Academy of Natural Sciences – BEES Classroom
Call to Order: President: Linda Widdop
Call to Order: 7:33pm
Vice President & Secretary (for Barb Bassett): Gregg Gorton
Minutes from last meeting approved as submitted.
Attendees: 25 members present; 1 guest (Linda Burnet, spouse of speaker)
Reports from Council
Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer
New Members: Theresa O’Malley, Vin Karthik, Karyl Weber, Steve Kapski
New Applications: Fred Clement, Maureen Weir
Conservation: Anne Bekker
The Migratory Bird Protection Act (MBPA), of 2020, was again discussed. A bipartisan bill, HR 5552, has been introduced to reaffirm America’s commitment to conserving migratory birds and seeks to reverse rollbacks by the Trump administration. Please consider signing a petition in its support: Https://abcbirds.org/action/petition-mbta
There is also an ongoing threat to Double-crested Cormorants. Please consider signing a petition supporting their protection: https://www.change.org/p/let-these-birds-live-stop-ontario-s-war-on-double-crested-cormorants?use_react=false
Billings: Art McMorris
Field Trips: Linda Widdop
Free to all members and non-members
February 09, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 11am
We will meet at the parking lot of the Champions Park playground off of Verree Road at the intersection with Tustin St/Susquehanna Rd. GPS coordinates: 40.080355,-75.067948.
Trip Leader: Holger Pflicke
Duelling field trips:
February 15, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Trip Leader: Navin Sasikumar
February 15, 2020 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Meet at Conservatory/Office (not funeral home or chapel)–follow signs
Trip Leaders: Gregg Gorton and Jason Weckstein
February 23, 2020 @ 8:00 am – 10:30 am
Trip Leader: Holger Pflicke
Please join us for a bird walk at one of Philly’s Top 3 birding locations. We should see plenty of waterfowl and sparrows. Maybe we even get a glimpse of the resident Great Horned Owl. This walk will also include portions of the now-closed golf course.
Let’s meet at the parking lot east of the gazebo. GPS coordinates: 39.9034994, -75.1787725. This is the first parking lot on the left after the playground before the bridge when you are driving the park loop.
Due to consistent flooding in the park please be prepared for muddy and wet areas. This event will take place unless there is a winter storm warning and/or temperatures below 10F. You don’t have a pair of binoculars? Birding backpacks (including binoculars and field guide) are available at the following libraries: Andorra, Cobbs Creek, Cecil B. Moore, Logan, Richmond, South Philly and Widener.
February 29, 2020 @ 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Trip Leader: Judy Stepenaskie
Meet in the parking lot at the Visitors Center and bring lunch. Join us to witness the spectacle of huge numbers of snow geese as they prepare to head north. We expect to see over 100,000 snow geese, plus several thousand tundra swans and a few Bald Eagles. Other waterfowl we expect include: Pintails, Scaup, American Wigeon, Black Ducks, Common and Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks, Buffleheads and Ring-necked Ducks. For those interested, we may stay till dusk to see the Short-eared Owls.
The Visitor’s Center is located on Museum Road, off of Hopeland Road in Kleinfeltersville, PA. Bring lunch.
Here is the website for the PA Game Commission with directions and info:
–>Please contact Linda Widdop if you want to lead a trip outside Philadelphia: Linda@techimpact.org
–>Please contact Tony Croasdale if you want to lead a walk inside Philadelphia (for DVOC’s BirdPhilly initiative): Tony.firstname.lastname@example.org
Programs: Gregg Gorton
February 20, 2020 @ 7:30pm-9pm (in Commons)
What the ‘Insect Apocalypse’ means for You, Your Yard & the Birds
Speaker: Ashley Kennedy
Linda Widdop: on March 7th, from 2-5pm, Friends of Forsythe will be holding a symposium “3 Billion Birds Gone Missing: How, Why What Can Be Done”, at Stockton college. https://friendsofforsythe.org/calendar/ Linda is looking for members of the club to come support her. There will be an opportunity to have a table with club membership information.
Linda also mentioned the upcoming Great Backyard Bird Count, February 14-17. She also reminded the group that DVOC has two FaceBook sites: a group page (which one must join) and an “advertising” page for general information. Finally, she mentioned Cassinia, the club journal, so new attendees would be aware of it.
Bonnie & Phil Witmer: they will be giving an introduction to the Great Backyard Bird Count, to draw new participants, at the Radnor Memorial Library on February 8 @ 10am.
Judy Stepenaskie: there will be a Wyncote Audubon trip to Colombia in July, 2020, to be led by George Armistead (Rockjumper Tours) and Robin Irizarry. Contact Robin (email@example.com) or go to the Wyncote Audubon website for more information: https:wyncoteaudubon.org/birding/category/field-trips-and-bird-walks/
Dan Efroymson: was surprised and pleased to find a White-winged Scoter in a photograph he had taken of Canvasback and scaup at the Naval Yard. He also heard the “kerwee” call of a Sora from the big boardwalk at the Heinz NWR at Tinicum, and other folks found the bird the following day. And, he saw the lingering Common Gallinule, as well.
Janie Hill and Eva Marie Shahade: saw a Sora at Heinz, at the upper eastside end of the impoundment.
Vin Karthik: found a Lark Sparrow at Twining Valley Park in Willow Grove, Upper Dublin Twp, Montgomery County. He also had a Wilson’s Snipe at Bradford Dam in Warrington, Bucks County.
Rachel Adler: found a Razorbill at Barnegat Lighthouse Park, Ocean County, NJ.
Linda Widdop: during a DVOC trip to the same site the prior weekend, the group found five Razorbills.
Tori Sindlinger & Janie Hill: along with Daniel Long, the youth birders were very pleased to be led on a walk by George Armistead at the Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in Atlantic/Ocean Counties, NJ on January 19th, where they saw a Yellow-breasted Chat, Palm Warblers, and a good variety of duck species.
Scott Burnet: noted that a Pink-footed Goose and a Greater White-fronted Goose had been present at the Fogelsville Quarry, Upper Macungie Park, Fogelsville, Bucks County. In addition, a dark morph Gyrfalcon has returned for the third year in a row to the Grand Central Sanitary Landfill, but it has also been seen in adjacent Pen Argyl, Plainfield Twp., Northampton County and in Alpha, Warren County, NJ, which is across the Delaware southeast of Pen Argyl.
Chimney Swift: America’s Mystery Bird
Speaker: Scott Burnet
Scott presented a fascinating talk about the natural history & life cycle of the Chimney Swift, its anatomy and how to identify it, how it compares with the other three swift species in the US, and efforts to conserve it by use of artificial nesting towers and by public education (eg, keeping chimney tops open during the breeding season). He passed around two nests and several eggs and responded to ample questions from the audience.
The meeting adjourned at 9:18pm.
After-meeting at Cherry Street Tavern
Despite the drizzle and windiness, a group walked to the tavern in pursuit of adult beverages and further conversation, per tradition.