Minutes – Feb. 7, 2019

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:30pm

Call To Order:

President: George Armistead
VP: Linda Widdop; Secretary: Gregg Gorton


Members present: 27; three guests: Susan Peterlin, Barbara Nevin, Eva Marie Shahade

Reports from Council: none

Committee Reports:


Bonnie Witmer

New Members: Matt Hardy, Janie Hill, Kevin Burkoff

New Membership Application Received: Islam Naimul

Field Trips:

Linda Widdop

West Laurel Hill Cemetery
February 16, 2019 @ 9:00 am – 11:30 am

225 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Trip Leader: Gregg Gorton
Free to all members and non-members
Join Gregg Gorton to bird the cemetery property to count birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count. This historic cemetery (founded in 1869) has had 165 species of birds in the last 20 years. Meet at the Conservatory Office parking lot. Enter West Laurel Hill Cemetery at 225 Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd. Once in the cemetery, go PAST both the Chapel (up the hill to the left) and the Funeral Home on your left, and follow signs for the Conservatory, which houses the Cemetery Office.

If EAST is more your style, join Navin Sasikumar on the other side of the river for Laurel Hill Cemetery (east side of river, along Kelly Drive):

Laurel Hill Cemetery (east)
February 16, 2019 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm 

3822 Ridge Avenue

Trip Leader: Navin Sasikumar
Free to all members and non-members
Join Navin Sasikumar at East Laurel Hill Cemetery to look for wintering birds on the property and along the Schuylkill river. Meet at the Visitor Center (main gate may be closed, we will wait there until they open). Last year’s highlights include Peregrine Falcon and Eastern Phoebe.

Bird Walk at The Discovery Center
The Discovery Center
3401 Reservoir Drive – Philadelphia
February 23, 2019 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Trip Leader: TBA
Free to all members and non-members
Join us on a bird walk with a local birding expert as we hike around a site noted for over 150 species of bird visitors every year. With deep water, limited access, and a lake full of fish, the Strawberry Mansion Reservoir is home to some of the most unique bird species in the area. No experience necessary. This is a joint trip with PA Audubon.

Woodcocking at Rancocas Nature Center
March 02, 2019 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

794 Rancocas Mt Holly Rd, Westampton, NJ
Trip Leader: Patty Rehn
Free to all members and non-members
Each year in the late winter, the American Woodcock move northward at the beginning of their breeding season. One of their migration stops is the Rancocas meadow– a reliable spot to catch the male of the species perform a fascinating aerial display to impress the female Woodcocks. Join Rancocas naturalist Patty Rehn at dusk for an informational session and unique viewing opportunity. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. This is a joint program with DVOC. As Woodcocks can be hard to pin down, an alternate date of Sunday, February 24 is scheduled. We will notify participants when it gets closer, if the program will switch to the earlier date. Register online, call to register or email us at info@rancocasnaturecenter.org.

Discovery Center Bird Walk
The Discovery Center
3401 Reservoir Drive – Philadelphia
March 09, 2019 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am
3401 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA, 19121
Trip Leader: Tony Croasdale
Free to all members and non-members

–>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.croasdale@gmail.com

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

Upcoming Program:

Linda Widdop:

Is Brown the New Green? – Fusion Ecology & Conservation                    February 21 @ 7:30 pm

Dr. Claus Holzapfel – Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University


Gregg Gorton: The Haverford Arboretum approached DVOC about the possibility of members’ leading a series of bird walks there. More information is being gathered about what that would involve.

Tony Croasdale: On Friday, March 8, 2019 from 6pm-8:30pm at the Cobbs Creek Environmental Center, 700 Cobbs Creek Parkway, there will be a photography exhibit featuring Navin Sasikumar’s nature photos. All are welcome, and snacks will be served.

George Armistead:  The gavel was found!  (after having been missing for months)

Art McMorris: Tom Cade, the father of Peregrine Falcon restoration in the U.S., died recently at 91 years of age. He founded the Peregrine Fund, after moving from Cornell University to Idaho in 1970. His efforts and those of the staff at the Peregrine Fund have led to raptor restoration efforts in many places around the world.

Local Notes:

Marty Dellwo: Saw two Northern Harriers, a Red-shouldered Hawk, and good numbers of Bald Eagles, but no large flocks of geese or blackbirds during the Salem County (NJ) Winter Raptor Count (with Linda Widdop & Barb Basset).

Linda Widdop: Had six Pine Siskins at a feeder in Elkins Park.

Tony Croasdale: A birder reported a Northern Goshawk seen at the exit off I-95 for General Pulaski Park in Port Richmond, Philadelphia.

Dan Efroymson: Reported a Common Redpoll at Houston Meadow.

George Armistead: Results of the Mid-Winter Bird Census are still pending, but he understands that more than 100 species were identified.  And, Brian Quindlen was in the news being interviewed about the Mandarin Duck found at Ridley Park Lake (Delaware County). It is quite tame, suggesting that it is an escapee from somewhere where it had regular human contact.

Gregg Gorton: A Pacific Loon was found several days before he, Rob Bierregaard and Win Shafer went to see it at Manasquan Inlet, Point Pleasant Beach, Monmouth County, NJ.

Trustees’ Report:

Chris Walters

The Trustees of the Investment Fund are Hart Rufe, Paul Guris, and Chris. The Fund is invested relatively conservatively in a Vanguard Index Fund and in bond funds.  It continues to grow, having earned more than $19,000 in 2018. Roughly one third of that money was given to the Treasurer for Club operations, and the rest was reinvested, as per the routine that has been used successfully since the Fund was established roughly 50 years ago. Donations, which are tax-deductible (since DVOC is a 501c3 entity), have also helped it grow. All life membership monies go directly into the Fund, which is how it was established in the first place. The Fund has finally reached a tipping point where more money is generated (in the form of dividends and capital gains) than goes into the Fund (as long as the financial markets are doing relatively well). Anyone with specific questions about the Fund and its management may contact Chris Walters: Chris@siwalt.com


Evening Program:

Birding St. Paul Island (Alaska)
Speaker: Linda Widdop

Our Vice-President, substituting at the eleventh hour for the scheduled–but ill–speaker, gave a terrific talk that was both informative and funny, complete with wonderful photographs.  She spoke about the island’s history, its economy and culture, and of course its birds, and also about how one might arrange a trip there.  Her stellar effort was very warmly received.

Linda, Marty Dellwo, and other birders, with guide

Main Meeting Adjourned: 9:06pm

After-meeting Gathering at Cherry Street Tavern:

After the formal meeting, some members enjoyed beverages and bird-chat.