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Minutes of the DVOC
April 17, 2008

President Paul Guris called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM. Twenty-nine members and 6 guests were present. The minutes of the April 3 2008 meeting were accepted as corrected.

Committee Reports:

Membership: Anita Guris read the profile of member applicant Vanessa Schnauffer. Anita welcomed anyone who is interested in joining the club to see her after the meeting, or to download membership information from the website.

Publications: Larus editor Jason Loghry said that the next issue of Larus would be coming soon.

Field Trip Reports: Bob Horton asked for reports of recent field trips.

Denis Brennan ran a field trip to Tinicum (John Heinz NWR, PA) last Sunday, April 13. Several people who were there commented on the trip. By far the highlight of the trip was a female Western Tanager.

Up-coming Field Trip Announcements:

On Sunday April 20, Jeff Holt will lead a trip to Riverwinds and the National Park Dredge Spoils in Gloucester Co., NJ, across the river from Philadelphia. Jeff has personally seen over 130 species at Riverwinds alone, and the dredge spoils is an excellent place for over-wintering waterfowl and nesting marsh species. Targets for the morning will be early migrants and nesting bitterns, rails, Moorhen, Coot and Pied-billed Grebe, and about the only reliable Northern Bobwhite in NJ. Meet at 7AM at Riverwinds.

Steve Kacir will lead a trip to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, DE, on Saturday April 26, starting at 3:30 AM. Targets will be night-calling marsh birds: Sora, Virginia Rail, King Rail, Marsh Wren and Sedge Wren. After sunrise, those who would like to continue will go to Bombay Hook NWR or to locations in Salem County NJ. Please make every effort to contact Steve Kacir if you plan to attend.

Colin Campbell’s annual 3-day trip to southern Delaware and northern Maryland will be run on May 9-11 (Fri. – Sun.). The trip starts at Bombay Hook NWR and continues to Trap Pond State Park, Nanticoke WMA and areas around Seaford, the Cypress Swamps in DE and MD, and the bayside areas. Interspersed throughout is a gourmet tour trying local delicacies such as crab, scrapple and muskrat. Not to be missed!

Details of all these trips are on the website: www.DVOC.org.

Programs: Frank Windfelder announced the next three programs. On May 1, Bill Fintel will present "Antarctica and Seabirds of the Southern Oceans," and May 15 will also take us to the southern hemisphere, as Debi Shearwater presents “Penguins of the World.” On June 5, Frank Windfelder will present “My Philly Big Year in 2007.”

Announcements:

Frank Windfelder announced that we have a number of items for sale at the front of the room, including DVOC window decals, patches, copies of George Reynard’s “Voices of Birds and Birders” tape set, and copies of Carl Safina’s “Song of the Blue Ocean,” signed by the author, all at bargain prices.

Yoav Chudnoff gave further information on the fund-raising birding trip to Bulgaria he is planning for mid-May 2009 (exact dates to be determined). All participants in the trip will become members of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), and pricing includes a donation to BSPB. Current members of BSPB will receive a 3% discount. Further details are available at www.friendsofbspob.org.

Paul Guris announced that there are still 3 spaces available on the pelagic portions of the May 29-June 1 club trip to North Carolina for “Surf and Turf Specialties.” Paul will lead the 2 pelagic trips that are part of that trip, and Adrian Binns will lead the land portions. There are also a number of spaces available on the Paulagics North Carolina pelagic trips the following weekend, on June 6, 7 and 8. Information on the club trip is available at www.DVOC.org; for the Paulagics trips, go to www.Paulagics.com.

Paul also announced that he and Anita were planning a 2-day land birding trip in southern California immediately preceding the Sept. 1-5 pelagic trip on The Searcher. One day will be spent at the Salton Sea and 1 day at the Laguna Mountains. Contact Paul or Anita if interested.

Paul urged everyone to make a generous pledge to the club’s World Series of Birding team, either an amount per species or a flat dollar amount. All proceeds will go to support conservation. Paul also asked people to help scout; please see Paul or Mike Fritz.

Local Notes:

Anita Guris said that she and Paul still had about 22 male Purple Finches at their feeders in Green Lane, PA; there are about 50 total.

Paul, Anita and Steve Kacir recently birded Prime Hook in Delaware and found a fledgling Horned Lark. This is a very early breeding record, and a great find for the new Delaware Breeding Atlas. Others responding to the report found 2 more fledglings. Four displaying males were seen at Port Mahon Road.

Todd Fellenbaum saw 9 Glossy Ibis, 1 Common Loon, 1 Long-eared Owl and the Western Tanager at Tinicum.

Chris Walters went to Jake’s Landing, NJ with Frank Windfelder on Saturday 4/12 and saw a displaying Northern Harrier over the marsh. The woods were very quiet.

Paul Guris described a male Northern Flicker displaying to a female on a very exposed perch.

Steve Kacir reported that his Montgomery County (PA) Big Year was now up to 109 species. The highlight of the weekend was 8 Horned Grebes, 3 in full alternate plumage, 3 in full basic and 2 in transitional plumage. Horned Grebe was species #107 for the year, Barn Swallow was #108 and Palm Warbler was #109. The current one-year record for Montgomery County is 151.

Frank Windfelder reported that there are lots of House Wrens, Yellow Warblers, Brown Thrashers, Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers at Tinicum.

Ornithological Studies: Chair Art McMorris announced that the Orni Study at the May 1 meeting will be Sarah Warner presenting “Swamp Sparrows – a Mystery Unfolds.” There will be no Orni Study on May 15; instead we will have the report of the DVOC World Series of Birding team.

He then introduced the night’s Ornithological Study speaker, Patty Thompson from the Lower Merion Conservancy, who presented “Early Birds in Lower Merion: A New Analysis of BirdWatch Data from the Lower Merion Conservancy.” She described the annual BirdWatch census in Lower Merion Township, PA, which began in 1997 and has just published its 11th annual report. Data from the census suggest that Wood Thrush, Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-rumped Warbler may be arriving earlier today than in 1997, but that Gray Catbird and Ruby-throated Hummingbird are not.

Main Program: Frank Windfelder then introduced the main speaker, Don Jones, who presented a program authored by himself and Earl Harrison entitled “Birding Bulgaria 2007,” a report of trip organized by Yoav Chudnoff and JoAnn Raine. 20 people attended the 1-week trip. The trip visited diverse habitats in Bulgaria where participants were able to find many bird species and view other wildlife, historic sites, and the varied countryside. Proceeds from the trip, as well as all honoraria received for the presentation of the slide program, will go to the Friends of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, to protect the Imperial Eagle.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Art McMorris, Secretary