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Minutes of the DVOC
May 4, 2006

Vice-President Paul Guris called the meeting to order. In attendance were 43 members.

Committee Reports:
Larus: Chairperson Naomi Murphy mentioned that the summer, 2006 edition of Larus is now being prepared. She is looking for articles for inclusion in the issue. The deadline for submission is June 10th.
New Bins for New Birders: Paul Guris mentioned that The World Series of Birding team has sold birding equipment for cash in order to buy binoculars to be used by youngsters. With the funds, a total of 15 pairs of Nikon binoculars have been obtained at cost and turned over to Rancocas Nature Center for use by their youth programs.
Conservation: Chairperson Debbie Beer encouraged members to make pledges for our ongoing fundraiser, which is tied to the results of our World Series of Birding team. A pledge form has been included in the attendance binder, and Debbie has placed individual pledge forms at the front table. Also, a pledge form can be downloaded from our website.
Field Trips: Martin Selzer announced the upcoming trips, details of which are listed at www.dvoc.org:

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 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

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

Wendy Lenhart, via an email to Paul Guris, mentioned that Daniel Klem Jr.will be giving a free lecture at the Philadelphia Zoo on Thursday, May 11th at 6:30 PM. His topic will be, “A Humorous Look at a Deadly Conservation Issue: Birds and Glass”. Park in the main lot near the Channel 6 Zoo Balloon, and go through the iron gates to the Shelly Administration Building.

A discussion ensued about birding sensitive areas in this post- 9/11 era. Adrian Binns, who was scouting for our World Series of Birding team, was told by the railroad police that it is illegal to walk on railroad tracks in New Jersey

Al Bilheimer talked about the problems that Linda Rowan had when trying to view the Peregrine Falcon nest on the turnpike bridge. She eventually obtained a certificate from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Gabe Johnson was questioned when he stopped to look for Horned Larks at the Cape May County Airport.

Paul Guris mentioned that because of the marine base in San Diego Harbor, birders on a pelagic trip were not allowed on the upper deck of the vessel until they were 3 miles offshore.

Local Notes:

Erica Brendel mentioned that Carpenter’s Woods has multiple Eastern Screech-Owls.

This morning, Bill Murphy had 16 species of warblers, numbering some 300 individuals, at Fort Washington State Park.

Paul Guris mentioned that a few female-type Purple Finches are still “hanging in” at his feeder in Green Lane, Pa.

This past weekend, on a trip run by Silver Lake Nature Center to Chincoteague and the Pocomoke, Al Bilheimer reported seeing a Brown-headed Nuthatch at its nest. Bob Mercer mentioned that the group also heard a Swainson’s Warbler in the Pocomoke.

Ornithological Studies: Frank Windfelder gave a presentation entitled, “Lost World, Garden of Eden”, outlining the findings of a December, 2005 expedition to the Foja Mountains of New Guinea.

Main Program: George Armistead gave a wonderful presentation entitled, “Real Birds Eat Squid (Sub-Antarctic Islands off New Zealand and Australia)”. In the process, he saw 41 tubenose taxa and 8 species of penguins on an 18-day pelagic trip. The title refers to the diet of albatrosses and penguins.

George’s very down to earth, informative manner enthralled us all. He told a humorous story about his experience on a particular island. When he thought he had spotted a rarity, he shouted, “Red-crowned Parakeet!” He wondered why he was getting so many strange looks from the others. It turns out that the species is the “Rock Pigeon” on that island!

By the way, we learned that the Royal Albatross group shows a dark cutting edge to the bill, but the Wandering Albatross lacks this mark.


Respectfully submitted, Frank Windfelder, Secretary