Minutes – September 21, 2023

This was a hybrid meeting with a live speaker and Zoom broadcasting. These minutes were taken by Gregg Gorton, while the regular secretary, Navin Sasikumar, was on vacation.

Call to Order: President Gregg Gorton

Call to Order: 7:31 PM

Gregg introduced all the officers.

Attendees: 12 in-person and 25 on Zoom for a total of 37. No guests

The minutes from the last meeting, in June, were approved.

Council –  Gregg Gorton

Gregg mentioned that there had been a Council meeting. An important announcement made at that meeting was that the President will routinely review all committees in January and may at that time replace one or more committee chairs, per the prerogative of their office. There were no votes at the meeting, and no money was appropriated.  The wording to be put on the Frank Windfelder Memorial Plaque is being hashed out among people who knew him well, so that is moving forward. The Birding Backpacks Program is proceeding under the guidance of JoAnne Woods of the Free Library (Andorra Branch). She is having about 25 new backpacks assembled for placement in libraries in underserved areas of the city. 

Committee Reports

Membership – Gregg Gorton (for Nilesh Shah)

No new members in June and July. In August, three people joined – including one former member, and one Youth Birder and his father. In September, only one person joined. 

Field Trips – Linda Widdop

If you wish to lead a field trip, contact Linda: linda@techimpact.org

Upcoming field trips:

Sept. walks on Thursdays at Harriet Wetherill Park – Martin Selzer.

Sept. 23 – Houston Meadow with Pete Hamner
Sept. 23 – Pennypack Park at Verree Road with Holger Pflicke
Sept. 23 – John Heinz NWR with Gregg Gorton and Lynn Roman
Sept. 24 – FDR Park with Rob Karchnyak
Sept. 27 – Lorimer Park with Linda Widdop
Sept. 27 – Carpenters Woods with Ed Edge (in AM)
Sept. 27 – Morris Park with Ed Edge (in PM)
Oct. 1 – Pennypack on the Delaware with Holger Pflicke
Oct. 5 – Independence Hall with George Armistead

Conservation – Gregg Gorton (for Anne Bekker)

Provided an update on the Save Oakwell effort to preserve the Oakwell Estate in Rosemont, with an ongoing mass of support making its presence known to the Lower Merion School Board.

Billings – Art McMorris

From previous minutes: Go Birding! The Billings award is given each year to the DVOC member who observes the most birds for the year in the Billings area. You have to be a member at the beginning of the year to compete in that particular year. 

Banquet – Lauren Diamond

Lauren made an announcement about this year’s banquet, which will be on a Friday because the Sheet Metal Workers’ Hall was not available the day before. Date: November 17th.

Communication – Gregg (for Navin Sasikumar)

Gregg announced that Manny Dominguez has volunteered to replace Bert Filemyr as the Weekly Digest Editor, and Victor Lefevre has volunteered to back him up, as needed. 

DEI – Navin Sasikumar

No report. 


Gregg Gorton said that nominees for annual awards and for new Fellows and Honorary Members will be solicited soon. He also said he will be sure that a quick summary of the upcoming 3rd Breeding Bird Atlas of PA, sponsored by Hawk Mountain, Audubon, DVOC, and other organizations, will be put into the Weekly Digest. There will be two new aspects of this survey: all data will be uploaded into eBird, and there will be Winter surveys, too – so, technically, this will be a “breeding and wintering” atlas!

Local Notes

Steve Mattan had a Mourning Warbler at Palmyra Cove. And at his home in Piney Place, Southampton, Burlington County, NJ, he had 14 different warbler species, including Worm-eating, Hooded, Blackburnian, Cape May, Bay-breasted, Tennessee, and Prairie. Also a Veery and a Scarlet Tanager, as well as a Barred Owl calling nightly. The audience reacted by requesting a Field Trip to his and his wife’s house!

Manny Dominguez reported a single Broad-winged Hawk that afternoon.

Gregg Gorton mentioned that about 100 were seen at Shortridge Park on September 17th by Jason Weckstein.  And, Gregg ran outside onto his balcony to catch two of those. 

Judy Stepenaskie said that the watchers at the Militia Hill Hawk Watch had an astounding 22,248 Broad-winged Hawks on September 20th, an all-time record there!!

Marty Dellwo reported that a pelagic trip (with Hillstar Nature) yielded Black-capped Petrel, Bridled Tern, South Polar Skua, and Sooty Tern, among other goodies. 

Programs: Barb Bassett

Barb announced that the next speaker would be Andrew Farnsworth (of Cornell) from New York City – on October 5th. He will talk about BirdCast and its usefulness for birding and migration studies.

More information on the Meetings page of the DVOC website for this and other upcoming meetings.

Evening Program

“Tanzania: Birds and More”

Barb Bassett herself, our Program Chair/VP, presented a wonderful account of a tour to Tanzania she went on in 2021. This was richly illustrated with excellent photos by Barb – which included mammals as well as birds, and views of the stunning landscapes and of some of the people. It was a very rich and most enjoyable presentation! 


After the presentation and some questions, the meeting was adjourned at 9:12 pm.

A group then repaired to the Cherry Street Tavern for bird chat and brews.