Minutes – June 7, 2018

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Minutes for June 7, 2018

Time: 7:32pm (in BEES Conference Room)

Call To Order:

President: George Armistead
VP: Linda Widdop; Secretary: Gregg Gorton
Minutes from last meeting approved as submitted.


Members present: 25; Guests: Dave Sharp

Reports from Council:


Committee Reports:

Membership Committee:

Bonnie Witmer
New Members: none
New applications received: none


Matt Halley
Please send your submission to Matt for consideration by the December 31, 2018 deadline.

Conservation Committee:

Ann Bekker
Fifty people, or so, gathered on June 5th at 4pm to celebrate the announcement that the Carpenter’s Woods section of Wissahickon Park has been chosen as Philadelphia County’s “Dedicated Forest” for the Old-Growth Forest Network. The dedication took place at the Ellet Street trail head located at the intersection of Sherman and West Ellet Streets in Mount Airy. –Meeting attendees applauded and acknowledged Ann’s role in documenting the age of the trees, some of which are more than 200 years old.


Navin Sasikumar
DVOC will have a table at the American Birding Expo again this year. The event will be held September 21-23 in Oaks, PA, at the Greater Philadelphia Exposition Center, where it also took place last year. Volunteers are needed to staff the table and to lead field trips. Field trip sites will include Mill Grove, the Heinz Refuge, Valley Forge National Historical Park, and perhaps the Militia Hill Hawk Watch site and Norristown Farm Park. Please contact Navin if you want to help staff the table: Navinsasikumar@gmail.com –and please contact George Armistead if you want to help with a field trip: Armistead.george@gmail.com

Field Trips:

Linda Widdop

Peregrines at St. John the Baptist Church in Manayunk
June 10 and June 15, 2018 at 6:30pm (NOTE: 2 walk dates)
Leader: Judy Stepenaskie
Meet at Venice Island Recreation Center, 7 Lock Haven, Manayunnk. We will get various views of the church and look for the parent birds and their fledglings as we walk over toward the nest site at Rector & Cresson Streets.
Open to members and non-members.

Bright View Farm, Burlington County, New Jersey
June 17, [email protected]:30am – 12:00pm
Trip Leader: Sandra Keller

39 Georgetown-Wrightstown Rd, Chesterfield, NJ
SIGN UP by emailing Sandra: sandrakeller@verizon.net
Free to all members and non-members

Meet approximately 1/4  mile down the entry road. Go to: http://brightviewfarm.com

Bright View Farm garnered the first-ever Conservation Award from DVOC for its development of a grassland. That award was later named for Rosalie Edge.  We will look for grassland birds, such as Grasshopper Sparrow.

Lakehurst Air Station
June 21, 2018
Leader: Bob Horton
(This trip is closed to registration, having filled up.)

→Please contact Linda if you want to lead a trip outside Philadelphia: Linda@techimpact.org
→And, 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/ )


Linda Widdop
Next Meeting will be in September!
Details and Meeting Schedule can be found at http://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/


Holger Pflicke: Please go to the FDR Park Website and fill out the FDR Park User Survey form, which will provide important feedback about the new master plan for revitalization/development of the park, which will be overseen by the Fairmount Park Conservancy, in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Go here: https://myphillypark.org/what-we-do/capital-projects/fdr-park/
Holger also announced a BirdPhilly event at the Cobbs Creek Environmental Center, 700 Cobbs Creek Parkway, Philadelphia, on June 8, [email protected] This is a BYOB that will feature the bird artwork of Evan Lovett and the songs and music of Matt Halley.

Linda Widdop: Reminded the group again to be vigilant for phishing scams using email messages from DVOC Council Members, especially Phil Witmer. If in doubt about the authenticity of a message, contact that person by text, phone, or a separate email message.
Linda also told the group that she was making available (for free) a book by Robert Vallieres and Jacquelyn Howard called Wounded Warriors: A Soldier’s Story of Healing through Birds. The talk for DVOC that Mr. Vallieres was going to deliver this past Spring had to be cancelled due to illness, unfortunately. Phil Witmer then noted that when his and Bonnie’s son, Matt, was hiking the Appalachian trail a couple of years ago he ran into lots of veterans who were immersing themselves in Nature as part of their recovery from war trauma–and this book appears to be another example of that.

Chris Walters: Rob Bierregaard and Kate Garchinsky have produced a children’s book called Belle’s Journey that is based on Rob’s work radio-tagging Osprey over the past 20 years. It is well worth reading, since the text and illustrations are appealing to adults as well as kids. Art McMorris added that it can be found on Amazon, or at the The Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Lane, Mount Airy, Philadelphia.

George Armistead: Announced that he will be leading field trips to Antarctica and Colombia in 2019, and interested members can check the Rockjumper web site or talk with George.

Local Notes:

Bert Filemyr: Just after the second bridge to Ocean City (at the end of the causeway going southeastward out of Somer’s Point), and just at the Welcome Center, and among the mass of trees there, is a remarkable heronry containing perhaps 50 pair of Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Glossy Ibis, and other waders.

Gregg Gorton: On May 20th, a very high-flying Sandhill Crane was spotted over Shortridge Park in Wynnewood, and another one was seen flying very high two days later from Rob Bierregaard’s house, also in Wynnewood. The Shortridge sighting represented species number 148 for the park (since 1993). He also noted that multiple pairs of Sandhill Cranes have been nesting in three northeastern Pennsylvania counties over the past two decades, or more, along with other pairs in some of the western counties. The birds that he saw were flying west-southwestward.

Phil Witmer: Spotted a Peregrine Falcon on the drive in from Wayne for this meeting.

Martin Dellwo: At Fort Mifflin, about a dozen Forster’s Terns and a possible Osprey Nest (far off, in Delaware Country) were seen.

Chris Walters: A Black Skimmer was seen by Al Guarante at Tinicum Island, Delaware River, Delaware County.


Program Speaker:

Peregrine Falcons in Manayunk
Speaker: Judy Stepenaskie
Judy regaled the audience with the magical tale of Peregrines’ arriving to live and raise their young high up in the St. John the Baptist Church at Cresson & Rector Streets in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia. Her superb photographs, and a few from other photographers, richly illustrated her detailed narrative, which was humorous and richly informed.

Judy’s proper moniker for “her” birds


“In the beginning… the peregrine pair was spotted in Winter, 2011, from the Green Street bridge linking Manayunk to Lower Merion”


The Manayunk pair in the air

Meeting Adjourned:


After Meeting at Cherry Street Tavern:

As usual, some hardy members enjoyed beverages and bird-chat.