Minutes – May 5, 2016

7:30 PM Academy of Natural Sciences
Meeting called by President Phil Witmer
Secretary Linda Widdop
Attendees 26
Guests Nic Scogna, Jeanne Speir

Opening Remarks Phil Witmer

Meeting minutes from previous meeting approved.

Committee Reports

Membership Bonnie Witmer

Bonnie Witmer reports no new applications received this week. Introduce Sandy Bauer (in attendance) as new member. Asks members to take DVOC business cards to hand out in the field.

Conservation George Armistead

George Armistead announces that Annie Reeves will assume duties of Conservation Chair.


No report

Billings Big Year

No report

Field Trips

Next trip is May 7th 7 AM – Bird banding at Rushton Farm Preserve PA. Migrating passerines will be banded. Arrive at 7 AM for first net check. Meet at the parking lot located at the SE corner of Goshen and Delchester Roads, with the entrance on Delchester Road. Trip Leader – Patty Rehn.
May 7th at 8 AM – Valley Green in Wissahickon Park. mMeet at Valley Green and walk along Forbidden Drive looking for migrants and also lots of Wood Ducks. Lead by Tony Croasdale.
May 8th 7 AM – Mother’s Day warbler walk at John Heinz NWR in Philadelphia. Meet at the Visitor Center parking area. Lead by Jack Creighton.
May 10th (Tuesday) 7:00AM – Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA. Let’s see what birds we can find in the most urban of our city’s parks. I bet we find some good migrants here. Meeting location: 18th and Walnut. Lead by Tony Croasdale.
Many other field trips scheduled for May, not listed here. Check website for details.
May 28th – Matt Halley and Phil Witmer will lead a trip at Mill Grove. Meet at 8 AM. Check website for details.
June 8th Lakehurst trip still has openings. Sign up by May 19th. Send email to Bob Horton if interested.
Details can be found at http://dvoc.org/wp/activities/field-trips/

Communications Linda Widdop

Navin Sasikumar provides a quick preview of new website under construction. Showing the home page. Linda Widdop explains some of the details and goals of the new site including being developed in WordPress, adding membership application form.

Programs George Armistead

George Armistead announces the next 2 meetings and reminds members that there are no summer meetings scheduled except the annual DVOC picnic scheduled for July 9th hosted by Anita and Paul Guris.

Details can be found at: http://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/


Jack Creighton announces that Denis Brenner was out at Heinz NWR in Philadelphia for his first field trip since his accident. Jack and Denis found many early migrants including warblers.
Spring pelagic trips announced by Paul Guris. May 21-22, 2016 Saturday/Sunday Cape May, NJ 18-hour trip. A few spots left for Manteo NC trips. June 3-4, 2016 Friday/Saturday Lewes, DE 18-hour Overnight. June 5-6, 2016 Sunday/Monday Brooklyn, NY Overnight 22-hour trip. Check http://paulagics.com/ for details about these trips.
Tony Croasdale reminds members that the DVOC World Series of Birding team, Ridin’ Birdy, will be defending their crown as champions of the carbon footprint category next weekend. Scouting begins this week. Donations will fund Bird Philly and can be made through the website http://dvoc.org/wp/activities/wsb/wsb-2016/ You can also pledge to donate on a per bird seen basis. Pledges can be sent via email to Tony Croasdale (tony.croasdale@gmail.com) or Bert Filemyr (afilemyr@comcast.net). The team hopes to raise enough to cover entrance fees and support BirdPhilly with $2500.
George Armistead will participate in the World Series of Birding on the Academy of Natural Sciences team with Jason Weckstein, Daniel Lane, and Tom Johnson. The team will be covering Cape May county only and are raising funds to support the Academy’s Ornithology Endowment for research and student training.
Barbara Bassett announces a mobile app in use to stay connected with local sighings in Cape May – WhatsApp. Download the app and ask Barbara to add you to the south jersey birding chat group. Contact Barbara at bbassett489@gmail.com. Cape May Bird Observatory has also created a WhatsApp chat group for the World Series of Birding so you can follow along with scouting reports and action.
Mike O’Brien has bluebird houses for sale.

Local Notes/Sightings

Barbara Bassett saw the Fork-tailed Flycatcher at Assunpink NWR in NJ that has been there for 6 days. Close to dam.
Anita Guris had 2 male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at feeder in Green Lane Montgomery County.
Tony Croasdale’s third grade group saw a Bald Eagle, Red-Tail, Cooper, Osprey and Broadwing Hawk flyover at Wissahickon
Katrina Rakowski saw her lifer Hooded Warbler with Tony Croasdale at Wissahickon Park in Philadelphia. Also saw Black-throated Blue Warblers low in the brush too.
George Armistead tells members that Barred Owls appear to be nesting in Wissahickon Park Lavendar trail. May be the first reported pair nesting in Philadelphia in some time. Tony Croasdale is asking Fairmount Park Commission to build and install Barred Owl nest boxes in the park for next season. Marty Dellwo asked Doris McGovern about reporting sightings in eBird and is told that it is OK to post.
Jack Creighton reports nesting Osprey at the platform in John Heinz NWR in Philadelphia that has been empty for 20 years.
Gregg Gorton reports that last week’s field trip to Cynwyd Heritage Trail And West Laurel Hill Cemetery had many birds including Merlin chasing Mourning Dove.

Main Program

Members Night! Phil Witmer, Patty Rehn, Katrina Rakowski
Phil Witmer – Kestral nest boxes. Building, installing and monitoring Kestrals at Green Lane PA,
Patty Rehn – Voluntourism. Highlights from 3 trips, overview of voluntourism.
Katrina Rakowski- Art and Birds. Chronicle of Katrina’s college thesis tying birds into art in various mediums.


Phil Witmer Adjourns the meeting at 9:08PM
A few members then assembled at Cherry Street Tavern for continued discussion and fun. Celebrating Katrina Rakowski’s graduation!