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Minutes of the DVOC
January 3, 2013

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:31 PM. Thirty members and four guests were present.

The minutes of the 20 December 2012 meeting were approved as submitted.


Membership Committee:

Chairperson Bonnie Witmer had no report, but welcomed new member Connie Chronister to the club.

Bob Billings Award Committee:

President Art McMorris announced that checklists for the 2012 competition are due by the end of January, and that the committee was taking names of participants for the 2013 competition.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer announced that the Conservation Committee was seeking nominations for recipients of the 2013 World Series of Birding Grant and that the deadline for nominations is 31 Jan 2013.

Field Trip Committee:

Chairperson Win Shafer conducted the field trips reports:
Trip Announcements:
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.


Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

Jan 17: Alan Clark of Fordham University will present “Bird Migration Through Urban Landscapes.”

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

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
Chris solicited any opposing nominations and none were made. A vote was called, and all members present voted in favor of the nominees presented by the Nominations Committee with no dissenting votes.

President Art McMorris congratulated the newly elected officers and welcomed the two newest members of DVOC Council. Art thanked exiting Councillors Marty Dellwo and Todd Fellenbaum for their service.

Art McMorris announced that DVOC Council had nominated Barbara Granger as a Fellow of the DVOC. A vote was called, and all members voted in favor of the nomination with no dissenting votes.

Treasurer’s Report:

Treasurer Bert Filemyr announced that annual membership dues can now be paid online and are now due. Notices for payment of dues will be sent out in a few days. More information on online due payment can be found here:

Bert conducted the annual Treasurer’s Report and noted that the club is generally in good health.

Trustees’ Report:

Trustee Chris Walters conducted a brief Trustees’ Report, noting that the club’s investments had gained about a 10% increase, and noted that the formal Trustees’ Report would be available at the next meeting.


Paul Guris announced some upcoming opportunities for pelagic birding. The Captain of the Thelma Dale will be offering a 12hr pelagic birding trip out of Lewes, DE on Saturday Jan 26. A tentative date of Sunday Feb 3 has been set for a captain-run near-shore pelagic out of Belmar, NJ. On Sunday Jan 13, the Atlantic Star out of Wildwood Crest will run an overnight Sea Bass Fishing trip, and Paul Guris, Mike Fritz and Paul Guris have made reservations with the intention of birding and fishing on that trip. The fishing trip costs $170 but will be discounted for riders who will not be fishing. The trip leaves at 2:00AM and will return around 7-8:00AM.

Edie Parnum announced that Doug Tallamy, the recipient of the 2012 Rosalie Edge Award for Conservation, will be presenting a talk entitled “Treasures Among Our Natives” at Jenkins Arboretum on Feb 24. Pre-registration is required and there is a $5 fee. More information about the talk can be found here:

Local Notes:
Rob Bierregaard reported an albino Red-tailed Hawk from Newtown Square.

Bob Horton reported a Barnacle Goose from Robinsville, NJ.

Bert Filemyr reported that the Selasphorus hummingbird that appeared in his yard in October was still present and feeding everyday. Bert noted that he keeps buying bigger heat lamps for the bird.

Tony Croasdale reported that the Rufous Hummingbird at Palmyra Cove Nature Park was still present. Tony also reported a Northern Saw-whet Owl and the continuing Northern Shrike were both still being seen at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum.

Marty Dellwo mentioned that Frank Windfelder and Todd Fellenbaum had been both competing in an informal Philadelphia County “big year” for 2012, and that both had smashed Frank Windfelder’s previous Philadelphia Big Year record with totals around 240 species. Marty reported some recent Philadelphia birds including the Northern Shrike at the John Heinz NWR seen Dec 31-Jan 2, 50 American Pipits at Pennypack on the Delaware, and some Common Goldeneyes seen from Philadelphia but unfortunately on the NJ side of the river. Marty’s Philadelphia County year list totaled 206 bird species.

Cindy Ahern reported that the Allen’s Hummingbird was still being seen at Babe Webster’s property in Pipersville, PA and that a Northern Saw-whet Owl had been found at Peace Valley Park.

Linda Widdop reported that Peace Valley Park had a Rough-legged Hawk at Sailor’s Point that was not shy of humans.

Paul Guris reported some highlights from the Cumberland County, NJ Christmas Bird Count, noting that the crane flock did not put in an appearance for the count once again. Paul reported that Brian Henderson and Steve Kacir found a roosting Long-eared Owl being mobbed by Blue Jays on the count. Paul also reported some Cape May Christmas Bird Count highlights including seeing Dovekie and Razorbill from shore at the Two Mile Beach Unit of Cape May NWR and stopping to see the Western Grebe at Cape May Harbor at the end of the day. Western Grebes have made a mini-invasion of the region this year including two Cape May Western Grebes, one on the North Shore of NJ and another in Delaware. Cape May has also had a continuing Townsend’s Warbler and Western Tanager. Paul mentioned that Scott Barnes and Linda Mach reported 60 Razorbills from the North Shore of NJ.

Ornithological Moment:

No Ornithological Moment.

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced Bert Filemyr who presented the short program entitled “From the Archives: Founder William Lloyd Baily.” A PDF file version of the talk can be found on the DVOC website and more information about William Lloyd Baily can be found here:


The meeting formally adjourned at 8:30PM, and the members enjoyed a delightful spread of food and drink organized by Phil & Bonnie Witmer and Paul Guris with additions from various club members. The festivities concluded at 10:26PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary