Minutes – September 16, 2021 Delaware Valley Ornithological Club

It was decided to continue virtual meetings due to concerns of COVID-19 rather than return to the Academy of Natural Sciences at this time. Zoom Meeting: Instructions for meeting registration and how to use Zoom were announced on website and weekly digest.

7:00 PM The Pre-Meeting focused on bird sightings.

Call to Order: President Linda Widdop

Call to Order: 7:30PM
Registrants: 30

Linda welcomed all to the meeting and introduced the officers. This is the first meeting since the summer break. As a reminder, meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of the month.

Minutes from the last regular meeting on June 3, 2021 were approved.

Committee Reports:

Membership Committee: Bonnie Witmer

New Members: John Eskate, Brian Boyle and Katherine Michener, Paula Marone, Hugh E Dillon, Ernie Steiner, Mary Anne Duthie, Dana DeRogatis and John Carlano

New Applicants: Jessica Cone Coss, Leigh Ashbrook (returning member), Eloise Pepersack (Student member), Maria Andreīn Pecheco

Banquet: Lauren Diamond

Unfortunately, the banquet will be virtual again this year. It is a combination of member hesitancy and ability to determine if the venue will be open.

Field Trips: Linda Widdop

There are many Field Trips to choose from. Look for new trips added to the schedule on our website: DVOC Field Trips. Read about the completed field trips.

Participants must follow all the COVID-19 Guidelines as posted on the website and must sign a participant release to attend the field trip.

A few of the upcoming trips are – George Armistead is leading a trip at Higbee Beach tomorrow from 7-11am on Confusing Fall Warblers. Judy Stepenaskie is leading a joint trip with Wyncote Audubon on 9/21 at 6:45PM at the Mifflin School to see the Chimney Swift roosts. Cliff and Nancy Hence have a Birds and Butterflies trip on 9/26 at 9AM at Heinz NWR. Rick Mellon will be scheduling a trip to the Cape May Hawk Watch sometime between 9/27 and 10/10 depending on the weather. Contact Rick if interested.

Local Notes (from the chat)

Steve Mattan: 9/16 Palmyra Cove 2 Olive-sided Flycatchers.  Other recent sightings there: Prothonotary, Connecticut, and Wilson’s Warblers and a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.

Martin Dellwo: Local notes via word-of-mouth: Many Connecticut Warblers seen in downtown pocket parks (Red Square, Independence Park). A Lark Sparrow was found at Bartram’s Garden by Ben Filreis, who also found a Western Kingbird there maybe a month ago.  A few different Olive-sided Flycatchers have been seen here and there in Philadelphia.

Linda Widdop: Olive-sided Flycatcher at Cox Hall Creek and on 9/12 Golden-winged Warbler at Higbee beach 9/10, in Cape May County.

Martin Dellwo: Rittenhouse Square edition: No Connecticut Warblers, yet.  High mark of 8 migratory warblers on a recent day, all kind of “normal”.  Common Yellowthroats and Ovenbirds now routine; Black-and-white Warblers were common a few weeks ago but maybe less so now.  American Redstart regular.  Chestnut-sided, Blackpoll, Black-throated Blue, Northern Parula Warblers have been recent.  A Blackburnian Warbler was seen alive a few weeks back in late evening on the ground and found dead the next morning.  Recently Gray Catbird, Wood Thrush, Veery, Swainson’s Thrush were observed along with Fairly daily flycatchers either Pewee or “Empidonax”.  The Red-tailed Hawk was absent most of summer but has recently reappeared a few times.  It is molting into adult plumage.

Been a good year for Bobolinks in the fall, with many stopping over and easily seen at Pennypack on the Delaware in the fields on north side of mount.  On Linda’s Higbee Beach field trip, the week before Labor Day, we recorded about 500, mostly, but not, all were flyover flocks.

Gregg Gorton: Bobolinks have been quite prevalent at the Heinz Refuge this year. They were seen in the wild rice, which continues to expand in area.  Very exciting.


Stephen Maciejewski: To monitor the bird strike route, volunteers are needed at Independence National Historic Park on Sundays and Fridays. There are routes that run from 5:30 – 8:00 am in Center City looking for birds that have struck windows and could be taken to Schuylkill Valley Nature Center for rehabilitation. Dead birds are tracked as well. More information is on the BirdPhilly page. More volunteers are needed.

Anne Bekker: Please send in nominations for the Rosalyn Edge Award.

Programs: Gregg Gorton

The speaker for the next program on October 7th will be DVOC member: Debbie Beer.

Women in Birding – A Force Beyond Feathers

More information at https://dvoc.org/wp/activities/meetings/ for this and other upcoming meetings.

Evening Program:

Speaker: Andy Mack

Speciation, Biogeography & Some of the Lesser-known Endemic Birds of New Guinea

Andy reviewed the many diverse species found in the small area. He described how the island “terranes” in the sea became island land forms on the mainland of New Guinea. Some of the birds get their poison from eating poisonous beetles.


After the presentation and questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:07pm.