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Minutes of the DVOC
June 1, 2006

Vice-President Paul Guris called the meeting to order. In attendance were 28 members and 1 guest.

Committee Reports:

Membership: Anita Guris, pinch-hitting for Connie Goldman, announced Steve Saunders as a new member.

Larus Newsletter: The deadline for submission of articles for the Summer, 2006 edition of Larus is June 10th.

New Bins for New Birders: Paul Guris mentioned that binoculars had been supplied to the Rancocas Nature Center Youth Program, and Keith Russell has now made a similar request on behalf of the East Park Reservoir.

Conservation: Debbie Beer announced that the Conservation section of our website has been augmented.

Debbie also summarized a Conservation Report she had written entitled, “The Uncertain fate of Red Knots”. There has been a drastic decline in the population of Red Knots in recent years. Leading scientists predict that the rufa subspecies will be at or near extinction by 2010.

On May 15th, The New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection implemented a 2-year moratorium on the harvest of horseshoe crabs. The Mispillion Harbor purchase in Delaware has protected 73 acres of crucial feeding habitat.

However, more encompassing regional provisions must be put in place to guarantee the Red Knot’s survival.

Field Trips:

Art McMorris gave a report on his Saturday, May 20th field trip to Ridley Creek State Park. Several Kentucky and Hooded Warblers were seen.

Erica Brendel gave a report on her Sunday, May 21st field trip to Carpenter’s Woods. The best birds were Blackburnian and Wilson’s Warblers.

Details of the following trip is listed at www.dvoc.org:

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

Field Trip Chairman Adrian Binns mentioned that several summer trips are listed on the website. In 2007, he would like to institute new trips to new places, perhaps involving interested youths. He needs members to step up and offer to lead such trips.

Upcoming Programs:

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

Informal Summer Meetings – We will be meeting at Palmyra Cove Nature Park for the July 6th and August 3rd meetings, and we’ll return to the Academy of Natural Sciences for the September 7th gathering. We only meet once in July and August.

At the July 6th meeting, Frank Windfelder will give an Ornithological Study entitled, “Migration at Palmyra”.

At the formal meeting on September 21st, Don Freiday’s topic will be, ”How to Misidentify Birds Like an Expert”.


Announcements:

Alan Brady’s wife Liz passed away on May 30th. Services will be held on Sunday, June 4th at the Wrightstown Friends Meeting House, Durham Road, in Wrightstown. Donations can be made in memory of Liz to the Cancer Center of Doylestown Hospital, 595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901. Council has decided to make such a donation in the name of DVOC.

Anita Guris announced that the DVOC Annual Picnic will be held at the Guris’ home in Green Lane on July 29th. They will provide beer, ice and grill, along with standard dogs and burgers. Bring a covered dish.

Roy Frock mentioned that the Bald Eagle nest in Green Lane has blown down. One of the two chicks was taken in by the Pa. Game Commission for rehabilitation.

Adrian Binns commented on the continuing problems in India and Pakistan with a major die-off of millions of Vultures. Apparently, the vultures have been ingesting dicloflenac from dead cattle. As little as 15 years ago, there were 15 to 20 million vultures of different species. Recently, the last 18 Slender-billed Vultures were taken into captivity.

Paul Guris mentioned that he is running summer pelagics out of Belmar, NJ, Lewes, DE, and Freeport, NY. Go to www.paulagics.com for details.

Local Notes:

John Goschke and others have been seeing a Barred Owl in Carpenter’s Woods.

Anita Guris still has a Great Crested Flycatcher nesting in her mailbox in Green Lane. PA.

Al Bilheimer has had Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Moorhen and Pied-billed Grebe on the grounds of the US Steel plant where he works.

Art McMorris announced that the current count of Peregrine Falcon chicks in Pennsylvania is up to 28,including 1 nest with an amazing 6 young.

Edie Parnum mentioned that she recently saw a European Storm-Petrel on a pelagic trip out of Manteo.

By-Laws revisions: Jeff Holt gave an overview on the three changes to the existing By-Laws. Because of the lack of the necessary quorum, the vote on the change in By-Laws was postponed until the fall. A lively discussion ensued. Roy Frock forwarded the concerns that Alan Brady had about the new expulsion provision. Alan would have liked a person to be informed before an expulsion vote was taken.

The three members of the By-Laws Committee are Jeff Holt, Chris Walters, and Paul Guris, two of whom are attorneys. Roy was reassured that all possible options were explored before deciding upon the proposed changes.

Ornithological Study: – Bob Mercer gave an excellent overview of Block Busting for the ongoing Pennsylvania breeding Bird Atlas. It turns out you don’t have to own a block in order to enter data. Just take a field trip to the block, collect data, and report the data. Google “Pa Breeding Bird Atlas”, and tap the wealth of information available.

Art McMorris still has blocks available for adoption in his area.

Big Day Reports: The following reports were submitted:

Nikon/DVOC Lagerhead Shrikes – Guris, Fritz, Binns, Pilotte - 218 species – third place in the New Jersey World Series of Birding

“Masters” Team – Brendel, Shafer, Walters, Windfelder – done over 2+ days – 189 species

Nature Conservancy Four Loons – Fraser, McMorris, Lyman, Reaume – 150 species – Bill Reaume graphically gave the report, explaining that everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

Philadelphia Big Day – Matt Sharp – 108 species, of which 103 were seen inside the city

Upper Main Line Y “Punk Rock Doves” – Quindlan, Romansky, L. Galland, Flinn – 162 species – placed 3rd in Division C (High School)


Upper Main Line Y “U-Terns” – Pitz, Bennett, R. Galland, Milliman - 157 species – placed 1st in Division B (Middle School)

Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary