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Minutes of the DVOC
December 20, 2012

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM. Seventeen members and one guest were present.

The minutes of the 6 December 2012 meeting were approved as submitted.


Membership Committee:

Chairperson Bonnie Witmer reported that there were no new applicants. Bonnie introduced Tim Kita as one of the newest members of the DVOC, and reported that Connie Chronister’s application for membership had been approved by DVOC Council.

Cassinia Committee:

Editor Dave Long reported that the next issue of Cassinia would be a double issue covering #72-73 and the years of 2006-2009. Dave reported that he was waiting for a few items and about 90% set up for the publication. Dave is seeking articles, photographs and sightings for the next issue, which will cover the years of 2010-2013.

Bob Billings Award Committee:

President Art McMorris announced that six members were competing in the 2012 Bob Billings Big Year competition, and that competition checklists are due by the end of January. Art reported that he and the committee were working on a simplified rarity reporting process for use in the 2013 Billings Big Year competition.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer read from a National Audubon Article about ten species with populations under 10,000.
More about that here:

Phil also talked about the DVOC volunteer activities with Pennsylvania Audubon, mentioning that the DVOC monitoring efforts during the Open Air light show was mentioned in the National Audubon newsletter.

Phil announced that the Conservation Committee was seeking nominations for recipients of the 2013 World Series of Birding Grant.

Nominations Committee:

Chairperson Chris Walters announced the nominees for 2013:
President: Art McMorris
Vice President: Phil Witmer
Secretary: Steve Kacir
Treasurer: Bert Filemyr
DVOC Council: Barbara Granger & George Armistead
Voting will occur on the members’ meeting on 3 January 2013.
Additional and competing nominations can be made by contacting the Nominations Committee.

Field Trip Committee:

Committee member Bob Horton oversaw the field trips reports, assisted by Webmaster Bert Filemyr:
Trip Announcements:
27 DEC 2012 – Peace Valley Park, PA. Leaders are Cindy Ahern and Tony Croasdale. This field trip, while open to all, is focused on youth birders and will explore Peace Valley for winter species. The trip meets at Peace Valley Nature Center parking lot at 9:00AM.
5 JAN 2013 – Conowingo Dam, MD and Perryville, PA. Leader is Tom Reeves. This field trip will bird the Susquehanna River and including Conowingo Dam, which usually hosts good numbers of Bald Eagles. Afterwards, the trip heads north into Perryville, PA. The trip meets at the Fisherman’s Park of Conowingo Dam at 9:00AM.
12 JAN 2013 – Philadelphia Mid-Winter Census (PMWBC). Organized by Keith Russell. This is the 27th annual mid-winter census of birds within the Philadelphia borders. Contact Keith Russell if you are interested in participating.
19-21 JAN 2013 – Montauk (Long Island, NY). Leaders are Chris Walters and Erica Brendel. This annual excursion to Montauk takes place over Martin Luther King weekend and will focus on over-wintering species on Long Island: winter finches, eiders, scoters, alcids and rarities. The trip is a shared expenses trip and will carpool to Montauk from Northeast Philadelphia, leaving on 19 January at 6:00AM.
19 JAN 2013 – Cape May, NJ. Leader is Martin Selzer. This field trip is a joint field trip with DVOC and Wyncote Audubon and will explore Cape May for over-wintering species and rarities. Meeting place is to be determined, but the field trip will begin at 8:30AM.
Ornithological Moment Committee:
Chairperson Rob Bierregaard reported that he was seeking ideas and volunteers for presenting very short programs as Ornithological Moments.
Intern Fund Committee:
Chris Walters announced the club’s new DVOC Interns Program, which is overseen by an eponymous committee chaired by Chris Walters. Hart Rufe masterminded this initiative. Hart and Jewel Rufe contributed $10,000 to start the fund, with the goal of engaging young birders in ornithology and birdwatching. This initiative will also promote and strengthen the relationship between DVOC and the Ornithology Department at the Academy of Natural Sciences. The fund will generate dividends, which will be used to support interns who will work in the Ornithology Department at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Interns will be required to join the DVOC, but anyone can apply. Additional donations to the fund are actively sought. Donations can be made online or checks can be sent to the DVOC. A number of members have already contributed to the fund, and Paul Driver donated the $50 proceeds from his 2012 Julian K Potter Award to the fund.

Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

Jan 3: The club’s Annual Members Meeting will take place. During this meeting, Bert Filemyr will also make a short presentation related to DVOC history.

Jan 17: TBA

Feb 7: TBA

Feb 21: Joel Fry, Curator of Bartram Gardens will talk about Alexander Wilson and his history at Bartram Gardens.

Mar 7: Pete Bacinski from Sandy Hook Bird Observatory will present “Bosque del Apache in the Land of Birding Enchantment.”

Mar 21: Sally Ann Sims will present "Room to Move? Piping Plover Nesting Habitat and Sea Level Rise in Rhode Island."

Apr 4: Phil and Bonnie Witmer will present on their January birding trip to New Mexico.

Apr 18: Steve Kacir will present “New South Wales: Australian Surf & Turf.”

May 2: TBA

May 16: Robert McCracken Peck will present "The Art of Edward Lear, artist, poet and travel writer (1812-1888)."

June 6: TBA


Treasurer and Webmaster Bert Filemyr announced that those with updated contact information should contact him with updates for the DVOC Directory. Bert also announced that annual membership dues can now be paid online through the DVOC website.

Local Notes:

Tony Croasdale reported that a Cave Swallow was at the Northeast Philadelphia Wastewater Treatment Plant and that a Razorbill was at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park.

Tim Kita reported a Yellow-breasted Chat from his backyard.

Bert Filemyr reported that the Selasphorus hummingbird that appeared in his yard in October was still present and had switched from natural foods to visiting the hummingbird feeders. Bert also reported that he saw a Dovekie in the surf off the beach at Cape May, and that a Razorbill flew by while he was watching the Dovekie.

Rick Mellon reported that Tom Johnson identified a Vega Gull on the Tullytown landfill during the Southern Bucks County CBC on Dec 15. Rick also reported that Doug Gochfeld found a Le Conte’s Sparrow during the Cape May CBC on Sunday Dec 16. The sparrow was on public land in a field accessed via a parking lot off Route 9 before the Rio Grande exit for the Garden State Parkway. The Le Conte’s Sparrow was still there through Tuesday.

Ornithological Moment:

Chairperson Rob Bierregaard introduced Art McMorris who presented, “Falcons and Parrots: Almost Songbirds?”

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced Robert DeCandido and Deborah Allen who presented “Raptor Migration in South-east Asia.”


The meeting was adjourned at 9:18PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary