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Minutes of the DVOC
June 4, 2009

The meeting was called to order by Vice President Frank Windfelder at 7:30 pm. There were 22 members and 6 guests present.

Frank reminded the members present that last meeting’s minutes have been posted on the website for the past week. Frank called for a motion to waive the reading of the minutes. The motion was made, seconded and accepted.

Committee Reports –
Membership: Chair Connie Goldman announced that Ana Pazos has now been accepted as a member of DVOC. A new applicant, Barbara Granger of Philadelphia has submitted an application. Her bio was read to the membership.
Tom Reeves questioned how a person could become a member if they have not ever attended a meeting. Connie replied that there is no requirement for member applicants to attend meetings. Some have met members in field situations.
Conservation: Chair Debbie Beer informed members of an Inquirer article with information about positive finding from researchers during this season’s Red Knot migration. Weights of birds were good and numbers of Horseshoe Crab eggs present were good.
Publications: On behalf of Art McMorris, Bert Filemyr announced that Cassinia Volume #71 has now been submitted to the printer.
Field Trips: On behalf of Bob Horton, Frank Windfelder asked if any member present had attended the recent trip to the Poconos with Bill & Naomi Murphy – none present had attended, and no report was given.
Upcoming trips will include,
6/6/09 – Steve Kacir will lead a trip for Nightjars
6/10/09 – Bob Horton will lead a trip to Lakehurst for Upland Sandpiper and other grassland species.
6/13/09 – Steve Kacir will lead a Delaware Breeding Bird Atlas trip to Bombay Hook

Programs: Frank Windfelder announced that this is our last regular meeting for the season. Summer meetings will be
7/11/09 – Palmyra Cove Nature Center
8/6/09 – Palmyra Cove Nature Center
9/3/09 – Tinicum NWR

There will also be a DVOC Picnic. It will be held on 8/1/09; or, in the case of rain, on 8/2/09. The picnic will be held at the residence of member Jan Gordon, in Radnor.
Website: There are lots of things on the website, but nothing new to make members aware of, per Bert Filemyr

Announcements –
Chris Walters announced that leaders and co-leaders, helpers, etc are needed for the AOU meeting time this Summer in the Philadelphia area. August 12th, a Wednesday, and the following weekend, are slated for field trips.
Edie Parnum announced that Valley Forge Audubon Society holds its annual Spring Count this Saturday, 6/6/09. Participants were welcome.

Local Notes –
Tom Reeves noted that Bluebird boxes near Tinicum were being overtaken by House Sparrows in greater numbers than in other years. A nearby resident is feeding birds millet. He associated the presence of the greater number of House Sparrows with the nearby availability of millet.
Bill Reaume announced that the migration of Nighthawks through the city is ongoing. In his area of the city, Aubrey Arboretum, he continues to see 2 or three each night. Their arrival commonly coordinates with WSB dates. Martin Dellwo has also seen some in the city. In spite of being listed as active at dawn and dusk, Marty has heard them call late at night, 11pm – midnight. The question arose as to whether this means they may be breeding in that BBA block.
Frank Windfelder watched a Hermit Thrush at the Fish Hatchery along the Delaware River today. This date, June 4th, is late for this species. On 6/1 at Glen Foerd, he saw a singing Pine Warbler. He has also found a steep bank with nesting Bank Swallow, along the Delaware River. This nest site is likely temporary, due to the likelihood of development of the area.
Debbie Beer – noted the uniqueness of Tinicum as a breeding site for birds in Philadelphia. From one spot on the dike road she could confirm Yellow Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwing and Tree Swallow nesting, and knew that many other birds are also nesting within the confines of the refuge.
Rick Mellon – noted the common presence of Willow Flycatcher and commented on this as a change from years past. Members present launched into a brief discussion of other species that seem on the increase in our area and proposed reasons for the occurrences.

Ornithological Studies – deferred this meeting. In its place, Big Day Reports were given, as follows:
Doris McGovern – Philadelphia County’s count was “less than spectacular” with 128 species. 19 warbler species were seen. 31 species were seen by one person only. Some participants cancelled at the last minute.
Bill Reaume – The Four Loons WSB team run resulted in the identification of 191 bird species. There were no mishaps on the Big Day, unlike previous years with car breakdowns, lost keys, etc. A significant species was Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. The team learned that the Saw-whet Owl they heard at last year’s spot was likely not the same bird returning, but was attributable to the appropriateness of the habitat. This info came from Scott Weidensaul.
Bob Mercer – participated in the count in a small area of Bucks County. 80 species were identified, including 5-7 warbler species. In general, it was a not a good migration day. Frank Noted that Rusty Blackbird was a very good bird for the date. Bob informed us that Rusty Blackbirds seem to hang around Silver Lake Nature Center longer than expected.
Debbie Beer – reported on her experience as driver for the youth team, the Nikon Subadult Skuas. She shared the driving in 4 hour shifts with the father of one of the team members. The team won its category with 220 species, and came in 6th overall. At one stop she watched a Wilson’s Warbler. The drivers are not permitted to participate by showing any bird to the team. Later, Debbie learned that the focus of the stop was for the team to find a Wilson’s Warbler – and they had missed it! She spoke about how hard the kids worked and the fun of the experience.

Main Program – Frank Windfelder gave a fun and interesting presentation, “Trans-Pecos Birding.” He recounted a trip taken in April 2008. Planned by Tom Bailey and Don Jones, and attended by many DVOC members, the trip included varied habitat in the Hill Country and Big Bend Area of Texas. Maps and photographs, many taken by trip participants, informed us of the wonderful sightings, including nesting Black-headed Vireo, the subtly-beautiful Colima Warbler, and the much sought-after Montezuma Quail. Frank’s enthusiastic presentation style added enticement to make such a trip, as evidenced by the major question from members afterward was “when are you going again?”!!!!

The meeting was then adjourned at 9:08pm.

Respectfully Submitted on behalf of Art McMorris, Secretary, by
Connie Goldman