Minutes – Jan. 17, 2019

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:36pm

Call To Order:

President: Marty Dellwo (for George Armistead)
VP: Linda Widdop; Secretary: Gregg Gorton


Members present: 26; 1 guest: Sena Singer

Reports from Council:


Committee Reports:


Gregg Gorton (for Bonnie Witmer)

New Members: Maya Langer (present), James & Candace Fritz, Bernard Foy

Report for 2018:

The club took in 30 new members in 2018.  Just over half of those are women. Four memberships were “household” (for two people). One member is in high school, two are in college, two are grad students, two are retired, 12 described themselves as beginning birders, nine described themselves as long-time birders, 11 are from Philadelphia, 17 are from elsewhere in Pennsylvania, and two are from Delaware.  Bonnie is hopeful that the club can continue to expand and can continue to become increasingly diverse in every respect.

Billings Competition:

Art McMorris

Please hand in your list of birds from last year by January 31, 2019.

And, the requirment that participants must sign up by March 31 has been removed!  Therefore, all members are eligible to compete for the prize, so long as they are in good standing for the entire year in which they are competing.

All members are urged to participate in this fun event!
The concept is simple:
(2) At the end of the year, if you’ve had a good year, hand in your checklist. If you’d rather not hand in a checklist, then don’t. The member who has seen the most birds in the DVOC area during the year wins $200.00 and bragging rights.
Full details are on the website at http://dvoc.org/about/committees/billings/

Have a happy new year, and Good Birding!

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, follow signs for the 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.

–>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:

“Return of the Raven”

February 7, [email protected]:00pm in BEES Conference Room

Speaker: Rick Radis


Bert Filemyr:  Congratulations to club member and this past year’s Rosalie Edge Award winner, Laurie Goodrich, who has been selected to be the Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.  For more information:

Gregg Gorton: The Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust (PERT) will hold a lecture next Tuesday on the story of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker at Chipola River Wildlife Sanctuary (previously managed by National Audubon; now a Wildlife Management Area) in the Florida panhandle. Professor Fredrik Bryntesson of Bryn Athyn College will present fascinating new historical research on the efforts to conserve and re-find the Ivory-billed Woodpecker at that site. Time and place: January 22, [email protected]:00-8:30pm, at PERT, 2955 Edgehill Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA.

Debbie Beer: Bill Thompson III, of Bird Watchers’ Digest and the American Birding Expo–known to many of us–has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  He is undergoing chemotherapy. You can get information about how he is doing and how to donate to his medical expenses by going to Carebridge on the web:   https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bt3updates

Mike Walter: Be aware that if you go into the harbor area at the Naval Yard  (bounded by Broad Street, Constitution and Langley Avenues , security officers may tell you to leave, as happened to him recently.  But it is okay to observe the river at the bottom of Broad Street, which is where birders typically go.

Local Notes:

Rob Bierregaard: He and Art McMorris found a Common Raven in the Army Corps area east of the airport during the Mid-winter Count.

Marty Dellwo: Had two ravens at the Water Treatment Plant, and two Cape May Warblers, a Nashville Warbler, 3 or 4 Orange-crowned Warblers, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and an Eastern Phoebe during the Mid-winter Count. And, Jason Horn found an Audubon’s form of Yellow-rumped Warbler three days ago. There was also a Red-necked Grebe at Glen Foerde during the Mid Winter Census, which he believes is a new species for the census.  Finally, at Avalon, NJ, two weeks ago there was a huge movement of Razorbills and even 3 Dovekies seen from the Eight Street Jetty.

Barb Bassett: Tom Reed (counter at the Sea Watch in Avalon, at the mouth of Townsend’s Inlet at 7th St. and First Avenue) had 10,600 Razorbills, and some Common Murres, and a Thick-billed Murre.

Kelly Johnson:  Saw a Red-shouldered Hawk at Westchester University.

Debbie Beer: Three Saw-whet Owls were seen at the Heinz Refuge. A Snowy Owl was at Dover Air Force Base.

Maya Langford: At Barnegat Lighthouse, saw a first-cycle Iceland Gull, 3 Northern Gannets, a Razorbill, and some Harlequin Ducks and Common Eiders.

Linda Widdop: Finally had Pine Siskins at her feeder.

Win Shafer: Saw a White-winged Scoter on the River at the Navy Yard.

Bert Filemyr: A Black Phoebe was showing near Delaware Water Gap, north of Dingman’s Ferry in northeastern Sussex County, PA.


Program Speaker:

Champions of the Flyway
Speaker: Aidan Place

Aidan is a student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who led a team of three young American birders (The ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears) who participated in the Champions of the Flyway Event in Israel. Theirs was the first-ever North American Youth Team, which was co-sponsored by the American Birding Association and Leica. He presented an excellent tale of the team’s origin, members, activities and sightings during the event, with a rich series of photographs of birds, places, participants, and information. He was warmly received, and many noted how polished his presentation was despite his youth.

Team members Aidan Place, Marky Mutchler & Johanna Beam, with sponsoring ABA reps (Jeff & Liz Gordon, Nate Swick) and Leica rep Jeff Bouton

An All-teams Photo with The Sub-adult Wheatears’ results

Main Meeting Adjourned: 8:48pm

After-meeting Gathering at Cherry Street Tavern:

After the formal meeting, members enjoyed beverages and bird-chat, and young Aidan came along, though he could not drink alcohol.  The ABA President, Jeff Gordon, was there to chaperone, and a rousing time was had.

Aidan, Jeff Gordon (ABA Pres.) & Linda Widdop at far end, with enthusiastic group at Cherry Street.