Minutes – December 15, 2022

This was a hybrid meeting. The in-person portion was in the BEES classroom. Instructions for registration were announced on the website and weekly digest.

Call to Order: President Gregg Gorton

Call to Order: 7:31 PM

Gregg (remote) introduced all the officers and welcomed guests. 

Attendees: 36 on Zoom, 7 in person. 

The minutes from December 1, 2022 were approved.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee – Linda Timlin

No report from Linda, but Gregg mentioned we have two new members – Justin Cray and Robert Mottershead

Nominating Committee – Linda Timlin

The nominating committee, composed of Anita Guris, Patrick McGill, George Armistead, Linda Timlin, and Art McMorris has come up with a slate of nominees for the next year. The nominees are:

For one-year terms:

President – Gregg Gorton
Vice-president – Barb Bassett
Secretary – Navin Sasikumar

Marty Dellwo will continue as Treasurer.

The nominees for Councillors-at-large for 3-year terms are Linda Rowan and Nilesh Shah.

The retiring Councillors are Katrina Rakowski and Dan Efroymson, and Art thanked them for their service. 

Continuing Councillors are Linda Timlin, Michael Walter, Victoria Sindlinger, and Patrick McGill

As per our by-laws, the members present can nominate their own preferred candidates for any position, but there were no nominees from the floor. 

The election of officers and council will take place at the first meeting of the next year. This meeting, which is the Annual Members Meeting, will be on the 2nd Thursday in January (rather than the usual first Thursday) at the Discovery Center. 

Field Trips – Barb Bassett for Linda Widdop

Email Linda Widdop, linda@techimpact.org, if interested in leading any field trips. 

Upcoming field trips:

  • December 18 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am – FDR with Robert Karchnyak
  • December 18 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am – Glen Foerd with Holger Pflicke
  • January 01 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – John Heinz NWR with Cliff Hence
  • January 21 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am  – Discovery Center
  • January 21 @ 9:00 – 2:00 pm – Annual visit to Conowingo Dam with Cliff Hence


No report

Billings – Art McMorris

Go Birding! The Billings award is given each year to the DVOC member who observes the most birds for the year in the Billings area. You have to be a member at the beginning of the year to compete in that particular year. The deadline to submit the 2022 checklist is the last day of January 2023.

Cassinia – Gregg Gorton for Holger Pflicke

The latest edition of Cassinia is very close to being published. About 50 people have said they would like to get a hard copy. The majority of members will get Cassinia in PDF format. 

Communication – Navin Sasikumar

No report

DEI – Navin Sasikumar

In Color Birding Club received a $2000 gift from DVOC to arrange buses to take students to green spaces in and around Philly. DVOC members can go to the In Color Birding club website and donate personally as well.


Gregg Gorton announced that the Cape May Christmas Bird Count is this weekend. Art McMorris said Glenolden is on Saturday. 

Judy Stepanaskie announced that the Wyncote Christmas Bird Count is this Saturday and Valley Forge Audubon’s count is on December 24 and reported that she needs help for the Valley Forge count and asked members to contact her if they were willing. 

Art McMorris updated the club about the devastating fire at Red Creek Wildlife Center and said that Linda Rowan has already submitted info to the weekly digest about this catastrophic event. Red Creek is one of the best rehabbers in the state and it was extremely tragic to lose the facility and many animals under their care. Peggy Hentz who founded the center and has been running it for over 36 years now has stated that she will rebuild and resume operations but need all the help they can get financially. The web address to donate is in the weekly digest. 

Gregg Gorton reported that Keith Russell is retiring as the compiler of the Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census after 36 years. Holger has stepped up and will be the organizer and compiler this year. Kudos to Keith for running the census for this long and to Holger for stepping up this year. 

Local Notes

Luc Jacobs reported a Hermit Warbler in Aston, Delaware County, and Ash-throated Flycatcher at the NE Water Treatment Plant in Philadelphia.

Steve Mattan had Pileated Woodpecker, multiple Red-breasted Nuthatches and Fox Sparrows, and two Brown Creepers in his Southampton yard in Burlington County, New Jersey.

Bert Filemyr reported that there has been a very cooperative Western Tanager at Higbee Beach for almost a week now. Higbee Beach is 400 acres or so, but the bird likes to hang in the parking lot and you can sometimes see the bird without even getting out of the car. The bird is a bright young male. 

Programs: Barb Bassett

Barb announced that the next meeting will be the first in-person potluck since 2020 and asked members to please sign up for the potluck. Katrina Rakowski is going to do a short presentation for us. We will have elections at that meeting. It is on the 2nd Thursday of January at the Discovery Center at 6:30 pm (6 pm for set up). 

The following week (no break between meetings) – on the 19th of January – Tykee James will give a presentation titled Birding to Build Trust, Power, and Coalition.  

More information on the Meetings page of the DVOC website for this and other upcoming meetings.

Evening Program

This evening’s program was the annual Member’s Photo Contest and the audience was treated to many stunning photos. Congratulations to all participants and especially the winners. Thanks to Steve Mattan who hosted and to the judges – Linda Timlin, Cliff Hence, and Navin Sasikumar.

See all the winning photos here


1 – Kevin Berkoff – Violet-capped Woodnymph
2 – Linda Widdop – Don’t Fence Me In
3 – Judy Stepenaskie – I’m singing my heart out for you, Baby
Honorable Mention – William Kunze – Northern Gannet
Honorable Mention – Ed Norman – Short-eared Owl
Honorable Mention – John Drake – Perch


1 –  Bert Filemyr – Blue Dasher
2 – Linda Widdop – I’ll Be There (Eventually)
3 – John Drake – Dragonfly


1 – Daniel Kalamarides – Tiger Lily Sunset
2 – Daniel Kalamarides – Little Brown Mushroom
3 – Mandy Gibson – Red Velvet Burst


1 – Patty Rehn – Along the Inca Trail
2 – Ed Norman – Gathering storm
3 – Mandy Gibson – Confronting the Storm


1 – Patty Rehn – On the Lookout
2 – Ethan Kang – Down-to-earth DVOCer


1 – Kevin Berkoff – Baltimore Oriole
2 – Daniel Kalamarides – Full Extension
3 – Bert Filemyr – Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Avocet Award

Peter Hamner – Tri-Colored Oil Painting

Kacir Award

Kevin Berkoff – Galapagos Sea Lion


After the presentation and questions, the meeting was adjourned at 8:42 pm.