"I have always been an outdoor person, spending a lot of time hiking,
camping, canoeing. I even worked as an intern in a nature center for a
year, when I was younger, but did not become a birder. It wasn’t
until one of my friends started birding, and would drag me along with
her, to go to Tinicum and Brigantine, that I started getting hooked.
In the paper, I saw a notice about Bucks County Audubon weekend trips.
I went on a camping trip, led by Margie, then went on a trip to Chincoteague
led by Hart Rufe. I went on the trip to Chincoteague
because I wanted to go to the wildlife refuge. I didn’t know it
was a birding trip. That was the real beginning of my birding, a number
of years ago. I went on many other trips with Bucks County Audubon. Later
I joined Valley Forge Audubon, and then Wyncote Audubon, whose districts
I lived in, and started going on trips with both of them.
It was on a Bucks County Audubon Trip to Nova Scotia, that I met and became
friends with Freda Rappaport, a DVOC member. I went on many birding trips
after that, riding in the same car with Freda, Edie
Parnum, and Beryl McCullough, who is no longer with us. Freda loved
the DVOC and many of its members, but she used to tell us stories about
the DVOC – about what it was like for the women birders before they
were allowed to be members, and in the early years, after women were allowed
to join. She’d also tell us stories about what the meetings were
like, and the peanut gallery.
I remember going on a DVOC trip that Frank Windfelder
led, and I spotted a bird before Frank. I was thrilled, and thought that
now I could consider myself a birder. After hearing the stories about
the DVOC meetings though, I was afraid to go to one. I did go to a meeting
or two, but didn’t really know people there. In the last two years,
I’ve found it’s very different, and much more welcoming. I
especially applaud the DVOC’s interest in bringing in new birders.
Some birding highlights: I live in Roxborough, and have a great view of
the Schuylkill River from my house. There’s a train track (Norristown
Line), and about 50 yards of woods between me and the River. My yard list
(at least what I consider my yard list) includes Common Loons, and Hooded
Mergansers. Starting in late December, and going into February, I get
almost daily looks at Common Mergs. I keep my scope set up inside, and
just look. I began reporting my sightings for Phila., back when Ed Fingerhood
was still here.
Living in NW Phila., I’ve come to love the Chimney Swifts. I’ve
been keeping track of them throughout the summer and fall, for several
years. I was very fortunate in being able to find two chimney swift roosts,
and let the birding community know about them – the Jenks School
in Chestnut Hill, and the Dobson School in Manayunk.
For the last 2 ½ years, I’ve been working near Independence
Hall. I go birding at lunch time, and found that it’s a great migrant
trap. I hope to put my sightings together and work with the Park Service
to make a pamphlet about the birds of Independence National Park."
From Judy's 2011 Application