Minutes – May 3, 2018

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:36pm (in BEES Conf Rm)

Call To Order:

Acting President: Phil Witmer
VP: Linda Widdop; Secretary: Gregg Gorton
Minutes from last meeting approved as submitted.


Members present: 23; Guests: Mark Greenberry

Reports from Council:


Committee Reports:

Membership Committee:

Bonnie Witmer
New Members: none
New applications received: Mark Greenberry


Matt Halley
–>Please send any written submission to Matt for consideration by the December 31, 2018 deadline.

Field Trips:

Linda Widdop
Shorebirds Along Delaware Bayshore

NOTE: Time Change for best tides
May 06, 2018 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
114 Matts Landing Rd., Heislerville, NJ 08324
Trip Leader: Linda Widdop, Yong Kong, Harvey Tomlinson
Free to all members and non-members

Join Linda Widdop, Harvey Tomlinson and Yong Kong in search of migrating shorebirds along the Delaware Bayshore. May is a great time of year to find shorebirds in breeding (alternate) plumage. We will stop at celebrated Cumberland county hotspots including Heislerville WMA, Thompson’s Beach and Glades in search of sandpipers, plovers,  Red Knots and more.

Bring binoculars and a scope if you have one. Leaders will have scopes to share too. Exact route to be determined based on tides. We will carpool and drive to each location. Feel free to jump in for partial route if that suits your schedule better.

CANCELLED – Explore Delaware Water Gap
May 12, 2018 @ 7:30 am – 9:00 pm
Trip Leaders: Anne Bekker and Michael Sonkowsky

Wissahickon Environmental Center – Andorra Tree House
300 W Northwestern Ave – Philadelphia                                         May 13, 2018 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Trip Leader: Martin Selzer
Free to all members and non-members

Join Martin Selzer to explore this area rich in migrating and breeding birds. The meadows host breeding bluebirds and migrating raptors and sparrows. The woods have breeding scarlet tanagers and pileated wood peckers, while the edges are great places to see migrating warblers and vireos. You can often find rose-breasted grosbeaks and indigo buntings at the feeders this time of the year.

Tannersville Cranberry Bog
May 19, 2018 @ 7:30 am – 12:00 pm
SEE BELOW for meeting location
Trip Leader: Cindy Ahern
Free to all members and non-members
The Tannersville Cranberry Bog, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, partnered with programming by Kettle Creek EEC, is recognized as the southernmost low altitude boreal bog along the eastern seaboard and is designated as a National Natural Landmark.  Tannersville Cranberry Bog was once a 715 acre kettle lake formed thousands of years ago by glacial depressions, eventually becoming filled in by layers of sphagnum moss to 60 feet deep, creating an acidic fen providing a unique habitat for many species of plants and animals usually found in northern boreal bogs.

This trip will focus on boreal breeding species including Canada Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, and Purple Finch. Uncommon to rare acid-loving plants occur in this plant community, including May-blooming rarities Kalmia polifolia(bog laurel) and Andromeda polifolia (bog rosemary). If the weather is warm, we may observe a variety of odes, Spotted Turtle and other herps (Ribbon Snake has been observed on the property in the past).

The property has been designated as a Pennsylvania Important Mammal Area, providing important habitat for otters, beavers, bobcat, and bears.  The 150 acre wetland and bog is part of a 775 acre preserve and is surrounded by upland woods that should be productive for breeders and migrating species.  The Tannersville Cranberry Bog is publicly accessible only for scheduled public tours or by special permit, and participants for this trip are limited to 15.  All students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  This is a free trip, donations to Kettle Creek EEC are suggested and appreciated (checks acceptable made out to Kettle Creek EEC).

Contact Cindy Ahern to reserve your place for this trip and for meeting location: songbird5212@msn.com, or call or text to 215-840-4010

Tacony Creek Park
799 E Tabor Rd – Philadelphia
May 19, 2018 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Trip Leader: Keith Russell
Free to all members and non-members

When: Sat, May 19, 8:00am – 10:30am
Where: 799 E Tabor Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19120, USA
Description Join us for a FREE walk led by expert birder Keith Russell of Audubon PA. Expect some good bird spotting during the Spring migration, in addition to our great year-round birds.

Amico Island Park
81 Norman Ave – Riverside

May 20, 2018 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Trip Leader: Sandra Keller

Free to all members and non-members
Sandra’s Burlington County series of trips will hit Amico Island in May. May is migration month and hopefully the weather cooperates. If not a good migration day, we can switch locations easily and explore Taylor’s Refuge which is near here. Here is a link to the site – with a trail map.

The site says the park opens at 8:00 AM so we will start then. Please meet in the parking lot. Plug in 81 Norman Ave. Riverside, NJ to maps to get there.

Please RSVP to Sandra if you are coming. Note that she will also change the start time to 7:00AM if she learns the site is open earlier.  Email: sandrakeller@verizon.net.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
May 26, 2018 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am                                 8600 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA

Trip Leader: Navin Sasikumar
Free to all members and non-members
Join Navin Sasikumar for the end of spring migration and the beginning of the breeding season for many song birds. This is a good time for shorebirds and warblers.

–>Please contact Linda 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/ )


Linda Widdop
May 17, [email protected] 7:30pm-9pm (in BEES Conference Room)
The Physics of Flight
Speaker: Tom Reider
Details and Meeting Schedule can be found at http://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/


Tony Croasdale: DVOC will have a World Series of Birding team this year, in partnership with the American Birding Association (ABA) and Steiner Optics. The team will compete in the Carbon Footprint Challenge, on bicycles, and will consist of Tony, Katrina Rakowski, Bull Gervasi, and Jeff Gordon (ABA President). Funds raised from donations (which can be made either at the WSB website or the DVOC website) will be used by BirdPhilly for its Birding Backpack Program and a new Program for the Visually Impaired. For the latter program, bird specimens that would otherwise be discarded due to lack of the necessary associated scientific information, are being donated by the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University.

Marty Dellwo: The current issue of Science Magazine has an article on the physics of hummingbird flight, and anyone may borrow or keep Marty’s copy.

Matt Halley: Gregg Gorton’s talk at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on the life and work of the renowned ornithologist Ted Parker, delivered on April 20, 2018 at the Museum of Natural Science, was live-streamed on Facebook (LSU Museum site), and an effort will be made to provide a link to that lecture in the DVOC Weekly Digest or on the DVOC website.

Navin Sasikumar: Philadelphia conducted its first ever city-wide bioblitz between April 27th and April 30th. After 4 days of blitzing, there were 932 observations and 283 species, with 40 people submitting observations. Out of the 283 species, 70 were birds (including 14 species of warbler), 7 mammals, 16 insects, 5 reptiles, 3 amphibians, 5 fish, 2 arachnids, 5 fungi (including lichens) and 164 species of plants. https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/philadelphia-city-bioblitz-2018

Anne Bekker: 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 ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 5th at 4:00 pm at the Ellet Street trail head located at the intersection of Sherman and West Ellet Streets in Mount Airy. Watch your DVOC Weekly Digest for more details.

Local Notes:

Rob Bierregaard: Had a Blue-headed Vireo in his yard in Wynnewood, Montgomery County, and he watched a Red-tailed Hawk make off with one of his Eastern Gray Squirrels.

Matt Halley: Had a Black-billed Cuckoo come in so he could get a close look, plus a Blackpoll Warbler, along the Pipeline Cut at John Heinz NWR this morning.

Bert Filemyer: He and Mike Rosengarten were in Northern Delaware, where they found good numbers of Dunlin, Yellowlegs, peeps, and other shorebirds. And, in Heislerville, Maurice River Township, Cumberland County, NJ, they saw two White-faced Ibis and a Wilson’s Phalarope.

Phil Witmer: Had Pine and “Myrtle” Warblers, Indigo Bunting, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and a Pileated Woodpecker in his backyard in Wayne, Delaware County.

Anne Bekker: Reported on birds at Carpenter’s Woods – including Hooded, Nashville, Blue-winged, Black-throated Green, and Black-throated Blue Warblers, Northern Parula, Northern Waterthrush, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, & Great-crested Flycatcher.

Jack Creighton: Saw ten species of warbler at John Heinz NWR.

Martin Dellwo: This past Sunday, had 13 species of warbler, including Louisiana Waterthrush, along the Lavender Trail in the Upper Wissahickon where a tributary stream comes into the creek. Veery and Swainson’s Thrush were also seen.

Rick Mellon: at Five Mile Woods, 1315-1329 Big Oak Rd., Morrisville (Lower Makefield Twp.), Bucks County, PA.

Matt Halley: He and Sara Busch rescued a Red-throated Loon at John Heinz NWR, but it unfortunately died at Tri-State Bird Rescue and will become a part of the collection at the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University.

Chris Walters: Found some very young Wood Duck ducklings at Ridley Creek State Park, Delaware County.

Tony Croasdale: Opined that Cedar Waxwings seem to be seen more frequently in Philadelphia, and he wondered whether that species is become more adapted to the urban environment. Martin Dellwo commented that he has had that species nesting near his home in the city, and Matt Halley reported that there were some fledglings of that species at FDR Park last year. Anne Bekker had a nest in a Hackberry Tree at her house last year.

Program Speaker:

Todd Pover
Piping Plovers: Along the Flyway—New Jersey, The Bahamas, and Beyond
Todd gave a thorough summary of the conservation and species restoration work that he and others of his colleagues and volunteers have been engaged in over the past 15 years, including not only nest protection in New Jersey but also efforts to restore habitat in the Bahamas, partnering with local folk there, especially on Abaco Island.

Todd Pover

Meeting Adjourned:


After Meeting at Cherry Street Tavern:

As usual, some members enjoyed beverages and bird-chat