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Minutes of the DVOC
October 1, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 by President Paul Guris. Forty-six members and 5 guests were present. The minutes of the September 17 meeting were accepted as submitted.


Membership: Chair Connie Goldman welcomed new members Georgia and Barrie Ashby who were in attendance, and announced new member Deidre Asbjorn.

Publications: Cassinia Editor Art McMorris asked whether anyone had the current address of member Mora Harrison.

NB4NB: Chair Paul Guris announced that “New Bins for New Birders” had given 8 pairs of Nikon binoculars to the new “PA Young Birders” group and 16 pairs to the Environmental Education program of the Milton Hershey School, a school for children in need.

Conservation: Chair Debbie Beer reported that Scott Weidensaul’s Northern Saw-whet Owl banding program, which we supported last year with a grant from our World Series of Birding funds, was getting underway for this year’s migration. Scott is continuing the telemetry study that we supported and is practicing tracking with an Eastern Screech-Owl.

Audubon Alert has reported that Senator Barbara Boxer has introduced a clean energy bill into the US Senate that would be beneficial to the environment.

Debbie reported that the PA Young Birders group was at the recent “Cradle of Birding” festival at Tinicum (John Heinz NWR, Philadelphia, PA).

Field Trips: Chair Bob Horton announced that Marty Dellwo is the newest member of the Field Trip committee. Marty then conducted the trip reports and announcements.

Trip Reports: There have been no trips since the last meeting.

Trip Announcements:

On Sat. Oct. 10, Frank Windfelder will run a trip to Tuckerton Marsh, NJ, for Sharp-tailed Sparrows. This is a prime location to see both Nelson’s and Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows, possibly including all 3 subspecies of the former, during their fall migration. The trip will then continue on to Brigantine (Forsythe NWR, NJ).

Steve Kacir will run a photography field trip to Norristown Farm Park, PA, on Sun. Oct. 11. Being surrounded by urbanized area, the park is a good “trap” for migrants and field birds. Targets will be American Pipit, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, and anything that gives good photo opportunities.

On Sat. Oct. 31 or Sun. Nov. 1 (depending on the weather forecast), Frank Windfelder will lead a trip to Bake Oven Knob, PA for migrating raptors. This is a fine hawk-watching site and always an enjoyable trip.

Debbie Beer will run the annual Northern Saw-whet Owl banding field trip on Saturday Nov. 11. The trip is to Scott Weidensaul’s banding station at Hidden Valley, PA. Registration is required, and space is limited to 15 participants. The trip is currently full but people are encouraged to sign on to the waiting list in case there are cancellations.

On Saturday November 14, Debbie Beer will run a trip to Okehocking Preserve in the Willistown area of Chester County, PA. The preserve has various habitats such as fields and woodlands, and there are sometimes some nice surprises.

Sandra Keller will run a trip to Brigantine (Forsythe NWR, NJ) on Saturday November 21 for ducks, geese, and whatever else is there. The trip is geared towards young birders but everyone is welcome.

On the day after Thanksgiving, Friday November 27, Bob Horton will run a hawk-watching trip to Raccoon Ridge, NJ. This is the prime time for late migrants such as Golden Eagles and Northern Goshawks.

Jane Henderson announced a birding trip to Panama scheduled for March 2011. The local leader will be Hernan Arauz, with whom Jane has birded previously, and who will present a program to DVOC in May 2010. The trip is limited to 8 people and 5 have already signed up.

Bob Horton announced that Tony Croasdale’s trip to Belize, planned for January 2010, probably will not happen after all.

Bob also announced that new member Ana Pazos, who lives in Puerto Rico, has offered to run a birding trip to Puerto Rico in the near future. It will probably be a 4-day trip, over a long weekend.

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


Frank Windfelder announced several future programs:

On October 15, Rob Fergus will speak about “Birds of the Ancient and Modern Maya.”

The November 19 program will be our special event, the Annual Banquet. 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.”

Connie Goldman asked people to send in slides of themselves or other members to be shown, in slide-show fashion, during the cocktail reception before the banquet.

The December 3 program will be the Members’ Slide Contest. People were encouraged to send their submissions to Frank in the categories of Birds, Natural History, Scenery and Birders. All photos must be digital. The judge will be Howard Eskin.

Membership (again): Chair Connie Goldman announced that, during the course of the meeting, she had received membership applications from two visitors: Jennifer Pour and Patty Rehn.


Jeff Holt reminded members that we will present 3 awards at the November 19th banquet: the Julian Potter Award for an outstanding contribution to field ornithology, the Witmer Stone Award for the best publication in ornithology not undertaken in the course of professional duties, and the Conservation Award for contributions to conservation by a non-member. Jeff asked people to send in nominations to himself (Potter award), Colin Campbell (Stone) or Debbie Beer (Conservation).

Anita Guris announced that the Waterbird Society will be holding its annual meeting at Cape May, NJ on Nov. 4-7. In conjunction with the meeting, she and Paul will be running an 8-hour pelagic trip from Wildwood Crest on an 85-foot boat on Sunday Nov. 8. If there is leftover space, DVOC members can join the trip. She encouraged anyone who is interested to get on the waiting list now. The cost is $86.00.

Anita also announced that, once again, she and Paul would award prizes to the winners in the photo contest. The grand prize will be a pair of 8x25 Nikon Travelite binoculars. There will be other prizes as well.

Bert Filemyr announced that we have DVOC hats available for purchase at $17.00 each at this and every meeting.

Bert announced that dues are due, and will be increasing at the start of 2010. Life memberships are still available at the 2009 rate, and you can apply your 2009 annual dues payment towards the cost.

Third, Bert received an announcement from the Academy of Natural Sciences that it was having an event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Kirk Townsend this coming weekend. DVOC members are invited to attend free of charge.

Local Notes:

Bob Mercer, Mick Jeitner, Linda Rowan and Mary Jane Mannherz saw a Red Phalarope at Stone Harbor, NJ.

Judy Stepanowski observed roosting Chimney Swifts at several locations. At the Jenks School in Manayunk there were about 1500 swifts. She observed another roost on the campus of St. Joseph’s University on City Line Ave. in Philadelphia: she saw about 1100 Chimney Swifts entering the gothic tower or chimney of a building there last Tuesday.

Judy also observed a migration fallout in center city Philadelphia last Friday afternoon (September 25), in the block of Independence National Park between Chestnut, Walnut, 3rd and 4th Streets. There were 3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, 2 Scarlet Tanagers, 3 Swainson’s Thrushes, 1 Brown Thrasher, 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and lots of warblers in the one-block area.

Pete Dunne reported that there were 2 Long-eared Owls and one Whip-poor-will at Turkey Point just recently.

Ornithological Studies: Chair Todd Fellenbaum introduced Frank Windfelder who presented “Mistaken Identity.” He showed slides of several birds that were ID problems or that had been mistakenly identified, and discussed features that contributed to their identification or mis-identification.

Main Program:

Frank Windfelder introduced the main speaker, Pete Dunne, who truly needs no introduction. Pete presented “The Best (and Worst) of the World Series of Birding.” He told stories gleaned from the 26 years of this event, which he founded and in which he has participated all 26 years, all presented in his inimitable humorous style.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Art McMorris, Secretary