Minutes – February 15, 2024

This was a hybrid meeting. We had a speaker and a live audience in the BEES classroom and the meeting was broadcast on Zoom and recorded and posted to YouTube.

Call to Order: President Barb Bassett

Call to Order: 7:30 PM

Barb Bassett and Marty Dellwo were both away.    

Attendees: 15 in-person; 23 on Zoom.

The minutes from the last meeting were approved.

Committee Reports

Membership – Navin Sasikumar for Rebecca Reicherter

One new member has joined since the last meeting, but has not yet been approved by the Council.

Field Trips – Linda Widdop

If you wish to lead a field trip, contact Linda: linda@techimpact.org

Upcoming field trips:

Feb 179:00 – 11:00Great Backyard Bird Count Walk at Laurel Hill Cemetery (East)Navin Sasikumar
Feb 179:00 – 11:00Great Backyard Bird Count Walk at West Laurel Hill CemeteryKen Walsh
Feb 299:00 – 12:00Bird Walk at Heinz NWRCliff Hence
Mar 98:00 – 1:00Late Winter Barnegat Light and Long Beach Island, NJ (joint trip with Wyncote Audubon Society)Ken Walsh and Leigh Altadonna
Mar 109:00 – 10:30Winter Gulls at Glen FoerdHolger Pflicke
Mar 238:00 – 10:00Bird Walk at The Discovery CenterVictor Lefevre
Apr 37:30 – 9:00Wednesday Spring Bird Walks at Lorimer Park and Fox Chase FarmLinda Widdop
Apr 48:00 – 10:00Thursday morning at Wetherill Park (Montco)Martin Selzer

Conservation – Perri Strawn

Perri provided a brief update on FDR Park.  A new playground has been installed at the expense of some mature trees.  On Feb 13th, the zoning board met to discuss a zoning exception filed by Philadelphia Parks & Rec.  This exception is to remove about 400 trees including more than 60 heritage-eligible trees to make space for five sports fields.  About 300 people attended.  People spoke both for and against the exception.  The vote at the end of the meeting resulted in an overwhelming rejection of the exception.  The zoning board will meet on Feb 20th to decide on the exception.

Billings – Art McMorris

Ethan Kang, a sixteen-year-old and one of the club’s Youth Birders, is the winner of the 2023 Billings award.  He recorded 280 species in the DVOC area!

Cassinia – Holger Pflicke

No report.

Communications – Navin Sasikumar

No report.


The City Nature Challenge is happening again this year from April 26th (Friday) to April 29th (Monday).  Navin announced it to start raising awareness of the upcoming event.

Local Notes

Nilesh Shah observed a leucistic female House Finch at his feeder in Montgomery County.  It had bright white cheeks.

Manny Dominguez reported that Daniel Singer had seen another Red-necked Grebe floating upriver on the Schuylkill River.  It is believed to be the third sighting in Philadelphia this winter.

Linda Rowan reported on a pair of mating Red-tailed Hawks in Bucks County.

Debbie Beer has been hearing a Screech Owl nightly in her neighborhood in Springfield, Delaware County.

Patrick McGill mentioned that an Iceland Gull had been seen last weekend during Holger’s bird walk at Glen Foerd.  A Common Loon also flew in and called once during the walk.

Manny Dominguez mentioned that Woodcocks have been peenting at Eastwick.

Linda Widdop reported seeing an Eastern Phoebe.

Lauren Diamond mentioned that she saw two Juncos in her backyard in Philadelphia.

Sean O’Donnell has heard Barred Owls calling back and forth in his neighborhood.

Ken Walsh reported hearing a Northern Saw-whet Owl in Chester Springs.    

Programs: Navin Sasikumar

March 7th – 7:00 PM – Bird-themed Board Games at the Discovery Center. Please register.

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

Evening Program

Robin Irizarry gave a comprehensive talk on the work underway in various parts of the Delaware River watershed to improve water quality and to support the bird migration corridor and nesting grounds.  The watershed is under stress due to urbanization, fragmentation of habitat and stormwater runoff.  A lot of the work he oversees in his role at Audubon Mid-Atlantic is focused on the Schuylkill River sub-watershed.  The efforts are devoted to restoring the riparian habitat, reducing habitat fragmentation and attracting public money for the various projects necessary for these purposes.  He highlighted some of the efforts carried out with the involvement of a range of volunteers at Perkiomen Creek (Montgomery County), and Whitby Meadow and Cobbs Creek in West Philadelphia.

The meeting was recorded. YouTube link: https://youtu.be/g5XrTWoZpm0


After the presentation and some questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm.