Minutes – Sept 19, 2019

Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

Time: 7:41pm

Call To Order:

President: George Armistead
VP: Linda Widdop; Secretary: Gregg Gorton


Members present: 50; guests: Ross & Melissa Gallardy, William Bassett, Jonathan Volinsky

Reports from Council: 


Committee Reports:


Bonnie Witmer

New members: Stephanie & Mark Griffin, Peg Shaw, Nilesh Patel, Sarah Cleary, Joseph Timoney Jr. Nilesh was the only one present, and he was welcomed.

Applicants: Ian Schramm

Field Trips:

Linda Widdop

Fall Migration Walk

Henry Botanic Foundation

Sept 21, [email protected]:30-10:30am

801 Stony Lane (off Rte 23 W at Henry Lane)

Gladwyne, Montgomery County, PA

Leader: Gregg Gorton

West Fairmount Park Walk

Sept 22, [email protected]

4701 S. Concourse Drive, Philadelphia

(Meet at Concourse Lake Parking Lot, corner of Belmont and S. Concourse)

Leader: Holger Pflicke

Manayunk Chimney Swift Roost

Sept 23, [email protected]:30pm

Dobson School

4667 Umbria Street, Manayunk, Philadelphia, PA 19127

(Park at Ivy Ridge Train Station)

Leader: Judy Stepenaskie

Discovery Center Bird Walks

Sept 28 & Oct 13, [email protected]

Fairmount Park, East Reservoir

3401 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Leader: Keith Russell

Explore the East Park Reservoir with Keith Russell

–>Please contact Linda Widdop 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/ and http://birdphilly.org/events.html

Up-coming Program:  

Linda Widdop  

On October 3, 2019, our speaker will be Professor Marc Schmidt from UPenn, talking about “Bird Song: A Framework to Study the Neurobiology of Courtship Behavior in Songbirds.” 


Lauren Diamond

Save this date: Nov 21, 2019 at 6:30pm!  The banquet will again be at the Sheet Metal Workers’ Hall on Delaware Avenue.  The Bird Art Show will take place again this year, and Jeff Gordon, President of the American Birding Association, will be the featured speaker. 


George Armistead: A special event jointly sponsored by DVOC, Wyncote Audubon and the Keneseth Israel Sustainability Committee, on September 25, 2019 at 1:30pm and 7pm will be two talks by the Israeli ornithologist Jonathan Meyrav at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, 8339 Old York Rd., Elkins Park. The afternoon matinee talk will be “Birds & Birding in the Holy Land,” and the evening talk will be “Israel–Where Migration is Defined.” Following the evening presentation there will be a panel discussion on climate, birds and conservation with representatives from Audubon PA, Penn Environment, Sierra Club, and the Energy Cooperative, moderated by Wendy Ankrom, Chair of the Keneseth Israel Sustainability Committee. Meyrav is prominent figure who is also one of the founders of the Champions of the Flyby Bird Race and Fundraiser.

George Armistead: noted the recent passing of two long-time members, Ron French and Emmerson Bowes. French was a former President of DVOC, and Bowes was the first DVOC webmaster. Hopefully, there will be memorial notes about them in a future Cassinia.

George Armistead: Julie Zickefoose will be speaking about her new book, called “Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-luck Jay” at John James Audubon Center on Sat., Sept 21 at 11am. She is a premier bird artist and writer.

Linda Widdop: Frontiers in Ornithology, a new symposium for young birders (13-22 years-old), will take place at Ashland Nature Center, Hockessin, DE, on Sept 28. Our own Matt Halley will be one of the esteemed speakers at the event.

Debbie Beer: This year’s Big Sit event will take place at the Heinz Refuge on the Observation Platform beginning at 6am on Sunday, October 13, 2019. This is the tenth Big Sit there, the first having been organized by Tony Croasdale eleven years ago. After a one-year gap, we started it up again.

George Armistead: Folks brought five bird salvage specimens tonight, and you can look at them in their zip-lock bags where they are laid out on display. They include a beautiful Least Bittern, a Bobolink in winter plumage, a tiny Northern Parula, a juvenile Catbird, and a Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Gregg Gorton: Remember that it is not legal to collect salvage specimens for any other purpose than to donate them to the Academy, which has a salvage license. Just put what you find in a zip-lock bag, freeze it, and then bring it to a meeting. Be sure to write the date & place of collection, and your name. And if you have a theory about what happened to the bird (eg, “window kill”), you can include that.

Local Notes:

Brian Quindlen: The juvenile Purple Gallinule may still be at the Heinz Refuge. Many people have seen it!

George Armistead: That bird is the 4th record for Heinz and the 5th for Philadelphia. And it seems that two people (Rich Horwitz and Katrina Rakowski) saw it before Louise Zemaitis & Michael O’Brien found it and then got the word out about it.

Katrina Rakowski: I took a picture of it, but didn’t realize that it wasn’t a Common Gallinule!

Bonnie Witmer: had a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak and several redstarts in our back yard.

George Armistead: Due to our running past time for our speaker, we will have to move on to this evening’s program.


Evening Program:

Galapagos Islands Voyage

Speaker: Barb Bassett

Barb took us along on her 2017 trip using terrific slides of the birds, the landscapes, many of the other interesting creatures, and the boat inm which she sailed. She also showed us some fabulous underwater video taken while snorkeling among the coral reef and rocky seascapes where the boat anchored. Her humor and ample knowledge of her subject matter made for an alluring evening that ended with more than a handful of audience members excitedly talking about their desire to take a trip to those amazing islands.

Thirteen species, since Green and Grey Warbler Finch have not yet been split.

Meeting adjourned at 9:24pm

After-meeting Gathering at Cherry Street Tavern:

After the formal meeting, a eighteen members enjoyed beverages and bird-chat, obviously pleased with yet another autumnal rebirth of DVOC’s Thursday night meetings.

Obviously, no one was having any fun!