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Minutes of the DVOC
April 18, 2013

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:31 PM. Fourteen members and three guests were in attendance.

The minutes of the 4 April 2013 meeting were approved as submitted.

President Art McMorris welcomed guests.


Membership Committee:

Vice President Phil Witmer: announced the newest member of the DVOC: Brian Quindlen.


Committee member Barbara Granger reported a date for stuffing envelopes to ship the next issue of Cassinia was to be announced. Treasurer Bert Filemyr reported that the next issue of Cassinia was scheduled to ship to Editor Dave Long on 22 April 2013.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer announced that the recipient of the 2013 DVOC World Series of Birding Conservation Grant would be awarded to Willistown Conservation Trust to fund a Youth Birding Program. All members are encouraged to pledge donations and solicit pledges in support of this worthy cause.

Ornithological Moments Committee:

No Report.

Field Trip Committee:

Chairperson Win Shafer conducted the field trip reports:
Trip Reports:
There had been no field trips run since the last meeting.
Trip Announcements:
20 APR 2013 – Coastal Delaware. Leader is Lynn Jackson. This is a joint field trip with Wyncote Audubon, and will meet at Prime Hook NWR then explore coastal Delaware from Southern DE through Bombay Hook NWR.

21 APR 2013 – Franklin Parker Preserve. Leader is Tony Croasdale joined by Emile De Vito, who acts as a leader and roving historian for this trip. This year, the trip is being held a month later than last year and will look for lingering winter species and early spring migrants and breeding species.

27 APR 2013 – West Laurel Hill Cemetery: A joint field trip with the Lower Merion Conservancy Association. Leader is Gregg Gorton. This trip features a walk through West Laurel Hill Cemetery and part of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. This site has hosted 160 species of birds since 1990, and the trip should have some good viewing opportunities for Peregrine Falcon. Meet in the parking lot of the funeral home just inside the entrance to the cemetery near Belmont and Levering Mill Road in Bala Cynwyd at 8:30 am. People are welcome to arrive at 7:30 am and join the leader in some scouting.

27 April 2013 – Fort Washington State Park Field Trip: A joint field trip with Wyncote Audubon Society. Leader is Jane Henderson. This trip will begin at the Militia Hill Hawk Watch Platform at 7:30AM and focus on spring migrants.

World Series of Birding Team:

Team Captain Bill Reaume talked about the DVOC Loons and their 2012 effort, which awarded them fourth place. Bill went on to talk about the 2013 team, noting that neither George Armistead nor Todd Fellenbaum could compete this year due to scheduling conflicts. Ian Lynch, formerly of the Wicked Witcheties team, joins Team Captain Bill Reaume and Scott Fraser as the 2013 DVOC Loons. Bill and the DVOC Loons need all the help they can get with scouting, especially in Northern NJ, and welcome any help that fellow DVOC’ers can give with scouting efforts. If you will be birding in NJ at all, please consider contacting Bill Reaume and aiding the DVOC Loons in scouting. Such efforts are all the more important in the days approaching the World Series of Birding, which takes place on 11 May 2013.

Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

May 2: Jeffrey Buler will present “What can weather radars tell us about migratory bird ecology?”

May 16: Robert McCracken Peck of the Academy of Natural Sciences will present “The Art of Edward Lear: Artist, Poet and Travel Writer (1812-1888)”


Barbara Granger announced that, on 20 April 2013, she and Cindy Ahern would be at the Jarrett Nature Center for an Earth Day Celebration event geared towards children and families. Cindy will be leading birdwalks and Barbara be manning an information table about the DVOC. A flyer about the club is also being made up. President Art McMorris suggested that Cindy and Barbara might also be able to solicit pledges in support of the DVOC World Series of Birding Conservation Grant at this event.

Local Notes:

Gregg Gorton led a birdwalk at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum on Saturday, and tallied sixty-two bird species, including four species of warbler. Highlights included Prairie Warbler, Great Horned Owl owlets on a nest, Bald Eagle eaglets being fed fish, Cooper’s Hawks nesting and Eastern Phoebe nesting. Gregg and company searched for the Northern Saw-whet Owl that spent the winter at Tinicum, but did not find it.

Jack Creighton attended a birdwalk led by Debbie Beer on Sunday at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum, with such highlights as a very cooperative Blue-winged Teal, Pine and Palm Warblers, Great Horned Owl, Wilson’s Snipe, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Linda Widdop was at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum on Wednesday 10 APR 2013, and saw the Northern Saw-whet Owl that spent the winter at the refuge.

Bert Filemyr reported that the Rufous Hummingbird that spent the winter in his yard was seen on 8 April 2013 when the bird fed in the morning but was not seen for the rest of the day. The Rufous Hummingbird was not seen through Thursday 11 APR 2013. On Friday 12 APR 2013, during a rainy and cold day, the Rufous Hummingbird reappeared at Bert’s feeders and fed all day. The Rufous Hummingbird was present the next day, feeding multiple times from the hummingbird feeder, but has not been seen since that time. Experts explained that this bird should not be migrating because of the primary molt, but that such birds will go on exploratory flights. In addition, the warm weather brought in an abundance of insect prey, which could distract the Rufous Hummingbird from feeding at the hummingbird feeder. Also, 15 April is the traditional date for homeowners to set up their hummingbird feeders to attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, so the Rufous Hummingbird may be finding a few additional feeders to visit. This bird was present at Bert’s yard for 182 days and missed the six-month mark by only four days.

Win Shafer reported his first of the year Chimney Swift, seen flying over his house. In contrast, Win noted that his juncos had all disappeared, but that Dark-eyed Juncos were common in Susquehanna County, PA. Win was still seeing White-throated Sparrows around as well as a Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Art McMorris added to Win’s observations, noting that he had seen Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow and Red-breasted Nuthatch as late as Sunday.

Patty Rehn reported a Ring-necked Pheasant from the Philadelphia Naval Yard and a Yellow Warbler at the John Heinz NWR at Tinicum.

Ornithological Moment:

No Ornithological Moment.

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced the evening’s speaker, Steve Kacir, who presented “New South Wales: Australian Surf and Turf,” which gave an overview of the sights and sounds of New South Wales featuring such species as Little Penguin, Eastern Ground Parrot, Fantail Cuckoo and Antipodean Wandering Albatross.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:42PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary