Minutes – Feb 15, 2018

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

7:32 PM Academy of Natural Sciences (Commons)

Call To Order: President George Armistead

Vice President: Linda Widdop
Secretary: Gregg Gorton
Minutes from last meeting approved as submitted.
And, the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl victory was loudly approved by all after President Armistead exclaimed about it.


Members present; 31; Guests: 1 (Daniel Kobza)

Reports from Council:

DVOC Trustees’ Report for 2017:

Chris Walters gave a summary account of the financial status of the club. He was pleased to report that the club is in excellent financial shape, with good growth in the Trustees’ Fund last year, and continued accumulation of monies donated specifically for the Bob Billings Big Year Competition and the Interns’ Fund (which allows an annual donation to the Academy of Natural Science-Drexel to support interns in the Bird Department). A copy of the report was available for members wishing to peruse it.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

New Members: none
New applications received: Daniel Kobza

Bob Billings Big Year Competition: Marty Dellwo

All members are urged to sign up for this birding competition by March 31st, the goal of which is to find the most species in the DVOC area in 2018, so you can win bragging rights, plus an honorarium. If you don’t sign up, you can’t win!

Field Trips: Linda Widdop

Birding Burlington County with Sandra Keller
February 18, 2018 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
River’s Edge Park (Wilkie Park)
Front St – Florence, New Jersey
Trip Leader: Sandra Keller; sandrakeller@verizon.net
Free to all members and non-members.
This trip will start with a gull study. Florence still sees a good variety of gulls – with both Iceland and Glaucous being seen last month. Sunday might be a bit iffy as the dump is not in operation then, and the gulls might not stick around. That’s also why the early start. We will also hit one or two other spots, depending on what I find while scouting. If there is any doubt about the weather, contact Sandra the day before.

Woodcock Walks at Houston Meadow (note two different dates!)
*February 25, 2018 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30pm
**March 4, 2018 @ 5:30 – 6:30pm
Houston Playground, 900 Grakyn Lane, Philadelphia, PA, 19128
Trip Leader: Martin Selzer for BirdPhilly
Free to all members and non-members
Meet Martin Selzer at 5:30 pm at Houston Playground to experience the sounds and sights of the the “Timberdoodle.”
Come on one or both walks. There will be no weather dates. Contact Martin if the weather is questionable on either evening.

Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center
March 02, 2018 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
700 Cobbs Creek Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA, 19143
Trip Leader: Tony Croasdale, who will also lead an anniversary celebration of the Urban Wildlife Podcast that he produces with his partner-in-podcast Billy “Bull” Gervasi.
Free to all members and non-members
Meet at CCCEC and walk to Whitby Meadow to see woodcocks displaying and hopefully see a Red Fox on the way over and hear owls on the way back.

For Directions to all Events, go to:

Cassinia: Matt Halley

Copies of Cassinia, vol 76 (2014-2016), were handed out to members who had not yet received one. Note that all articles from this issues are posted on the DVOC website, from which they can be downloaded; and, past issues can also be downloaded.

Programs: Linda Widdop

March 01, 2018 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Bluebirds – Biology and Conservation
Speaker: Betsy Nutt
Presentation on the biology of bluebirds and the habitat necessary for attracting them and conserving them.
Meeting will be held in BEES classroom.

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


Linda Widdop: Regarding membership fees: individual membership = $35/year; but there is also now a household membership rate of $15/year for each additional member in a household; and, there is a lifetime membership of $175 x 3 years. The money from lifetime memberships will go into the Trustees’ Fund to build the principal that is invested to generate annual funds for the club. There is also a lifetime household membership fee of $250 x 3 years that covers two members in the same household.

Bonnie Witmer: A group will gather for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) at the Witmer Home in Wayne, Montgomery County, on February 17, 2018.

Phil Witmer: A two-session workshop, “Backyard Birding,” sponsored by the Main Line Night School, and led by Phil, will have its first session on Friday, February 23, 12:00-2:00pm at the Creutzberg Center, 260 Gulph Creek Road (in Harford Park), Radnor, Montgomery County.

Matt Halley: He and Rich Horwitz will be at Laurel Hill Cemetery for the GBBC on Saturday, February 17th at 8AM. Members and others are invited to join them. And, Jason Weckstein, Gregg Gorton, and Rob Bierregaard will lead a group of GBBC birders at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County on February 17th at 8AM. Members and others are welcome there also.

Bonnie Witmer: Note that all eBird data entered during 2/16/18-2/19/18 will count for the GBBC.

Gregg Gorton: Bob Sharp reported via email that his son, Nathaniel-—who had been an Upper Main Line YMCA Youth Birder (among the group mentored by DVOC members, who won the World Series of Birding youth category several times), is forging ahead in his budding ornithological career. He has a job with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries working on the Maine Breeding Bird Atlas. Several members commented that this is wonderful news! See: https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.maine.gov%2Fifw%2Ffish-wildlife%2Fmaine-bird-atlas.html

Local Notes:

Tony Croasdale: Found the brown-phase Gyrfalcon that had been previously seen at Merrill Creek Reservoir in the town of Alpha, Warren County, New Jersey, on the roof of a house.

Linda Widdop, Todd Fellenbaum, and Marty Dellwo drove for 15 hours to Miramichi, New Brunswick,
Canada,to find the Mistle Thrush that has been lingering there since it was found on December 9, 2017, and they succeeded–to their delight!


Program Speaker:

Matthew Halley
“New Perspectives on the Evolution and Behavior of the Nightingale-Thrushes (Turdidae: Catharus)”
Matt presented a fascinating and lively scientific talk on his recent research, including some material that is yet unpublished. Vigorous discussion followed.

Matt Halley with the Title Slide to his Talk

Matt Halley with the Title Slide to his Talk

Matt Halley directing the audience's attention

Matt Halley directing the audience’s attention

DVOC Meetings Attendees paying rapt attention to Matt's splendid talk

DVOC Meetings Attendees paying rapt attention to Matt’s splendid talk

Meeting Adjourned:

at 9:12pm

After Meeting at Cherry Street Tavern:

A small group of the usual suspects enjoyed conversation and beverages.