species were found. A big miss was Kentucky Warbler, a nesting species that has been hanging on at this location in spite of severe damage to the understory by white-tailed deer. Art expressed the hope that the birds had not finally lost the battle.

Erica Brendel ran a field trip to Carpenter’s Woods in Philadelphia, PA on Sunday May 17. In Erica’s absence, there was no report.

Up-coming Trips:

Bob announced the following trips:

On May 24, Bill and Naomi Murphy will run a trip to the Poconos and the Delaware Water Gap, PA. Key targets are Cerulean and Golden-winged Warbler, two increasingly hard-to-find species.

Steve Kacir will run an early-evening trip to Wharton State Forest in the Pine Barrens of NJ for nightjars. The trip is tentatively scheduled for Saturday June 6, but may be rescheduled if the weather forecast is bad.

Bob Horton will be running a trip to the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, NJ on Wednesday June 10 to see the Upland Sandpipers that breed in the grasslands on the base. Other grassland birds such as Grasshopper, Vesper, Field and Savannah Sparrows, Horned Lark, Eastern Meadowlark and Bobolink are expected, as well as other species in the nearby pine woods. It has been 4 years since the last field trip to this site. Advance registration is necessary, and participants must be US citizens and have a photo ID. Those wishing to drive on the base will also need to show their driver’s license, registration and insurance card. Limited to 20 participants. The trip is being run during the week because participants must be accompanied by air base personnel who only work during the week.

Steve Kacir will be running a trip to Bombay Hook NWR, DE on Saturday June 13. As with several recent trips run by Steve in Delaware, a major objective of this trip will be to obtain data for the Delaware Breeding Bird Atlas.

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


Frank Windfelder announced that the next meeting, on June 4, would be the last regular meeting until September. On June 4, Frank will present “Trans-Pecos Birding,” a program resulting from a DVOC trip in the spring of 2008 to this area of Texas. Frank reported that it was a wonderful trip with many desirable species being seen. Brief “Big Day” reports will also be given by people who participated in the World Series of Birding or other Big Day efforts.

Frank also announced the informal summer meetings:

July 2, at Palmyra Cove Nature Center, NJ. Frank Windfelder will talk about “ID of Great, Double-crested and Neotropic Cormorants, plus Anhinga,” and Debbie Beer will talk about “East African Safari Adventure.”

August 6, also at Palmyra Cove Nature Center, NJ. Mick Jeitner will present “In Search of Witmer Stone” and ?Tom Bailey will present “Tom's Birding Quiz,” a 20-question quiz to test your knowledge about North American birds, birding, and birders. A prize, “The Shorebird Guide” by O'Brien, Crossley and Karlson, will be awarded to the person who answers the most questions correctly. There will even be a bonus photo question - identify a famous DVOC member.

September 3, at Tinicum (John Heinz NWR, Philadelphia, PA). Frank Windfelder will talk about “Nocturnal Migration of Birds in the 21st Century.” Frank has obtained a copy of Bill Evans’ PowerPoint Presentation that was to have been delivered by Bill on April 2, plus commentary. Frank will reprise that presentation. Also, ?Bert Filemyr will talk about “Spring Birding in Minnesota/North Dakota,” and ?Judith Keller will discuss “Prevalence of Campylobacter in Wild Bird Populations.”

Finally, Frank announced the Annual Banquet, which will be held on November 19. The speaker will be Rick Wright, the Managing Director of the birding tour company Wings and the former editor of ABA’s “Winging It.” Rick will talk about “The Most Beautiful of the Whole Beautiful Lot: Wood Warblers of the American Southwest.”


Anita Guris announced that she had the new Nikon EDG binoculars with her tonight, both the 8x42 and 8x30 models, as well as Nikon’s new Ecobins binoculars and a 50mm scope. She and Paul are authorized Nikon dealers. Anita also announced that Nikon is running an online sweepstakes, the “California Eco-Adventure,” at www.outsideinfo.com. The sweepstakes is running through June 9. The prize is a trip to the Napa Valley, CA, and 2 pairs of Ecobins binoculars.

Chris Walters announced that he is still looking for people to serve as leaders and guides for the field trips DVOC will be running to accompany the AOU meeting to be held in Philadelphia in August. Full-day trips will be run to Bombay Hook and to Cape May on Aug. 12 and Aug. 16, and morning trips will be run to nearby locations during the dates of the meeting itself on Aug. 13-15.

Local Notes:

Bob Rufe reported on studies of shorebird migration ongoing in Delaware Bay. Yesterday 346 Red Knots, 21 Ruddy Turnstones and 14 Sanderling were caught; and 29 Red Knots were fitted with radio transmitters to track their migration, identify roosting spots, and determine if different subspecies roost in different locations. It is estimated that 7,000 Red Knots are in the harbor right now.

Art McMorris reported that, in his role with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, he had recently banded Peregrine Falcons at the Girard Point bridge and the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River bridge. Members Bob Horton and Mike Coll had helped with banding at Girard Point. Banding at the Scudders Falls bridge (I-95 and the Delaware River) is planed for the near future. In all, banding has been or will be done at most of Pennsylvania’s 23 nest sites.

Bob Rufe reported that 4 Peregrine Falcon nestlings were banded last year at the Brandywine Building in Wilmington, DE. DOS (Delmarva Ornithological Society) will be running a field trip there next week.

Frank Windfelder reported that the two Bald Eagle nestlings at the Rhawn St. nest were getting “huge.”

Debbie Beer reported that IBA (Important Bird Area) monitoring at a property in Chester County PA had turned up a Blue Grosbeak, an unusual nesting species for that area.

Dino Fiabane reported that the Curlew Sandpiper was still at Heislerville, NJ, and the Roseate Tern may also still be there.

Marty Dellwo reported a recent sighting of Canada Warblers in the area.

Paul Guris reported that he and Anita had recently added a new species to their yard list in Green Lane, PA: a singing Swainson’s Thrush.

Dino Fiabane was at White Clay Creek, DE on the 16th and saw Gray-cheeked Thrush and 4 Kentucky Warblers.

Ornithological Studies:

In lieu of an Ornithological Studies presentation, Bert Filemyr gave a report of the winning effort of the Club’s team, the Nikon/DVOC “Lagerhead Shrikes,” in the World Series of Birding on May 9. Bert described the team’s scouting, strategy, route, and progress during the day, and gave abundant insight into what it takes to mount a winning effort in this event which is highly-competitive, but in a good-natured and cooperative way. The main objectives of the effort, as always, were to raise money for conservation and to have fun.

Main Program:

Frank Windfelder introduced the main speaker, Bert Filemyr, who presented “The Apostrophes - Stories Behind Birds Named in Honor of People.” The talk had its origin in an earlier Ornithological Studies presentation of the same title given by Bert; during the preparation of that talk, Bert had found that the topic was much larger than he had imagined. Bert’s talk was rich with the history of ornithology, little known facts about birds, and Delaware Valley connections.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Art McMorris, Secretary