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Minutes of the DVOC
January 19, 2012

President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM. Twenty-seven members and seven guests were present.

The minutes of the 5 January 2012 meeting were approved as submitted.

Art announced the sad news of the deaths of two long-standing members of the club:
James K. Meritt: Jim joined the DVOC in 1943, was a Fellow, a Life Member and became an Honorary Member in 1985, the highest honor the club can bestow. Jim was President of DVOC in 1980 and 1981 and he edited Cassinias 51 through 55.
Howard Boyd: Howard joined the DVOC in 1976. A member of the club for 36 years, Howard was a Fellow of the DVOC.
Art called for and the club observed a moment of silence to honor Jim and Howard.

Committees:
President Art McMorris announced some new additions to various club committees:
Barbara Granger joins Chris Walters and Erica Brendel on the Nominating Committee.
Rob Bierregaard has been appointed as Chairperson of the Ornithological Studies Committee.
Art McMorris joins Chris Walters, Paul Guris & Jeff Holt on the By-Laws Committee.
Don Jones has been appointed as the new Chairperson of the Julian K Potter Award Selection Committee, whose members also include Doris McGovern and Tom Bailey.

Membership:
Secretary Steve Kacir announced that the club had received two new applications for membership and read the membership applications for Andrew Grunwald of Paoli, PA and John Bloomfield of Doylestown, PA.
Bert Filemyr announced that new member Kim Custer was present at the meeting.
Art McMorris announced the proposal by Bert Filemyr and passed by DVOC Council that “Upon 50 years of club membership, a member shall be designated a "Life Member" of DVOC and exempted from any further payment of dues."

Cassinia:
Art McMorris announced that Editor, Dave Long, would be taking over the reins for Volume 72 of Cassinia from Art McMorris who had previously planned to complete and publish Volume 72 and have Dave begin with Volume 73.
Website: No Report
New Bins for New Birders: No Report

Conservation:
Phil Witmer announced that US President Barack Obama has blocked the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Phil Witmer announced that a recent Washington Post Article cited that an estimated seven million bats have died from the white-nose fungal infection. Erica Brendel commented that the white-nose fungus is thought to affect bats already weakened by a viral infection. Al Driscoll commented further that the website for Bat Conservation International has more details on white-nose syndrome and mentioned that bats are important pollinators and useful for natural insect control. Bat Conservation International’s website is http://www.batcon.org/
Phil Witmer announced that the Pennsylvania Environmental Council is accepting applications for those interested in being trained as new Delaware River Ambassadors. Contact Phil Witmer if you are interested in becoming a Delaware River Ambassador. More information on this program can be found here: http://www.pecpa.org/ambassador

Field Trips:
Chair Win Shafer conducted the trip reports and announcements:

Trip Reports:
14-16 January 2012 – Montauk (Long Island), NY: Chris Walters reported that the Martin Luther King weekend trip featured the South Shore of Long Island on day one, the South Fork area including Montauk on day two and the North Fork area on day 3. Seven participants were on the trip and the trip was based out of Shelter Island. Highlights included: a Barnacle Goose (a lifer for Chris Walters), a Pacific Loon at Jones Inlet (previously unreported for Long Island this winter), two Snowy Owls (at locations for which there had been no previous report of Snowy Owl this winter), a Barn Owl, Razorbills, a previously reported Eared Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Kumlien’s Iceland Gull, American Bittern, Harlequin Duck, Bald Eagle, Wild Turkey, Common Yellowthroat and multiple species of waterfowl.

Trip Announcements:
January 21 (postponed from 31 December 2011): Conowingo Dam, MD and Perryville, PA - An excellent concentration of Bald Eagles occurs below the dam at this time of the year. We will also search for wintering waterfowl near Perryville. Leader is Tom Reeves.
January 21: Cape May, NJ - A joint field trip with Wyncote Audubon, this trip will focus on seabirds and waterfowl around Cape May, ending at Jake’s Landing to look for Short-eared Owls. Leader is Martin Selzer.
January 22: Cumberland and Cape May County, NJ - This trip will search for the Sandhill Crane flock at Husted Landing. If the flock is located early then this trip will end at Jake's Landing for the Short-eared Owl show. An optional pre-trip will meet at Wawa on the Mauricetown Crossway and 47 at 8:30 and head to the Villas WMA to look for birds like red-headed woodpecker. Leader is Tony Croasdale.
March 22 – April 2, 2012 – Cuba Birding Trip. Leader is Win Shafer. This trip is going forward and still has a few spots available for any who are interested. More details are on the DVOC website, and interested parties can also contact Win for details.

Programs:
Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.
On February 2, Don Freiday will present “How to identify birds like an expert.”
On February 16, Nate Rice will present “Field work in Vietnam.”
A tentative date of May 17 has been set for Dr. Edwin Scholes III to present a program detailing his studies of New Guinea’s Birds of Paradise.
On June 7, Terry Master will present “Riparian Songbirds: Canaries in an Aquatic Coal Mine.”

Announcements:
Art McMorris presented an advance copy of the new Steve N. G. Howell book Petrels, Albatrosses, and Storm-Petrels of North America: A Photographic Guide published by Princeton University Press and made the book available for members’ perusal.
Bert Filemyr announced that the DVOC Membership Directory had been published. The green version of the directory was emailed, and paper copies were mailed or made available for members to pick up at the meeting. Those copies not picked up by members at DVOC meetings will be mailed.

Local Notes:
Lamar Collis reported that FDR Park in Philadelphia has a Green Heron, found on Christmas day and still present as of 8 Jan 2012. FDR Park also had good numbers of geese, Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls, Mute Swans, Hooded Mergansers and Buffleheads.
Rob Bierregaard announced that he and Gregg Gorton observed a female Peregrine Falcon at a new nest site at the Church of St John the Baptist in Manayunk while they were birding the Manayunk cemeteries across the river. Art McMorris added that the Peregrine and her mate constituted a new nesting pair for Pennsylvania last year, when they nested in Manayunk. Gregg Gorton added that West Laurel Hill Cemetery also had Great Horned Owls.
Bert Filemyr reported that he and Mike Rosengarten visited Brigantine Island in NJ, where they saw 27 Marbled Godwits, 50 Western Willets and 250 American Oystercatchers. The birds can be found at the shore to the right of the bridge that leads to the island.
Al Driscoll reported that around 5,000 Snow Geese along with a few Canada Geese were in Pemberton, NJ near Joint Base Dix-McGuire. The geese were in a flat field near the road, making for an excellent opportunity to search for rare geese within the flock.
Phil Witmer announced that the Say’s Phoebe that had been seen at the commercial mulch farm across the street from Maple Knoll Farms in Bucks County, PA had not been seen for the last couple days.
Bert Filemyr announced that today Tom Johnson and other birders had looked for the Snowy Owl at Merrill Creek Reservoir in Warren County, NJ and had not found it.
Lamar Collis announced that a Snowy Owl had been seen at Northeast Philadelphia Airport on 7-8 January 2012.
Frank Windfelder added that the probable adult male Snowy Owl had been seen at Northeast Philadelphia Airport on 14-16 Dec 2011 and the Friday afternoon before the Philadelphia Mid-winter Bird Census. As confirmed by Art McMorris, this was a different Snowy Owl than the one that had been hounded by Peregrine Falcons at the Exelon plant in Eddystone, PA.
Frank Windfelder added that highlights from the Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census included Snowy Owl, Northern Shrike, Cackling Goose at FDR Park, Red-headed Woodpecker at the Wissahickon. Frank continued, saying he and others had found six species of warblers in Philadelphia in January including Yellow Warbler and Ovenbird.
Chris Walters added that Keith Russell still awaited reports from two groups for the Philadelphia Mid-Winter Bird Census and that he, personally, had seen Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Cackling Goose during the census.

Main Program:
Vice President Phil Witmer introduced tonight’s speaker, Rob Bierregaard. Rob presented “Juvenile and Adult Osprey Migration between North and South America: Routes, Timing and Mortality”

Adjournment:
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary