Minutes – Oct 18, 2018

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:36pm (in Commons)

Call To Order:

President: Marty Dellwo (for George Armistead)
VP: Linda Widdop; Secretary: Gregg Gorton
Minutes from last meeting approved as submitted.


Members present: 22; Guests: 2

Reports from Council:


Committee Reports:

Membership Committee:

Gregg Gorton (for Bonnie Witmer)
New Members: Ayyappan Nair, Bob Michener, Katie and Geof Margo
New applications received: Debra Wexler

Conservation Committee

Anne Bekker

There will be a work day at Carpenter’s Woods in Mt. Airy on November 18, 2018.  The focus will be on meadow restoration. Meet at 9AM. —> Please go to the Friends of Carpenter’s Woods for details: https://www.focw.org

Note also the ongoing planning for the renovation of FDR Park.  Go to this link for details: https://myphillypark.org/what-we-do/capital-projects/fdr-park/?mc_cid=b6572caaff&mc_eid=5225f00f3


Navin Sasikumar (for Lauren Diamond)

For Banquet tickets ($49.50), please go to the DVOC website.

Note that there will be an Art Show again this year!

And, please submit photographs of DVOC birders to Bonnie Witmer, who will set up a “slide” show of those images submitted, which will be shown during the social hour before the dinner.  Bonnie: bonnie.witmer@verizon.net


Field Trips:

Discovery Center at East Park Reservoir                                                                                                                Oct. 27, [email protected] – 9:30am                                                                                                                                 3401 Reservoir Drive, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Leader: Keith Russell

Join Audubon Philadelphia for a bird walk on the grounds of the newly-opened Discovery Center–a project of the National Audubon Society and Philadelphia Outward Bound School. This site is now accessible to the general public after having been closed for thirty years, and is home to approxi-mately 150 bird species. This one-mile walk should yield some migrating passerines, raptors and waterfowl.

Free to all members and Non-members


Tannersville Cranberry Bog: CANCELLED                                                                                                            Oct. 27, [email protected] – 1pm

Delaware Water Gap, Stroudsburg

Leader: Cindy Ahern



Hidden Valley Saw-whet Owl Banding Station                                                                                                    (Station run by Scott Weidensaul)                                                                                                                          Oct. 27, [email protected]:30pm – MN

Leader: Cindy Ahern                                                                                                                                                  NOTE: You must register! –> Contact Cindy: Songbird5212@msn.com, or call/text 215-840-4010


Whitesbog Preservation Trust: Birding Burlington County                                                                                120 W. Whites Bogs Road #34, Browns Mills, NJ 08015                                                                                    Oct. 28, [email protected] – 4pm                                                                                                                                        Leader: Sandra Keller

Meet at noon at the village parking lot.

RSVP is required: to Sandrakeller@verizon.net

Free to all members and non-members


Waggoners Gap                                                                                                                                                            Nov. 3, [email protected]                                                                                                                                          Waggoners Gap Road, Landisburg, PA 17040

Trip Leader: Tony Croasdale

Free to all members and non-members.

This trip is timed to see Golden Eagles and hopefully Northern Goshawk. While the drive to the site is farther than to Hawk Mountain, you can drive almost to the lookout! Afterward, the group will repair to Harrisburg for a pint at Millworks.


Explore FDR Park in South Philly                                                                                                                            Nov. 4, [email protected]                                                                                                                                          1500 Pattison Avenue and S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Trip Leaders: Holger Pflicke & Gregg Gorton

Free to all members and non-members

FDR Park is one of the top 3 birding destinations in Philadelphia!

Meet at the Parking Lot just east of the gazebo (GPS: 39.903522, – 75.178762)


–>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
November 2, [email protected] 7:30pm-9pm (in Commons)
Winter Birding in Canada

Speaker: Bert Filemyr



Marty Dellwo:  1) The Big Sit at Heinz NWR on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 in honor of recently deceased member Henry “Hank” Hox was a smashing success, with 80 species identified, the second-most ever in this, the ninth year of this event.  Tony Croasdale founded it in 2007, and since 2010 it has been shepherded by Debbie Beer and Adrian Binns.  Birding ran from 5:08am until 6:30pm, and new species for the event were Northern Raven, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Purple Finch, and the ever-elusive House Sparrow.  2) Paul and Anita Guris, of See Life Paulagics will run a trip out of Cape May on November 10, 2018, but seven more people are needed for the trip to run, so sign up: info@paulagics.com or 215-234-6805.

Bonnie Witmer:  1) The Fall Festival at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge will be on October 13, [email protected] – 3pm. DVOC will have a table for public outreach. 2) I recommend a wonderful series of award-winning Birder Murder Mystery books, by Steve Burrows, including the first one, entitled A Siege of Bitterns– so, if you enjoy a good mystery, check them out!

Win Shafer:  Found in Rushton Farm mist nets recently: Tennessee and Cape May Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chat (the first ever at that site), and Purple Finch.  They will soon start banding Saw-whet owls.

Anne Bekker: Birds banded recently at the Valley Forge Tract included Blue-headed Vireo, Magnolia and Cape May Warblers, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Purple Finch.

Marty Dellwo:  A Black-throated Gray Warbler was seen in New Jersey, and another one in Lancaster, PA.  And, he and Mike Walter heard a Raven calling while at the Navy Yard. He wondered how many pair may now be in the area.

Rick Mellon: At the Newtown Exit off I-95, more than 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were present.

Linda Widdop:  On Oct. 13, 2018, at least 30 Yellow-billed Cuckoo were found at Higbee Beach.

Local Notes:

Art McMorris: Gave his annual breeding season report on Peregrine Falcons in Pennsylvania. There are now 54 pair, including 7 pair in the Delaware Valley (a higher density than anywhere else in the state). This is an all-time high number. Forty pair bred successfully, and 107 young fledged, which gives a ratio of 1.98 per parental pair. Since the rate of successful breeding has exceeded the threshhold criteria for three years in a row, Art has applied to have this species status upgraded from endangered to threatened–which represents a huge success! Go to the Pennsylvania Game Commission Website if you would like to participate in the public comment period, which is now open: http://pgc.pa.gov

Gregg Gorton:  There is a wooden tower at the new Strawberry Mansion Discovery Center that is part of the Outward Bound ropes course. It affords great potential as a hawk-watching spot, though it sways a little bit, so scoping is somewhat difficult.

Matt Halley: Cape May has had outstanding flights of falcons and accipiters lately, and a Brown Booby was found, as well as a Connecticut Warbler at Higbee Beach.  He also had a late Common Nighthawk in Mt. Airy.

Tony Croasdale: On October 2nd, Ben and Elliott Dziedzic located a Rock Wren at Dixon Meadow Preserve in White Marsh Twp. near Plymouth Meeting. A show of hands revealed that a dozen or so members of the audience had already gone to see it.

George Armistead: This is an irruption year for Red-breasted Nuthatches!

Holger Pflicke: A lot of birds have been moving in the night skies, as detected by his night flight-call recording equipment.


Program Speakers:

“Tips and Techniques for Planning a Big Birding Trip”

Panel Members: Martin Seltzer, Don Jones and Linda Widdop

This was an extremely useful presentation and discussion (among panel members and the audience) about the nuts and bolts of planning a variety of types of trips, replete with fond reminiscences from past trips near and far.  The true geographic breadth of what DVOC members do was amply demonstrated, as well as the range of birding adventures they seek.

The Panel, with moderator Linda


Vicarious birding-tripping?


Planning a Big Trip


More: Planning a Big Trip


Meeting Adjourned:


After Meeting at Cherry Street Tavern:

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