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Minutes of the DVOC
May 2, 2013

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM. Twenty members and seven guests were in attendance.

The minutes of the 18 April 2013 meeting were approved as submitted.

President Art McMorris welcomed guests.



Editor Dave Long announced that the newest issue of Cassinia was available, Issue 72/73 covering 2006-2009. Dave thanked Art McMorris, Barbara Granger, Steve Kerr and Leslie for their help with this most recent issue of Cassinia. Later in the meeting, members were able to pick up their copies of Cassinia and additional copies to distribute to fellow members.

Field Trip Committee:

Chairperson Win Shafer conducted the field trip reports:
Trip Reports:
27 APR 2013 – West Laurel Hill Cemetery: A joint field trip with the Lower Merion Conservancy Association. Leader was Gregg Gorton. Highlights included the local Peregrine Falcon, but migrants were not easily encountered thanks to the recent weather patterns affecting the Atlantic flyway.

27 April 2013 – Fort Washington State Park Field Trip: A joint field trip with Wyncote Audubon Society. Leader was Jane Henderson. Due to the blocking weather pattern, migrants were few, but the trip found some seasonal birds.
Trip Announcements:
4 May 2013 – John Heinz NWR at Tinicum. Leader is Frank Windfelder. A half-day trip, looking for seasonal migrants and breeding birds.

5 May 2013 – Rails and Nocturnal Species at the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Leader is Steve Kacir. This is an early morning (or late evening) survey for rails and other nocturnal species around the Thousand Acre Marsh and coastal New Castle County, DE. Target species include Sora, Common Moorhen, Virginia Rail, King Rail, Barred Owl and night-singing passerines such as Marsh Wren, Swamp Sparrow and Common Yellowthroat.

5 May 2013 – Belleplain State Forest, NJ: A joint field trip with Wyncote Audubon Society. Leader is Martin Selzer. This trip focuses on migrating warblers and other species of Belleplain State Forest.

13 May 2013 – Gloucester County “Run” (NJ). Leader is Sandra Keller. A field trip exploring Gloucester County, NJ for migrants and breeding birds.

Ornithological Moments Committee:

No Report.

Membership Committee:

No Report.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer reminded members that 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, and Phil Witmer passed around pledge sheets for members to use for their own use and in soliciting additional support from outside the club.

World Series of Birding Team:

President Art McMorris reminded members that the DVOC Loons need all the help they can get with scouting, especially in Northern NJ, and welcome any help that fellow DVOC members can give with scouting efforts. The DVOC Loons consist of Team Captain Bill Reaume, Scott Fraser and Ian Lynch. 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. Art then circulated a sign-up sheet, so that members who might be able to help with scouting might be put in touch with DVOC Loons Captain Bill Reaume.


Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

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)”

June 6: Daniel D'Auria, MD will present “From Nurture to Nature: A Transition to Photography”

Phil mentioned that he is finalizing locations for the informal summer meetings, and was also seeking short programs for those meetings.


Art McMorris announced the Pennsylvania Game Commission was seeking public comments on a ten-year management plan for Peregrine Falcons. Comments can be made online by accessing the Pennsylvania Game Commission website at

Bob Mercer announced that the Silver Lake Nature Center was holding a field trip to the Delaware Water Gap NRA on May 18.

Linda Widdop announced that she and other birders would be onboard the Atlantic Star for an overnight fishing trip for tilefish and some seabirding. The trip runs May 17-18.

Local Notes:

Sheryl Johnson reported slow migration from Haverford, but still found Nashville Warbler and Northern Parula.

Marty Dellwo reported American Redstart, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird and Least Bittern from John Heinz NWR at Tinicum. The Least Bittern was prowling around the mudflats of Darby Creek, acting as if it was invisible despite being completely exposed. Both of the Great Horned Owl nests at the refuge have owlets.

Erica Brendel reported that the Eastern Screech-owls of Carpenters Woods have young.

Bert Filemyr reported that the Wildlife Drive at the Brigantine Division of Edwin B Forsythe was open and well repaired; though it may be some time before the refuge gets back to the state it was in prior to Hurricane Sandy. There is no vegetation along the drive now, and upland habitat has been cut for management of grassland habitat. Some signs of renewal were evident, though. For instance, an American Oystercatcher was nesting four feet off the Wildlife Drive at Turtle Cove.

Win Shafer reported that he heard an Eastern Whip-poor-will calling from his neighbor’s yard.

Ornithological Moment:

No Ornithological Moment.

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced the evening’s speaker, Jeffrey Buler who presented “What can weather radars tell us about migratory bird ecology?” The program included spectacular radar map animations and an excellent overview of the many aspects of radar ornithology.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:55PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary