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Minutes of the DVOC
May 16, 2013

Vice President Phil Witmer called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM. Fourteen members and nine guests were in attendance as well as 6 people who declined to sign the attendance sheet. A head count of the attendance at the meeting came to 30 people including the speaker.

The minutes of the 2 May 2013 meeting were approved as submitted.

Vice President Phil Witmer welcomed guests.


Membership Committee:

No Report.

Conservation Committee:

Chairperson Phil Witmer announced that the Conservation Committee was seeking nominations for the 2013 Rosalie Edge Award. Phil reported that the 2013 DVOC World Series of Birding Conservation Grant would be awarded to Willistown Conservation Trust to fund a Youth Birding Program then announced that over $2,660 has already been pledged towards this program. All members are still encouraged to pledge donations and solicit pledges in support of this worthy cause.

Field Trip Committee:

Chairperson Win Shafer conducted the field trip reports:
Trip Reports:
4 May 2013 – John Heinz NWR at Tinicum. Leader was Frank Windfelder. The trip found few migrants but Jack Creighton mentioned that both oriole species were present and that the nesting Great Horned Owls’ owlets were on the nest.

5 May 2013 – Rails and Nocturnal Species at the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Leader was Steve Kacir. Unexpectedly high winds made this trip challenging, but participants were heard all the expected marsh birds, though Common Gallinule remained elusive. Over 16 King Rails were heard on the field trip along with several Soras (one seen after sunrise) and a single Virginia Rail called despite 20mph gusts. A Barred Owl flew over the participants after sunrise, and then flew across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, heading north.

Trip Announcements:
18 May 2013 – Tannersville Cranberry Bog: A joint field trip with Wyncote Audubon Society. Leader is Cindy Ahern. This trip has a limited number of openings for attendees. Please contact Cindy if you are interested in attending.

18 May 2013 – Ridley Creek State Park, PA. Leader is Win Shafer.

19 May 2013 – Southwest New Jersey. Leader is Tony Croasdale.

4 June 2013 – Lakehurst Naval Air Station for Upland Sandpipers (NJ). Leader is Bob Horton. Each participant must be a US citizen and will need a valid driver’s license or photo ID. You must register with Bob Horton for this trip in advance, and the trip is limited to 20 people.

7-9 June 2013 – Weekend at Camp Susquehannock in Northeastern PA. Leader is Win Shafer. This trip will stay in cabins at Camp Susquehannock (run by Win Shafer) and will concentrate on birding hot spots in Susquehanna County. Please let Win Shafer know in advance if you plan to attend.

31 May through 2 June 2013 – Great Adirondack Birding Festival near Lake Placid, NY. Steve and Laura Huber can accommodate up to 4 more birders who would be interested in attending (bunk room for 4, queen double bedroom, king bedroom loft) for complimentary bed and breakfast during this event.
Here is the website:
The Hubers’ house with pictures can be found on the web at:
The Hubers say, “Ignore the rental rates. This is our treat to the Wyncote Audubon Society and DVOC. It is absolutely beautiful here in Lake Placid. But for this event you might want to bring some long sleeve shirts and pants . . . and bug spray.”

Ornithological Moments Committee:

No Report.


Editor Dave Long had copies of the newest issue of Cassinia available at the meeting: Issue 72/73 covering 2006-2009. Dave said this was to be the last evening for Cassinia distribution at the meeting, and that the remaining copies would be subsequently mailed out to members and subscribers.


Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.

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

July 11: Informal Meeting, location and program to be announced.

Aug 1: Informal Meeting, location to be announced. Cindy Ahern will speak about mangroves and Dino Fiabane will present “Fun with ABA Bird Names.”

Sep 5: Informal Meeting, location to be announced. Doris McGovern will talk about Northern Saw-whet Owls.


Secretary Steve Kacir announced that he would not be able to attend the 6 June 2013 meeting of the DVOC and was still seeking a substitute Secretary for that meeting. Bonnie Witmer volunteered to fill in for Steve at that meeting.

Local Notes:

Win Shafer reported that the 2013 spring migration seemed late and slow, with the East Park Reservoir bird banding total only coming to 180 birds compared to 380 birds banded in 2012. Win reported 30 Bobolinks at the Episcopal Academy.

Scott Fraser reported Barred Owl calling from Evansburg State Park.

Bob Wallace reported warblers and Chuck-will’s-widow at Central Park in New York City today.

Mike O’Brien reported a singing Rose-breasted Grosbeak in West Philadelphia.

Phil Witmer reported two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at a feeder during a Bucks County Audubon Society field trip and one at his house. Phil also reported Canada Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler at his yard.

Linda Widdop found a Rose-breasted Grosbeak that had only one eye. Linda also reported that John Heinz NWR at Tinicum had a lot of warblers this morning: Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Canada Warbler, American Redstarts, Northern Parula.

Dave Long reported that the Peregrine Falcon nest at the Scudders Falls I-95 Bridge outside Yardley, PA had two nestlings. The Peregrine nest at the Pennsylvania Turnpike had three young. The nest at City Hall had five young and the nest on the Girard Point Bridge had 2-4 young.

Dino Fiabane reported that a Red Phalarope was at the Brigantine Division of Edwin B Forsythe NWR and that Bear Swamp at Hawkins Rd had Prothonotary Warbler.

Tony Croasdale reported on his trip to Magee Marsh in Ohio and the western PA grasslands. Tony urged all members to make this trip, noting that he saw 28 species of warblers. Tony won second place in the Bird Tattoo Contest for the Biggest Week in American Birding, while his friend Bull Gervasi won first place. More information on that contest can be found here:

Ornithological Moment:

No Ornithological Moment.

DVOC Loons World Series of Birding Team Report:

Team Captain Bill Reaume and, fellow Loon, Scott Fraser reported on their 2013 DVOC Loons World Series of Birding experiences from scouting to game day to the finish line and beyond. The 2013 DVOC Loons team consisted of Bill Reaume, Scott Fraser, Ian Lynch and driver Ken Lynch. The DVOC Loons were able to observe and identify 182 species for the 2013 World Series of Birding, earning them the Stone Award for the second highest total species count, only missing first place by four birds. Scott Fraser reported that scouting for the World Series the week before the competition, usually a pleasant endeavor, was pretty dreadful for 2013.

Many breeding birds were absent or not making their presence known, and migration was minimal. All was not lost though, and the team managed to find a Sharp-shinned Hawk nest. Brown Thrashers were singing everywhere. The team was listening for a King Rail at one point and heard a calling female Long-eared Owl that Scott Fraser recorded and played back for the assembled audience at the meeting. Only one World Series team reported twenty warblers this year. The DVOC Loons scouted harder than ever and focused on birds that didn’t care about rain due to the inclement weather during the event. The DVOC Loons were able to find a Snow Goose, but the Whimbrels and Gull-billed Terns at the Brigantine Division of Edwin B Forsythe NWR disappeared. The grasslands of Somerset County were notable for the absence of Vesper Sparrow and Savannah Sparrow. No World Series of Birding team reported Pied-billed Grebe in their species lists. The DVOC Loons spent a lot of time looking for seabirds, then retired to Higbee Beach WMA for some evening birding where they heard a Virginia Rail call as it flew overhead.

The Upper Main Line YMCA B.B.Kingfishers had the highest species overall for the World Series of Birding with 186 species listed, and they acknowledged all the help that DVOC had given them. Many other teams thanked the DVOC Loons for their assistance. A mother at the awards ceremony thanked the DVOC for its internship program, as her daughter had been through the internship program and now was in her second year of an ornithology degree program.

Bill Reaume and Scott Fraser thanked club members who contributed to scouting efforts including Joe Delesantro, Ann Marie Morrison and Linda Widdop.

Main Program:

Vice President Phil Witmer introduced the evening’s speaker, Robert McCracken Peck of the Academy of Natural Sciences who presented “The Art of Edward Lear: Artist, Poet and Travel Writer (1812-1888).” The presentation was an eye-opening exploration of the many contributions of Edward Lear to art, ornithology and even literature showcasing the extraordinary artistic ability of Lear. As a contemporary of John James Audubon, the art of Edward Lear was ahead of its time; however, Audubon seemed to have an edge in terms of self-promotion and business acumen. The talk ended at 9:03PM with questions following.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:13PM.

Respectfully submitted,