Minutes – January 5, 2017 (Annual Member’s Meeting)

7:30 PM Jenkins Arboretum

Meeting called by President Phil Witmer
Vice President: George Armistead
Secretary: Linda Widdop
Attendees: 47
Guests: Lauren Diamond

Opening Remarks Phil Witmer

“Gee – I have a funny feeling that I’ve been here before

It has been an honor to lead DVOC for another year; although, I think you will all agree that it was tragic that it was necessary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve Kacir’s family and hope they are dealing with their loss.

I am proud of the way DVOC has reacted to our loss. We have come together in our grief to be able to move ahead. I want to thank our leadership for making this possible: the officers, counselors, committee chairs and trustees for their continued hard work and dedication to the club.

The state of the club is excellent. Our membership remains stable. Our finances are strong (more about this later) and we have young members rising to take leadership roles. We also have senior members who continue to provide an historical perspective. I will deny any reports that I said Bert is Old.

We all have our unique point of view on the meaning and mission of the club. Some of you will focus on the joy of birding, some of you are professional ornithologists and still others are concerned about conservation. These are not mutually exclusive and I think the club can and should strive to enhance all of those experiences for our members.

I have made no secret of my political views. While some of you might not be as rabid as I am, I think we can all agree that we are entering a period in our country’s history that has strong currents of anti-scientific thought and ignorance of the risks of climate change.

It is my hope for the future of the club that we take a strong stand for the protection of birds and their habitat, both through our own actions and our support for other conservation organizations.

I continue to be awed by the birding skill and camaraderie of you all and I thank you for the privilege of serving you.”

Committee Reports

Nominating: Art McMorris

Election of officers and councilors. Art asks members in attendance to vote for the following:
President – Martin Dellwo
Vice President – George Armistead
Secretary – Linda Widdop
Treasurer – Bert Filemyr
Councilors – Barbara Bassett and Navin Sasikumar.
All nominees are voted “Aye” unanimously

Art McMorris announces that Councilors at Large – Gregg Gorton and Tony Croasdale will rotate off of council.

The following DVOC Fellows are announced:
Louise Zematis – She has contributed to ornithology in an immense way. She is a talented and published artist, and legendary leader. Her skills with people on field trips are almost unparalleled. And she now leads international trips for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. She is also in her own way a historian, keeping track of and tabs on so many people from all of our pasts. This is a special and caring skill. Her main contribution to the club has been as the Compiler of the Cape May CBC for many years, a venerable count that is de facto a DVOC event. And she is just the nicest person!
Patty Rehn – She has contributed to the club by leading bird walks, serving on Council and contributing photos for, and judging the member photo contest. Patty is a true nature lover spending many hours volunteering around the world through “voluntourism” opportunities. Most recently working with Atlantic Puffins in Maine.
Navin Sasikumar – for tremendous work on redesigning the DVOC website, serving on the Communications and Banquet Committees, and assisting with field trips. Navin’s enthusiasm for birding and birders is infectious.
Holly Merker – Her work at Hawk Mountain and eBird is not measurable. She is one of the best teachers that I’ve ever met. She is a member of the DVOC Council, the Conservation Committee, the PBR, and does field trips for the ABA. Holly is also one of the nicest people that you’ll ever meet!

Art introduces the new club President – Martin “Marty” Dellwo who presides over the rest of the meeting. Marty acknowledges that he will serve a special one year term in order to keep the other Officers cycles in tact.

Membership: Bonnie Witmer

Bonnie Witmer reports that 2016 was a good year for new membership and reminds members that DVOC business cards are available for use by members. Invite other birders to join DVOC when possible.

Conservation: Anne Reeves

No report

Field Trips: Tony Croasdale

Tony reminds members that the Philadelphia Mid-winter Bird Census is scheduled for Saturday January 7th. Coordinated by Keith Russell and PA Audubon.

Tony will lead a trip to FDR park in south Philadelphia on Jan 14th to look for wintering waterfowl. Meet in the parking area at 10 AM.

Tony announces that Cindy Ahern is coordinating a trip to Maine June 10 – 14. This five-day, four-night field trip arranged by Cindy Ahern, will target Maine specialties in the Baxter State Park and Downeast regions of the state.

Field Trip details can always be found at http://dvoc.org/wp/activities/field-trips/

Cassinia: Matthew Halley

Matt reports that the state of Cassinia is strong. Publication is back on a 2 year cycle with next issue due out this year. Contact Matt directly if you have content to contribute.

Billings Big Year: Art McMorris

Art asks members who participated in the 2016 contest to hand in checklists by end of January and describes the Bob Billings Big Year competition.

Full information on the Bob Billings Big Year is on the DVOC website: http://dvoc.org/wp/about/committees/billings/

Upcoming Meetings: George Armistead

January 19th 2017 at the Academy of Natural Sciences – Dr. Charles Wurster – DDT Wars: Character Assassination, Slander, and DDT Science
February 2nd at the Academy of Natural Science – George Armistead – Crying Wolf: The Proper Use of Playback

Meeting schedule and details can be found at http://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/

Youth Birding: Cindy Ahern

Cindy reports that the committee has secured a scholarship spot for a young birder at Camp Avocet for this coming year. This is an opportunity for a young birder ages 13-18 to attend the ABA camp for free.

Details about Youth Birding and the scholarship can be found here: http://dvoc.org/wp/about/committees/youth-birding/
Details about Camp Avocet can be found here: http://events.aba.org/aba-young-birder-camps/

Annual Treasurer’s Report: Bert Filemyr

Bert reports that it is his duty to report a summary of the club’s accounts once a year. Details are always available to members by asking Bert for the information.

2016 summary shown to members via PowerPoint slides – The club is in good financial shape
Members may receive a copy of the PowerPoint by request.


Martin Dellwo reminds members to join the Philadelphia Mid-winter Bird Census on Saturday January 7th.

Local Notes/Sightings

Win Shafer tells members that he just returned from a trip to New Zealand and encourages everyone to go!
Tony Croasdale tells members that he just returned from a trip to Australia and encourages everyone to go there too!
Navin Sasikumar reports a Baltimore Oriole coming to his feeder for the second year in a row. This is remarkable and made even more so by the fact that Navin moved to a new apartment this year.
Marty Dellwo reports that he saw the Rock Wren in Somerset NJ and a Brewer’s Blackbird in Cape May NJ last weekend. Marty also reports a White-crowned Sparrow and Redhead duck at the Navy Yard.
Bob Horton saw a Barnacle Goose in NJ
Gregg Gorton saw the Black-headed Gull that has been at Heinz NWR impoundment this week.
Cindy Ahern has a Red-breasted Nuthatch at her feeders. Also saw the Pink-footed Goose at Lyons VA Hospital in NJ.
Mike Rosengarten saw an Evening Grosbeak at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn NY where he has been working lately.
Tom Lincoln reported a good trip to St. Augustine FL where he saw many Bald Eagles.

Presentation – The Strange Case of Club Member Charles J. Pennock by Bert Filemyr

Bert Filemyr’s short presentation ““From the Archives: “The Strange Case of Club Member Charles J. Pennock


Martin Dellwo Adjourns the meeting at 8:45 PM for food and drink in the Arboretum lobby. Thanks to Bonnie Witmer for coordinating the pot luck and hosting.