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Minutes of the DVOC
March 16, 2006

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order. In attendance were 52 members and 6 guests.

Committee Reports:
Conservation: Debbie Beer announced that the proceeds of our 2006 World Series of Birding fundraiser will go to the Montgomery County Lands Trust (MCLT). They are negotiating with the developer and township to enlarge substantially the buffer zone around a local Heron Rookery, which is threatened by development. The funds will be used by MCLT for the consultants, surveys, documents and fees needed to secure a Conservation Easement affecting the Heron Rookery.
Field Trips:

Bob Horton reported on the DVOC trip to Conowingo Dam & Muddy Run, held on Saturday, March 11th. Highlights were Osprey, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Tundra Swan.

Chris Walters and Frank Windfelder reported on the DVOC trip to Barnegat Light, held on Sunday, March 12th. The kids from the Upper Main Line YMCA were great, and we saw Harlequin Duck and Red Knot at the light, along with Wilson’s Snipe and Short-eared Owl at Brigantine.

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

Cherry Island Landfill, Delaware, Saturday, March 18th, a joint venture with DOS and led by Mike Smith. Meet at Fox Point State Park at 7:30 AM.

Southwestern New Jersey, Saturday, April 1st, led by Frank Windfelder

John Heinz NWR at Tinicum, Sunday, April 9th, led by Denis Brennan

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

Upcoming Programs:

Thursday, April 6th – Paul Lehman – “Migrant & Vagrant Traps of North America”

Thursday, April 20th – Yoav Chudnoff – “Birding in Bulgaria”

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

Adrian Binns mentioned that, with respect to the recent reports of Ivory-billed Woodpecker in Arkansas, there are two different articles you can read, both available at www.sciencemag.org. To find the articles, do a search for “Ivory-billed Woodpecker”. One article was written by Sibley, et al, and casts doubt on that now-famous video. The other is a rebuttal by Fitzpatrick, et al.
JoAnn Raine mentioned that on April 18th to April 20th, John Arvin is taking a group of 100 “great birders” to the Big Thicket area of Texas to search for the Ivory-billed.
Paul Guris mentioned that he is leading pelagic trips out of Lewes, Delaware on April 1st and Belmar, New Jersey on April 8th. If interested go to www.paulagics.com..

Local Notes:

Paul Guris gave a report on his mini-pelagic out of Cape May on Saturday, March 11th. The Purple Finch flock at his home in Green Lane has dwindled to a half-dozen birds, but he was able to show Rob Hynson his lifer Eastern Screech-Owl on March 10th. Also at Green Lane, Bald Eagles had eggs in their nest on February 12th.

Mick Jeitner reported 2 Pine Warblers from Silver Lake Nature Center, and Bob Mercer mentioned that a Greater White-fronted Goose has again been seen there.

Doris McGovern commented that 2 Eastern Phoebes had successfully wintered at Tinicum. Doris also reported a Pine Warbler at Tinicum on the 13th of March, and a Eurasian Teal at the Cherry Island Landfill in Delaware on the 11th.

Bill Murphy reported that today, there was an immature Northern Goshawk at Fort Washington State Park.

Art McMorris mentioned that all of our local nesting Peregrine Falcons have returned.

Linda Rowan saw an Osprey on Burlington Island, but rued the fact that she could not count it for Bucks County, PA.

Ornithological Studies: Connie Goldman gave a presentation titled, ”Forensic ID”. A dead raptor proved to be difficult to identify, but she expounded on the steps that led to the conclusion, “immature Northern Goshawk”.

Program: Main Speaker Jeff Gordon gave a talk entitled, “Identify Yourself: The 50 Most Common Birding Identification Challenges”. Jeff had co-authored a book on the topic. Earlier comments made by Adrian Binns and JoAnn Raine turned out to be prescient when Jeff surprised all of us by giving his second presentation of the evening. Did you know that “Ivory-billed Woodpecker” means “The Chief Lord of Grubs”? He had recently done volunteer work in Arkansas to search for the species. Although he was not permitted to talk about the presence or absence of sightings or forensic evidence, he did an excellent job of giving us background on the effort.

Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary