Minutes – January 18, 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. 

Navin Sasikumar filled in for Nilesh Shah as secretary. 

Call to Order: President Barb Bassett

Call to Order: 7:30 PM

Barb introduced all the officers and councilors.

Attendees: 12 in-person; 36 on Zoom. 

The minutes from the last meeting were approved.

Committee Reports

Membership – Barb Bassett for Rebecca Reicherter

We have three new members so far this year Michelle Uhl, and Joe and Hannah Reitz.

Field Trips – Barb Bassett for Linda Widdop

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

Upcoming field trips:

  • January 21 @ 8:30 am – 11:30 am – Cape May Point State Park with Barb Bassett
  • February 03 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am – Waterfowl with FDR Park with Holger Pflicke
  • February 10 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am – Pennypack on the Delaware with Holger Pflicke
  • February 11 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am – Winter Gulls at Glen Foerd with Holger Pflicke
  • February 17 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am – Great Backyard Bird Count Walk at Laurel Hill Cemetery (East) with Navin Sasikumar
  • February 17 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am – Great Backyard Bird Count Walk at West Laurel Hill Cemetery with Ken Walsh

Conservation – Barb Bassett

No report

Billings – Art McMorris

January 31st is the deadline for submitting your checklists for the 2023 Bob Billings Big Year contest. You can initially just send your number of species to Art. If it is close to the highest, Art will ask for your full checklist. The number to beat right now is 280. The winner gets $200 and bragging rights. See the website for more details. 

Cassinia – Holger

The current issue of Cassinia is in the works. Additionally, if you have any notable observations – it doesn’t have to be a rarity, it can be uncommon behavior or anything interesting – from last year please send them to Holger for publication in the 2025 issue.


No announcements

Local Notes:

Tanya Burnett reported a Black Guillemot being seen at Shark River Inlet, New Jersey. She also had a Long-tailed Duck at FDR yesterday; this was a first record for the hotspot. 

Linda Rowan said that a pair of Red-tailed Hawks have been working on their nest in Levittown, Bucks County, PA. The hawks were perched side-by-side atop the nest tower today.

Manny Dominguez reported Redhead, Red-throated Loons, Long-tailed Ducks (Ben Filreis had 33!) at the Navy Yard this week. He also had Horned Lark and American Pipit there. 

Barb Bassett had a few reports from New Jersey. On January 6th, a Rufous Hummingbird was seen in Franklin Township, Gloucester County, NJ. This bird has been continuing since November 2023. On January 8th, a Bullock’s Oriole was reported feeding with Baltimore Orioles in 2 different yards in West Cape May. On January 8th, Sandhill Cranes were reported in West Cape May at the Rea Farm. Dovekies and Razorbills were reported from Sunset Beach, Cape May on January 10th, and a Canvasback at Cape May Harbor on January 17th. Barb also reported that the Red-flanked Bluetail has been continuing in Whiting, NJ. 

Marty Dellwo said that a Clay-colored Sparrow has been continuing at Pennypack on the Delaware (POD) for a month. Marty also reported a Nashville Warbler at The Woodlands in Philadelphia. He also added that 10 species of warblers have been seen in Philadelphia County this year – Yellow-rumped Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Palm Warbler, Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and Common Yellowthroat. 

Gregg Gorton asked if the Ash-throated Flycatcher was still present at Heinz and people in the audience reported that it was still being seen. 

Yellow-breasted Chat was reported at Broad and McKean and was posted on iNat and Facebook. 

Ken Walsh reported a Western Kingbird in Exton feeding on corn stalks in the field. He added that someone had two Western Kingbirds somewhere between Brigantine and Cape May. He also reported a Say’s Phoebe in Lancaster County. He also saw a Peregrine Falcon do a full dive for the first time.

Programs: Navin Sasikumar

Navin announced that the next meeting will be on February 1st in the BEES classroom. Campbell Simmons will share how they use their job at River Network as well as their personal involvement in Philly to advocate for a sustainable future for both people and birds. Campbell is a lifelong birder and the Climate Resilient Communities and Policy Associate at River Network. Through their work and personal dedication, Campbell strives to empower communities to advocate for sustainable climate resilience, build connections between people and nature, and cultivate community-centered environmentalism.

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

Evening Program

Katrina Clark gave a highly engaging and informative program on how to lead accessible and engaging bird walks. She emphasized that a leader does not necessarily mean an expert, but is someone who can think about the group, pull people together, and foster connections. A good leader makes sure everyone in the group is comfortable and enjoying themselves. Some of the cultural shifts she talked about were checking in regularly with people, that there was no such thing as bad birds, having good energy vs quietude, encouraging growth without assumptions, and allowing for practice and problem-solving. You can watch the full program here on the DVOC YouTube Channel


After the presentation and some questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20pm.