Minutes – January 6, 2022 Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Due to COVID-19, this was the second Annual Meeting that was held via Zoom. Instructions for meeting registration were announced on website and weekly digest.

7:00 PM The Pre-Meeting discussed recent bird sightings, including the Steller’s Sea-Eagle that was relocated in Maine.

Call to Order: President Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:32PM
Registrants: 93; 82 members, 11 non-members (67 signed on for the meeting, some with more than one person per device)

Linda welcomed all to the Annual Meeting. Since this was her last meeting as president, Linda gave a short presentation that covered her two years leading the club.

Linda then turned the meeting over to Art McMorris, chairperson of the Nominating Committee. Art had presented the Nominating Committee’s slate of nominees for Officers and Councilors at the two meetings in December. At those meetings, there had been no further nominations from the floor. Art acknowledged the rest of the committee: Anita Guris, Linda Timlin, and George Armistead.   Art asked for a vote on the slate which was unanimously approved.

Officers (for 1-year terms)
President: Gregg Gorton
Vice President: Barbara Bassett
Secretary: Navin Sasikumar
Treasurer: Martin Dellwo

Councilors-at-Large (for 3-year terms)
Victoria Sindlinger
Patrick McGill

Art thanked on-going President Linda Widdop and retiring Councilors Anne Bekker and Brian Quindlen for their service to the DVOC.

Gregg Gorton then took over the meeting and thanked Linda for steering the club through some very tough times. He described his entry into birding and joining the DVOC. For the coming years, he would like to focus on the environment and Green Birding. Gregg welcomed the officers and councilors.

Linda presented the DEVOC Award to Doris McGovern.

Several members were then presented with the title of Fellow. “Fellows shall be chosen from among the active members of at least one year’s standing as recognition of the high quality of their ornithological work or contributions to the Club.”

Cliff Hence
Steve Mattan
Ann Reeves
Mike Walter

The special distinction of Honorary Member was bestowed upon Keith Russell. The title of Honorary Member is reserved for “Ornithologists who have attained special prominence in their ornithological work and contributions to the Club”. Keith has been a member of the Club for 50 years.

Gregg thanked retiring Trustee, Hart Rufe, for his many years of service.

The minutes from December 16, 2021 were approved.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

Bonnie gave her final report as Membership Committee Chairperson. She is retiring and Nilesh Shah will be the new chairperson.

New Members: Kris Fox

New Applications: Katrina Clark, Manuel Dominguez, David Moyer

Annual Report of Member Applications – 2021

During 2021, the DVOC saw an increase in our member applications in all categories: Individual, Household, Student and Reinstating Memberships. 66 applications were processed; 67% of those applications were submitted by women or included a woman in the case of Household memberships. Bonnie described the various new members: 44 – Women; 18 – which included a description of having a lifelong love of birds and wanting to up their game; 9 – who have increased their time making observations of birds and nature in general, due to the pandemic; 8 – scientists; 7 – who described themselves as newbies; 6 – who succumbed to peer pressure from DVOC members (props to Linda, Bob, Katrina, Phil, and Art); 3 – young birders; 2 Birders who are new to the US; 2 – Backyard birders; 2 – hilarious, charming, and witty applications; 1 – gift membership.

Conservation – Anne Bekker

Anne highlighted Bird Safe Philly, the FDR Master plan which could turn the Meadow into soccer fields, and E. Falls River Landing habitat restoration project.

Billings – Art McMorris

Provide Art the total number of bird species seen in 2021. If you are in the running for the highest total, he will ask you for detailed information.

See https://dvoc.org/about/committees/billings/.

Youth Birding – Victoria Sindlinger for Katrina Rakowski

Victoria Sindlinger talked about the Young Birders in the Club and their WhatsApp chat to keep each other informed. She had a young Delco birder who was in the meeting join the WhatsApp group as a result of her “report” that evening. She is writing an article for the Cassina.

Field Trips – Linda Widdop

Email Linda Widdop, linda@techimpact.org, if interested in leading any winter trips. The next field trip will be winter gulls at Glen Foerd led by Holger Pflicke.

Participants must follow all the COVID-19 Guidelines as posted on the website and must sign a participant release to attend the field trip.

Treasurer’s Report – Martin Dellwo

Marty presented the Annual Treasurer’s Report. In summary, the club is in very good financial shape.

Local Notes (from the chat)

Linda Widdop: The Mandarin Duck at Pennypack Environmental Center area is dead.

Steve Mattan: Piney Place, Southampton, NJ, Burlington County. 2 Fox Sparrows have been here this week. 1 Pileated Woodpecker.

Nilesh Shah: A pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were in my backyard last Sunday.  One appeared to be a juvenile.  Yesterday, a Red-winged Blackbird showed up at my feeder as part of a huge mix flock of Icterids.  This is Maple Glen, Montgomery County.

Martin Dellwo: An American Kestrel was seen in Rittenhouse Square today. A Peregrine Falcon was in Schuylkill River Park (25th/Spruce) yesterday.  The same park has recently had Black-throated Green Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and a so-far-unconfirmed Pine Warbler that was reported.  Rittenhouse Square also had a Woodcock one day that was resting in a flower bed, and gone the next day, so hopefully healthy. An adult Cooper’s Hawk was in Rittenhouse Square yesterday, chasing Rock Pigeons around.

Linda Rowan: Sunday, January 2, I saw a Great Egret in the creek that runs through Levittown, Bucks County, PA.  It was in the creek by the Oaktree section of Levittown off Mill Creek Rd.

Anita Guris: The 12/31 Cape May pelagic had 174 Manx Shearwaters, possibly a record NJ high count.

Barb Bassett: As of 1/2, the Northern Lapwing was still at the stakeout in Cumberland county.

Debbie Beer: A Cackling Goose was amid several hundred Canada Geese at Springton Lake Middle School, Media, 1/6. Long-tailed Duck at Springton Reservoir, Media, 1/4. Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers at Chester Riverfront Park, 1/2. All locations in Delaware County.

Programs: Barb Bassett

The next regular meeting on January 20th where Dr. Mark Bonta will present Firehawks: Arsonists or Land Managers.

More information at https://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/ for this and other upcoming meetings.

Evening Program

As is customary, our informal Club Historian, Bert Filemyr, presented a “From the Archives” presentation. This year’s program was “Women in DVOC”. The presentation can be viewed here: https://dvoc.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/DVOC_Women_January2022.pdf


After the presentation and congratulations, the meeting was adjourned at 9:42pm.