Minutes – April 19, 2018

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:32pm (in Commons)

Call To Order:

George Armistead

VP: Linda Widdop;  Secretary: Navin Sasikumar, filling in for Gregg Gorton

Minutes from last meeting approved as submitted.


Members present: 25; Guests: 4

Reports from Council:


Committee Reports:

Membership Committee:

Bonnie Witmer

New Members: Julie Greenberg, Kris Benarcik

New applications received: none

Field Trips:

Linda Widdop

Linda Widdop led a trip to Belleplain State Forest, Cape May County, NJ, that was moved up a day due to rain. It was an overall good trip, and new member Kris Benarcik attended it. Highlights included Yellow-throated Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Black and White Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

–> Cresheim Creek BirdPhilly walk
April 21, 2018 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Trip Leader: Matthew Halley

We will meet at Allen Lane Station (SEPTA) at 9:00 AM. We will follow the Cresheim Creek downstream to where it meets the Wissahickon Creek at Devil’s Pool. We will also stop in at the historic Livezey house (Glen Fern) and the “Cresheim Pines”, which is the largest conifer stand in Philadelphia. The trip leader (Matthew) will share information about the industrial history of the area, and its rich bird life.

–>Brendan Byrne State Forest
(Burlington County 2018 Walk No. 4)

April 22, 2018 @ 5:00am (see just below) for Barred Owl
7:15 am – 12:00 pm for the main walk

****Additional Time — Barred Owl search****– meet at headquarters parking lot at 5:00 AM to listen for owls in the woods.

103 Shinns Rd, Vincentown, NJ

Trip Leader: Sandra Keller

Free to all members and non-members

This gem of a pine barrens preserve (also known as Lebanon State Forest) has many different habitat types – not just the dry, upland forests that most people associate with the pine barrens – but open successional areas, cedar bogs, cranberry bogs, etc. We will hit all the different habitat types. All areas are accessible by car with limited walking once we reach an area. For a list of possible species for the trip, please see eBird and the Brendan Byrne hot spot and look at the bar graphs. But keep in mind that this area is very under birded. I look forward to adding to the ebird data for April to this hotspot. The trip will go until around noon. The date is on the border of when a lot of species return, so if any doubt about certain species, please email Sandra: sandrakeller@verizon.net.  And, be prepared for ticks this time of year although we won’t be bushwhacking.

Directions – the headquarters is accessible off of either Rt. 70 or Rt. 72. I prefer Rt. 70 as it is well marked with signs. There is a Wawa along Rt. 72 for those who need food before we start. Please have a full tank of gas before we start. This Wawa does not sell gas. I do request that those interested in the trip please email me and let me know.

–>Red Bank Battlefield Park – evening bird walk

April 26, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
100 Hessian Avenue , National Park, NJ

Trip Leader: Barb Bassett & Dennis DiMarco
Free to all members and non-members

Located on the Delaware River, this 44-acre site of the Revolutionary War Battle of Red Bank is a developed, passive park with the remains of Fort Mercer. The park provides excellent views of the Delaware River and surrounding bird life. From the parking lot, walk through the park looking and listening for the typical birds found in the spring such as woodpeckers, blue jays, northern cardinals, Carolina wrens, sparrows, and swallows. Next scan the river for gulls, cormorants and possible lingering winter ducks. There is a bald eagle nest nearby. Special emphasis will be placed on learning the songs and calls of common species, and ID tips for crows (American, fish), blackbirds (red-winged, grackle, brown headed cowbird), waterfowl (mallard, bufflehead, mergansers, black duck, grebes) and the common gull species (laughing, herring, ring-billed, great black backed). Directions: Meet at the pavilion closest to the river.

This is a joint trip with Gloucester County Bird Quest

–>Houston Meadow

April 29, 2018 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am

Houston Playground, 900 Grakyn Lane, Philadelphia, PA, 19128


Trip Leader: Martin Selzer

Free to all members and non-members

Join Martin Selzer to see sparrows, bluebirds, warblers and other fantastic birds. This site has turned up hooded warbler, blue winged warbler, black-billed cuckoo, and pileated woodpecker on previous trips.

–>Warbler Walk

April 29, 2018 @ 7:30 am – 12:00 pm

Ridley Creek State Park, Gradyville Rd, Newton, PA

Trip Leaders: Win Shafer and Alan Crawford

Free to all members and non-members

Let’s look for warblers (and other migrants) at Ridley Creek State Park! Join Win Shafer and Alan Crawford to explore this hotspot.  Meet at the Bridle Trail on Gradyville Rd. in Newtown Square.

This is a joint trip with Willistown Conservation Trust.

–>Please contact Linda if you want to lead a trip outside Philadelphia: Linda@techimpact.org

–>And, please contact Tony Croasdale if you want to lead a walk inside Philadelphia (for DVOC’s BirdPhilly initiative): Tony.croasdale@gmail.com

(Details for all walks/trips can be found at http://dvoc.org/activities/field-trips/ )


Navin Sasikumar

Met with Katrina Rakowski and Lauren Diamond to discuss making banners for the future events, especially the Birding Expo.


Linda Widdop

Piping Plovers along the Flyway: New Jersey, the Bahamas, and Beyond
May 03, 2018 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm (in BEEs Classroom)

Speaker:  Todd Pover

Details and Meeting Schedule can be found at http://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/


Linda Widdop:  A member of Audubon Wildlife Society of Collingswood left some flyers for interested DVOC members.

George Armistead:  On May 16 at 7pm, Dr. Klem is doing a presentation on window strikes similar to the one he did for DVOC at Temple Ambler. More details can be found at: http://dvoc.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Bird-Strikes-May-16-TUA.pdf

Navin Sasikumar: On April 28 and 29, Navin is leading BioBlitzes at Tacony Creek Park and John Heinz NWR respectively. Participants will be using iNaturalist to record all living wild things from birds and butterflies to frogs and plants.

Local Notes:

Linda Widdop: Eastern Meadowlark at Lemon Hill. She first thought it was a robin and then a flicker before realizing it was a meadowlark. It did a display flight.

Jill Saul: Two Green Herons at the Japenese Shofuso House pond

Katrina Rakowski: Red-throated Loon at John Heinz NWR, south side of impoundment below the Mariott Hotel sign.

Jack Creighton: Warbler woods was closed on Friday and he could not even access the pipeline cut at Heinz NWR because of downed trees. He instead went around to the 420 side of Heinz NWR. He saw yellowlegs on the mudflats and also had Pine Warblers and Golden-crowned Kinglets.

George Armistead: Had a Ruby-crowned Kinglet while pulled over for running a stop sign in South Philly.

Bert Filemyr: Took two trips out to Arizona and had 5 lifers in 4 days.

George Armistead: There have been reports of a Long-tailed Weasel at John Heinz NWR.


Program Speaker:

Martin Selzer

Ecuador: The Northwest Choco, Esmeraldas and Andes near Quito with Martin Selzer

Martin Selzer gave a detailed presentation of a trip he took to Ecuador detailing various regions his party visited and the numerous bird species they saw. He also gave some insight on places to stay in Ecuador while birding.



Meeting Adjourned:


After Meeting at Cherry Street Tavern;

As usual, some members enjoyed beverages and bird-chat.