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Minutes of the DVOC
April 20, 2006

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order. In attendance were 33 members and 8 guests.

Committee Reports:
Membership: Connie Goldman announced the acceptance of four new members into the club: Megan Buliano, Mike Zickler, Buster Raff and Wendy Lenhart.
Field Trips:

Linda Rowan reported on the April 9th field trip to John Heinz NWR at Tinicum. The highlight for her was a family of Great Horned Owls on nest.

Details of the following upcoming trips are listed at www.dvoc.org:

Riverwinds and the National Park Dredge Spoils, Sunday, April 23rd, led by Jeff Holt and Chris Walters.

Fort Washington State Park, Sunday, May 7th, led by Bill Murphy.

Hawkins Rd. & Brightview Farm, Sunday, May 14th, led by Don Jones.

Birding S. Delaware and into Maryland, Friday-Sunday, May 12th-14th, led by Colin Campbell

Ridley Creek State Park, Saturday, May 20th, led by Art McMorris.

Carpenter’s Woods, Sunday, May 21st, led by Erica Brendel.

Westminster Cemetery in West Laurel Hill, Sunday, May 21st, led by Gregg Gorton.

Western Pennsylvania Grasslands, Friday-Sunday, June 23rd-25th, led by Rick Mellon.

Upcoming Programs:

Details of the following upcoming programs are listed at www.dvoc.org:

Thursday, May 4th – George Armistead – “Real Birds Eat Squid (Sub-Antarctic Island off New Zealand and Australia)”

Thursday, May 18th – Dr. Daniel Cristol – “Mercury Buildup Studies of Belted Kingfisher, Tree Swallow, and Screech Owl Populations”

Thursday, June 1st - Big Day Reports –we will need to vote on some new By-Laws revisions - Also: Ornithological Study – Bob Mercer, Block Busting

Announcements:

As the attendance booklet went around, Chris Walters entreated the audience to make pledges on behalf of our champion World Series of Birding team. Our goal is to raise $5,000.00 for our annual Fund Raising Drive, the proceeds of which are to be used for the preservation of a heron rookery.

Chris Walters wishes to sell his ticket on two sold-out North Carolina pelagic trips, both run by Brian Patteson. The dates are Monday, May 29th and Tuesday, May 30th. Anyone interested should contact him. Paul Guris will be leading the Monday trip.

Keith Russell needs your help. The Pennsylvania State Parks Department would like to “develop” the Benjamin Rush State Park, located off the Roosevelt Boulevard, so it could be used by more people. Keith needs people to census the bird-life there, so he can forward the information to the above agency. Visits need to be made during the breeding season.

He is also looking for birders to monitor the Andorra section of the Wissahickon Creek for Kentucky, Hooded, and Worm-eating warblers. Contact Keith at keith.russell6@verizon.net.

Art McMorris reported that Harry Armistead is writing a book on Black Rails. Harry is looking for Black Rail records and any ideas that you might have. All contributions will be acknowledged. Contact Harry at harryarmistead@hotmail.com.

Local Notes:

Anita Guris reported that there are still 25-30 Purple finches at her feeder in Green Lane, PA.

On April 10th, Al Driscoll saw a Cliff Swallow prospecting for a nest site aboard the Battleship New Jersey.

On April 15th, while birding pre-dawn at Grier’s Pond in Delaware, Nikolas Haass had a grand slam of rails. He heard Sora, Virginia, Clapper, and King Rails at the site.

On April 9th, Chris Walters saw a Yellow-throated type Warbler at Tinicum NWR. It looked a little strange, and showed a dirty area on the chest. Nikolas mentioned that last year there was a report of a Yellow-throated X Northern Parula hybrid.

Recently, Rick Mellon observed singing Horned larks and American Pipits in Lancaster County. Rick also heard White-crowned Sparrows singing in Chester County, PA. He also saw a Peregrine Falcon flying over his house in Yardley, PA.

Chris Walters spoke about an excellent birding location called Glen Morgan Lake in Lancaster County. To reach the location, get off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the Morgantown exit and head north on rte.10. In the past, there have been nesting Ruddy Ducks and Pied-billed Grebes.

Ornithological Studies: Steve Kacir spoke about the topic, “Anting and Antibiotics”. The riddle as to why birds would allow ants to crawl all over their bodies has not been definitively solved. There are various theories, including the possibility of a defense against Arthropods, Bacteria, and Fungi.

Main Program: Yoav Chudnoff spoke about “Birding in Bulgaria”. Yoav is a member of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. He leads trips into the country. His website is www.villaphiladelphia.com/birding.htm. He talked mostly about bird conservation in Bulgaria, but opened our eyes to a great place to bird. Did you know that a little squirrel/groundhog creature called the Souslik is the main food staple of the Imperial Eagle?

Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary