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Minutes of the DVOC
May 15, 2008

President Paul Guris called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM. Thirty-six members and 5 guests were present. The minutes of the May 1 2008 meeting were read and accepted.

Committee Reports:

Membership: Chair Connie Goldman asked if anyone knew how to contact new member applicant Vanessa Schnauffer. She left the profile portion of her application blank and has not answered e-mails.

Conservation: Chair Debbie Beer described the dangers that invasive alien plant species present to native flora and fauna, and read a list of invasive species. She urged everyone to plant only native species.

Field Trip Reports: Rob Hynson asked for reports of recent field trips.

Bill and Naomi Murphy led a field trip to Fort Washington State Park, PA, on Sunday May 4. No report was received.

Colin Campbell gave the report of his 3-day trip to southern Delaware and northern Maryland on May 9-11 (Fri. – Sun.). In spite of heavy rain on the first day, the trip was a big success. Highlights of Friday were a lingering Greater White-fronted Goose at Woodland Beach and the recently-reported Wood Sandpiper. Saturday and Sunday were good days with many area specialties. The trip list was 125 species – an excellent list, yet down from the usual 150 species. The full trip report at www.DVOC.org lists many great birds and almost as many eateries.

Up-coming field trips:

On Saturday May 17, Erica Brendel will lead a trip to Carpenter’s Woods in Philadelphia. The trip will meet at 6:30 AM at the intersection of Wayne Ave. and Sedgewick St. The trip will continue until 11 or 12 o’clock, or until the birds give out.

Art McMorris will run a trip to Ridley Creek State Park, PA for migrants and breeders on Sunday May 18. Kentucky and Hooded Warbler are usually found on this trip, as are Louisiana Waterthrush, Acadian Flycatcher, vireos, thrushes, and many others. Meet at 6:30 AM at the Ridley Creek bridge on Gradyville Road. The trip will last as long as the birds do, usually 11 or 12 o’clock.

Sandra Keller will lead a weekday trip to Glassboro Woods WMA, NJ, on Monday May 19. The trip will focus on southern swamp breeders such as Kentucky, Prothonotary and Hooded Warblers, Acadian Flycatcher and Scarlet Tanager. The trip will meet at 7 AM at Glassboro Woods WMA on Carpenter – the west (Rt. 47) end.

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.

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


Frank Windfelder announced the up-coming programs. On June 5, Frank will present “My Philly Big Year in 2007.” Debbie Beer added that the June 5 meeting will include a brief summary of members’ World Series of Birding and May Run results, to be presented by herself and Frank Windfelder. The next two meetings will be informal summer meetings at Palmyra Cove Nature Center, NJ, on July 10 and August 7.


Paul Guris announced that there are still several spaces available on the pelagic portions of the May 29-June 1 club trip to North Carolina for “Surf and Turf Specialties.” Paul will lead the 2 pelagic trips that are part of that trip, and Adrian Binns will lead the land portions. There are also a number of spaces available on the Paulagics North Carolina pelagic trips the following weekend, on June 6, 7 and 8. Information on the club trip is available at www.DVOC.org; for the Paulagics trips, go to www.Paulagics.com.

Paul announced that France DeWaghe is selling his Canon digital camera, lens, and assorted other pieces of camera gear, at a very attractive price. If interested, contact France or Paul.

Art McMorris announced that he, Adrian Binns and Brad Whitman had met earlier that day with representatives of the Philadelphia Zoo to discuss possible ways that the two institutions could contribute to each other’s efforts. The zoo will draw up a summary of possibilities for us to discuss among ourselves.

Local Notes:

As at the last meeting, local sightings reports were dominated by migrants.

Bill Reaume reported that on Tuesday, May 13, he had two good birds in his yard at Aubrey Arboretum: a Cape May Warbler singing its alternate song, and a Common Nighthawk. Both of these birds were missed by his World Series of Birding team (The Loons) on May 10.

Paul Guris reported that none of the World Series teams had scouted a Golden-winged Warbler this year, for the first time in memory. In an area where there were 4 Golden-winged Warblers and no Blue-winged Warblers last year, there were no Golden-winged Warblers and 7 Blue-winged Warblers this year. This highlights the plight of this declining species.

Edie Parnum reported that Mike Rosengarten saw a Connecticut Warbler and a Summer Tanager at McKay Nature Center in Wayne, PA.

Frank Windfelder recently saw 8 Bobolinks at Benjamin Rush State Park. Last Sunday, May 11, there were several Cape May Warblers at Tinicum. Tinicum also produced a male Tennessee Warbler and a Blackburnian Warbler during the week.

Judy Semanski reported that the section of Old City Philadelphia near Independence Hall at 4th and 5th Sts. was a migrant trap. Recent sightings included Nashville Warbler, Great Crested Flycatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and tanagers. She also reported that there were about 1500 Chimney Swifts at the Dobson School in Manayunk last night. The Chimney Swift spectacle is not only a fall phenomenon.

Debbie Beer went to Prime Hook NWR, DE, and saw the Wood Sandpiper. Also there were 3 or 4 Red Phalaropes and numerous Red-necked Phalaropes.

Marty Dellwo said that Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia held numerous Ovenbirds during the week. Also present recently were Wood Thrush, Veery, and Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Rob Hynson said that numerous Ovenbirds had been seen at Love Park in downtown Philadelphia during the last week.

Chris Walters mentioned that the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia has historically been a good migrant trap.

Ornithological Studies: Instead of a regular Ornithological Study, we had a report of DVOC’s World Series of Birding team, the Nikon Sports Optics “Lagerhead Shrikes,” presented by Bert Filemyr. The team continued its dynasty by winning the event with an amazing 229 species, just 2 shy of the all-time record of 231, which was also set by DVOC. Bert gave a summary of the team’s big day run and described the planning and strategy that go into a successful WSB effort.

Main Program: Frank Windfelder introduced the main speaker, Debi Shearwater, who presented “Penguins of the World,” a description of all the world’s penguin species, based on her many trips to the southern hemisphere. Her talk was illustrated by many superb photographs of penguins and other Antarctic wildlife and their habitat.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Art McMorris, Secretary