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Minutes of the DVOC
June 5, 2008

Minutes of the DVOC Meeting of June 5, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 by Adrian Binns, standing in for President Paul Guris. Thirty-three members and 5 guests were present. The minutes of the May 15 2008 meeting were read and accepted.

Field Trip Reports:

Erica Brendel gave the report of her May 17 Carpenter’s Woods spring migrant trip, co-sponsored by DVOC and Friends of Carpenter’s Woods. Forty-nine species were found, including a good variety of migrant warblers and thrushes, and a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird building a nest.

Art McMorris reported on his May 18 field trip to Ridley Creek State Park. Fifty-seven species were found, mostly local nesters but some late migrants as well. Highlights were 15 species of warblers including Hooded and Kentucky, 3 species of hawks, great looks at Pileated Woodpeckers, and a gray-phase Eastern Screech-Owl right out in the open.

Sandra Keller summarized her Gloucester County (NJ) Run, which was held on Monday May 19. Seventy-two species were found, mostly in the morning before the rain and wind started. Highlights included Kentucky (3), Hooded, Canada (3), Worm-eating and Prothonotary (2) Warblers and Louisiana Waterthrush, and both cuckoos.

Adrian Binns gave the report of the 4-day “North Carolina Surf and Turf Specialties” trip held May 29 – June 1. The trip included 2 days of land birding led by Adrian, and 2 pelagic trips led by Paul Guris. Land bird specialties included Grasshopper Sparrow, Prothonotary and Swainson’s (heard only) Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Northern Bobwhite, Red-cockaded and Red-headed Woodpecker and Brown-headed Nuthatch, and pelagic species included Black-capped, Herald and Bermuda Petrel, South Polar Skua, and Pomarine and Parasitic Jaeger, as well as many other good birds of land and sea. Eight mammal species were seen including bobcat, mink and black bear, and herps included an exciting canebrake timber rattlesnake and a very cooperative yellow rat snake.

Further details of these trips are on the website at www.dvoc.org.

Up-coming field trips:

On June 6-8, Win Shafer will run a trip to northeastern Pennsylvania, with the accommodations being the cabins at Camp Susquehannock. This is a great opportunity to bird the Poconos area and its habitats that are quite different from those further south.

On June 28, Steve Kacir will lead a trip to Wharton State Forest, NJ, for Whip-Poor-Wills, Common Nighthawks and (hopefully) Chuck-Will’s Widows. Meet at the Carranza Memorial (between Atsion and Chatsworth) at 6:00PM.

Martin Selzer will run a trip at Bombay Hook NWR and environs, DE, on July 12 for early southbound migrant shorebirds. Meet at 7:30AM at the headquarters.

Steve Kacir announced that he would be running a trip at Green Lane Reservoir on Saturday August 9 for shorebirds. This is one of the best locations in eastern PA for shorebirds, and coincidentally will be part of Steve’s Montgomery County Big Year effort. See Steve for details.

The annual DVOC picnic is scheduled for July 26 [Secretary’s note: date later changed to August 3].

Details of all these events are on the website: www.DVOC.org.


Frank Windfelder announced that the next three meetings would be informal summer meetings. The July 10 meeting, at Palmyra Cove Nature Center, NJ, will feature Bert Filemyr who will present a raptor ID puzzle, and at the August 7 meeting, also at Palmyra Cove, author Elizabeth Rosenthal will discuss her recent book, “Birdwatcher,” a biography of Roger Tory Peterson. The September 4 informal meeting is tentatively scheduled to be at the Philadelphia Zoo. September 18 will be the first formal meeting after tonight’s meeting. The speaker will be Lillian Armstrong, who will talk about the "New Jersey Birding and Wildlife Trail Guides Project." Watch the website for further details.


Frank announced that Elizabeth Rosenthal, who will be speaking to the club on August 7, will be signing books at the Marlton NJ Barnes & Noble this coming Friday and at the Hamilton NJ Barnes & Noble on Saturday.

Vincent Nichnadowicz announced that he and Bob Horton would be running a sailing and birding trip in the Caribbean during mid-January 2009. See Vincent or Bob if you’re interested.

Local Notes:

Art McMorris gave a brief summary of the 2008 Peregrine Falcon breeding season in Pennsylvania. There were 3 new nests in the state this year. Overall, peregrines nested at 26 sites, and were successful at 22, raising 64 young. These are all-time highs since the beginning of the Peregrine Falcon recovery program. Only 3 nests were at natural sites (cliffs); all the rest were on bridges, buildings and smokestacks.

Rick Mellon recently put a pond in his tiny suburban back yard in Yardley, PA and attracted many birds, including Northern Waterthrush, Orange-crowned Warbler, and 5 other warbler species.

Bill Reaume had a Blackpoll, Common Nighthawks, and Cedar Waxwings in his back yard in Aubrey Arboretum, Philadelphia, 1½ weeks ago.

Joe Hudson was at Reed’s Beach NJ last Tuesday and saw 80 Red Knots and 20 Ruddy Turnstones on the jetty. Few horseshoe crabs were seen, due possibly to the cold water that has persisted in the Delaware Bay. One or 2 days previously, an aerial survey of the area tallied 13,000 Red Knots in the area in a single day. Adrian Binns reported that, earlier, Stone Harbor had 5,000 Red Knots, but they had since left. It was mentioned that Devich Farbotnik recently posted on PA Birds that he had seen Red Knots flying over in Buck’s County, bringing his Bucks County list to 326 species, 300 of which he found himself.

World Series of Birding/Big Day Reports

In lieu of an Ornithological Study presentation, Frank Windfelder and Debbie Beer presided over a presentation of club members’ World Series of Birding and Big Day team results. Results of ten teams were presented. (The results of the Nikon/DVOC “Lagerhead Shrikes” team, who won first place with 229 species, were presented at the May 15 meeting.)

Main Program:

Frank Windfelder presented the main program, “My Philly Big Year in 2007.” Three people had previously done Philadelphia-only big years: Johnny Miller, who found an “unbeatable” total of 225 species in 1966, Ed Fingerhood, who found 208 in 1996, and Ted Floyd, who matched Ed’s total with 208 species in 1998. Frank chronicled his many escapades in a talk illustrated with many great photos provided by Bill Moses and others, which resulted in an amazing total of 233 species sighted in Philadelphia in 2007, topping the previous record by 8 species.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Art McMorris, Secretary