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Minutes of the DVOC
May 18, 2006

President Chris Walters called the meeting to order. In attendance were 42 members and 8 guests.

Committee Reports:

Membership: Connie Goldman announced that she has applications for membership, and encouraged non-members to join.

Conservation: Debbie Beer mentioned that there is still time to make World Series pledges for our fund-raising drive. Debbie also mentioned that the Pennsylvania Game Commission is studying the situation at Wade Island on the Susquehanna River. Apparently, Double-crested Cormorants are competing for nest sites with Great Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons.

Field Trips: Adrian Binns introduced Don Jones, who gave results for the
Sunday, May 14th, field trip to Hawkin Road and Brightview Farm. At the latter location, Don was able to pull a Grasshopper Sparrow “out of the hat” at the last moment.

Adrian then introduced Colin Campbell, who gave a report on his southern Delaware/Maryland field trip, which was held May 12th-14th. One of the best birds was a singing Vesper Sparrow at Nanticoke. The usual “fine dining” was sidetracked by a closed restaurant, and another which was burned down.

Adrian also mentioned that we are always looking for new leaders and new destinations for future trips.

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

Ridley Creek State Park, and possibly the Kirkwood Preserve, 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, Clarion County, Friday-Sunday, June 23rd-25th, led by Rick Mellon.

Upcoming Programs:

Paul Guris mentioned that Big Day / May Roundup reports to be given at out next meeting should be sent to him. He would prefer a spreadsheet, but will accept text as well.

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

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

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.

Announcements:

As to the World Series pledge money, Chris Walters reminded us that funds will be used to provide an easement for a heron rookery in western Montgomery County. Chris also mentioned that Bert Filemyr had placed unprecedented scouting information on the website prior to the World Series of Birding on May 13th. Rick Mellon stated that supplying the GPS coordinates for this information would be useful.

Edie Parnum solicited help for the Valley Forge Spring Bird Count on June 3rd. The center of this count is Audubon, which is congruent with the CBC by the same name.

As to the Ivory-billed Woodpecker search conducted by Cornell in 2005-2006, Art McMorris announced that there will be a press conference on Saturday, May 20th, summarizing the results.

Miscellaneous: Chris Walters paid tribute to former DVOC President John Harding, who was in attendance.

Rick Mellon demonstrated an amazing Sony hand-held recorder, complete with auxiliary playback speakers.

There will be a DVOC Picnic in July, details to be announced.

Local Notes:

Frank Windfelder passed along a report from former DVOC Cassinia Editor Dick Bell. Dick, his wife Shelly, and Bill Tucker had spotted a Sandhill Crane flying over Dick’s home in Furlong, PA on May 6th. Frank also mentioned an adult Bald Eagle that had flown over his own house on May 17th.

Anita Guris spoke glowingly about a Great Crested Flycatcher that is currently nesting in her mailbox.

World Series of Birding Report:

Paul Guris and Adrian Binns gave a blow-by-blow description of their latest New Jersey World Series of Birding adventure. This year, Paul, Adrian, Mike Fritz and Eric Pilotte represented our DVOC/Nikon Lagerhead Shrikes team. Paul spoke about an amazing array of birds that the team heard calling at night. We finished third with a remarkable 218 species.

Paul also had spoken with Brian Raicich, who chaperoned the Upper Main Line YMCA Youth Team’s World Series effort. Now in their 4th year of participation, they crossed I-80 with 113 species, a big improvement. Paul also mentioned that the Nikon youth team came in with 212 species.

Main Program: Dr. Daniel Cristol’s topic was, “Mercury Buildup Studies of Belted Kingfisher, Tree Swallow, and Screech Owl Populations”. We were enlightened about his ongoing study of mercury in birds along the Shenandoah River in Virginia. Joe Cadbury once gave Dan the following jewel of wisdom: “If you’re really serious about birds, you have to join the DVOC”.

Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary