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Minutes of the DVOC
March 1, 2012

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:31 PM. Twenty-three members and eight guests were present.
The minutes of the 16 February 2012 meeting were approved as submitted.

President Art McMorris announced that Kim Custer had joined the Archives Committee.
President Art McMorris announced that George Armistead, Todd Fellenbaum and Bill Reaume had joined the new DVOC World Series of Birding Team. The fourth member of the team was still to be announced.
President Art McMorris announced that Alan Brady had sent the club some photos of “Some old reprobates from the DVOC,” which were passed around to those members and guests in attendance. Bert Filemyr of the Archives Committee will be scanning the photos and posting them on the web as well as entering them into the club archives.
President Art McMorris announced that Princeton University Press (PUP) will soon be publishing a book entitled “How to Be a Better Birder” by Derek Lovitch, which will cover such topics as using maps and radar maps for birding. More details about this book can be found on the PUP website: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9671.htmlPresident Art McMorris announced that the Friends of Patuxent invites all of the DVOC to attend their Wildlife Art Show and Sale on March 24-25. More details can be found on the USF&WS Patuxent Research Refuge website: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/patuxent/events.html


Membership: No Report

Website: No Report

New Bins for New Birders (NB4NB): No Report

Bob Billings Big Year:
Chairperson Art McMorris reminded those who intend to participate in the 2012 Bob Billings Big Year Competition that they need to inform the Bob Billings Big Year Committee of their decision to compete by the March 31 deadline to be eligible to compete. More details on the Bob Billings Big Year can be found on this DVOC website: http://www.dvoc.org/Committees/BillingsAward/BillingsAward.htm

Chairperson Phil Witmer announced that thousands of geese were heading north and that spring was on its way. Phil also noted that this year’s drought in Texas had changed the migration patterns of many bird species including Whooping Cranes this year. An Associated Press article on this topic can be found on the following website: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jK_5Riu5MdtntwblmPpfqn3xmHNA?docId=3c082e317ce44ff490adcf21070d6994
A similar article on this topic can be found on this website: http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20120301/US.Drought.Migratory.Birds/?cid=hero_media

Field Trips:
Chairperson Win Shafer conducted the trip reports and trip announcements:
Trip Reports:
February 20 – North Shore (NJ) President’s Day Field Trip: Sandra Keller led this trip that explored the North Shore of New Jersey focusing on coastal species. Highlights included the Razorbill that has spent most of the winter being unusually cooperative at Manasquan Inlet. A full trip report is available on the DVOC website:
February 26 (rescheduled from Feb 25 which was rescheduled from Feb 4) – Photography Field Trip to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park (NJ): Steve Kacir rescheduled this trip from 25 Feb to 26 Feb due to 50mph gusts and high sustained winds. Steve had previously warned everyone that this trip was “doomed,” so the change in schedule should not have been a surprise. Three club members joined Steve for the field trip which had to contend with somewhat higher winds than optimal and very harsh lighting that made photography challenging. The usual Barnegat Light birds made appearances including Harlequin Ducks, Common Eiders and Purple Sandpipers. At least one Harbor Seal also was found. After a break for lunch, Steve Kacir and Paul Guris returned to the jetty for some flight photography. During that time, a Gray Seal just off the mouth of the inlet put in multiple appearances and was photographed by both Paul and Steve.

Trip Announcements:
March 4 – Pinelands Birding, Franklin Parker Preserve, NJ Field Trip: This trip will explore the NJ Pine Barrens and look for winter specialties. Leader is Tony Croasdale.
March 10 – Barnegat Lighthouse State Park: This is a half-day field trip ideally suited to new members and students, usually well attended by the Upper Main Line YMCA. Target birds include Harlequin Duck, Common Eider, King Eider, and Ipswich Sparrow. Afterwards, this trip usually explores the Brigantine Division of Edwin B Forsythe NWR. Leader is Chris Walters.
Chairperson Win Shafer announced that anyone desiring to lead a DVOC field trip should contact him with details, noting that the field trip schedule between March 10 & April 15 is wide open.
Ornithological Moments:
Chairperson Rob Bierregaard announced that he would be in contact with Mike Fritz about scheduling an Ornithological Moment featuring Mike’s Bob Billings Big Year. All other Ornithological Moments are currently TBA.
Vice President Phil Witmer announced that he was currently seeking short programs for the informal DVOC Summer Meetings. Those interested in presenting programs at the Summer Meetings should contact Phil Witmer.
Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.
On March 15, Keith Bildstein will present “Movement Ecology of Scavenging Birds of Prey.”
On April 5, Matthew Halley will present “Multiple Male Feeders at Nests of the Veery – a new perspective on the nesting behavior of Wilson's enigmatic thrush.”
The Apr 19 program is still TBA.
On May 3, Steve Kacir will present a program about his trip to Australia, entitled “Bush Camping and Spotlighting: A Queensland Adventure.”
On May 17 Dr. Edwin Scholes III will present “The Birds-of-Paradise Project: Revealing an Avian Wonder of the World.”
On June 7, Terry Master will present “Riparian Songbirds: Canaries in an Aquatic Coal Mine.”

Announcements: No Announcements

Local Notes:

Lamar Corlis reported that the day after the last meeting he saw the Iceland Gull at the South Philly Wal-Mart. When he first saw it, the Iceland Gull was flying over a SEPTA bus. A female Black Scoter was on the Delaware River nearby and Lamar found it roosting near a pier, but his appearance startled it and the scoter went back to the river.

Bert Filemyr announced that the presumed Rufous Hummingbird that had spent the winter at Batt’s Lane in Cape May had recently molted, and the new tail feathers revealed the bird to actually be a Broad-tailed Hummingbird – a first state record for NJ.

Tony Croasdale reported seeing the Montgomery County Bullocks Oriole yesterday. Tony also reported that he found an American Woodcock two or three yards within an underground tunnel that exits near Race St and the river in Philadelphia.

Linda Rowan reported that she and Mick Jeitner were at Tyburn Rd and New Ford Mill Rd in Falls Township, Bucks County on Sunday a week ago. They had pulled off the road to view a Bald Eagle and soon found themselves counting 10 Bald Eagles all in one field of view. Linda also noted that Pennsburg Manor had two adult Bald Eagles on a tower that day and that Newbold Island held the presumed nesting site of these birds.

Nathaniel Sharp reported that he and the Upper Main Line YMCA had been to Bombay Hook NWR where they saw lots of waterfowl and some shorebirds along with three Bald Eagles, several Northern Harriers, a flock of Wild Turkeys and one Cackling Goose within a flock of thousands of Snow Geese.

Lamar Corlis reported that thousands of Canada Geese had been at FDR Park, where a Cackling Goose had formerly been reported.

Bob Sharp reported that due to his work at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School he was accustomed to seeing a pair of Red-tailed Hawks at Woodland Cemetery, but witnessed an unusual sight when a Red-tailed Hawk rose in tight spirals, using steam from the air handlers on top of Silverstein Pavilion.

Marty Dellwo reported a possible Red-tailed Hawk courtship event at Locust St near the river in Philadelphia. A Red-tailed Hawk was at Ninth and Federal. Marty Reported a Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal and noted that Todd Fellenbaum had seen a Red-breasted Merganser at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum. Win Shafer commented that he had seen the Red-breasted Merganser today. Marty mentioned that the Peregrine Falcons were nesting at the bridge.

Art McMorris commented that the Peregrine Falcons at City Hall in Philadelphia were back on territory. Likewise, local Peregrine Falcons were back on territory at most locations.

Phil Witmer reported seeing two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at Haverford College.

Rob Bierregaard reported that Earle’s Lake at Sawmill Creek Park, down the way from Chanticleer Gardens, had Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser and other waterfowl.

Mike O’Brien reported a pair of Bald Eagles from Bartram’s Garden. Mike noted that a nursing home at 5th and Chester had increasing numbers of American Goldfinches as well as 2 adult and 1 juvenile Cooper’s Hawks that were preying upon local doves and pigeons. At one point, a Cooper’s Hawk took a dove right in front of one of the nuns. Mike requested bird lists for Bartram’s Garden and/or Woodland Cemetery, so if anyone has such lists contact Mike.

Bonnie Witmer reported that her yard was relatively bird-free for the Great Backyard Bird Count, with only a few House Sparrows making the count, while the next weekend saw much better diversity. Bonnie asked if any others had noted a similar phenomenon.

George Armistead reported an American Woodcock was at Durham St in Mount Airy last Thursday. George reported seeing a Red-tailed Hawk perched upon the weather vane at Independence Hall recently. Last weekend, George Armistead saw 13 Ipswich Sparrows at Corson’s Inlet.

Bob Horton saw an American Woodcock at Assunpink Park.

Marty Dellwo mentioned that American Woodcocks were supposed to be at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum.

Art McMorris reported that a female Peregrine Falcon that hatched in Pennsylvania was photographed at Middle Creek WMA, where it had been harassing waterfowl. The band on that falcon revealed that it had nested on the Otis Elevator Company Building in Connecticut. As of three weeks ago that falcon had returned to its nesting territory.

Art McMorris reported that a Peregrine Falcon from Luzerne County, PA was recovered dead in a field in Louisiana, where it was being eaten by another raptor. This falcon died 1200 miles from its nest site 8 months after fledging in June. The bird was recovered in January.

Ornithological Moments:

Chairperson Rob Bierregaard presented video of Eastern Screech-owls from his nest box camera, which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJEiyS7V0Ds
Additional videos can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/rbierreg07
Chairperson Rob Bierregaard presented elements of the eBird Map Quiz, which can be found online here: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/map-quiz/map-quiz-archive

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced tonight’s speaker, Frank Windfelder who presented “The Fabulous Ipswich Sparrow,” which began with a short introduction on why Frank goes birding and a gallery of Philadelphia birds.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:28 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary