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Minutes of the DVOC
May 17, 2012
President Art McMorris called the meeting to order at 7:31
PM. Twenty members and five guests were present.
The minutes of the 3 May 2012 meeting were approved as submitted.
Chairperson Phil Witmer encouraged all DVOC members to make pledges in support of the DVOC Loons World Series of Birding Team and the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary American Kestrel Program to be funded through those pledges. The funds will be used to support the reprinting of the American Kestrel nest box and conservation color brochure, which will help landowners participate in the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary American Kestrel Conservation Program. A pledge form can be downloaded from the DVOC website:
Phil Witmer noted that a NOAA report declared that this last twelve-month period was the warmest on record. A “Mother Jones” article on this topic is available online: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/05/heat-records-shattered-us-past-12-months
Phil Witmer mentioned that companies involved with wind power have voluntarily adopted sighting guidelines developed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Audubon Society favors the use of voluntary guidelines. The wind industry has a desire to keep these guidelines voluntary and are supporting and complying with them. Phil noted that the American Bird Conservancy promotes a more hard-line stance with mandatory sighting guidelines.
Chairperson Anita Guris reported that she is seeking volunteers to help man the DVOC table at the Academy of Natural Sciences Bird Weekend, which takes place from June 9-10. Volunteers would man the table between 9:00AM and 5:00PM. Please contact Anita Guris if you can help.
Chairperson Win Shafer conducted the trip reports and trip announcements:
May 6 – John Heinz NWR at Tinicum, Southwest Philadelphia, PA led by Frank Windfelder. Win Shafer and Sam Perloff mentioned that they heard a Cerulean Warbler on this trip and that there were many migrants at the refuge that day.
May 19 – Ridley Creek State Park, PA. Leader is Art McMorris. This trip meets at the Ridley Creek bridge on Gradyville Rd (near Newtown Square, PA) at 6:30AM and will run about half a day long, focusing on migrants and breeders such as Kentucky Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Swainson’s Thrush, Yellow-throated Vireo and Acadian Flycatcher.
May 20 – SW New Jersey. Leader is Tony Croasdale. This trip meets at 7:30AM at the Wawa on CR 670/Mauricetown-Crossway Rd near the intersection of route 47 and 347. The trip will search for migrants and rarities discovered by various World Series of Birding Teams the week before, including shorebirds at Heislerville WMA and breeding warblers.
June 2 – Wharton State Forest for Nighthawks. Leader is Steve Kacir. This trip focuses on seeing and hearing the breeding displays of Common Nighthawk and listening for Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will’s-widow at the forest. Please contact Steve Kacir if you are interested in attending, as the trip will be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.
June 8-10 – Weekend at Camp Susquehannock in Northeastern PA. Leader is Win Shafer. Staying at the cabins of Camp Susquehannock, this trip will focus on northern breeding birds.
June 12 – Lakehurst Naval Air Station for Upland Sandpipers. Leader is Bob Horton. This trip will focus on grassland species breeding on the Naval Air Station property including Upland Sandpipers, Grasshopper Sparrows, Field Sparrow, Horned Lark and Eastern Meadowlark.
Vice President Phil Witmer announced the upcoming programs.
On June 7, Terry Master will present “Riparian Songbirds:
Canaries in an Aquatic Coal Mine.”
Due to the Independence Day holiday (July 4th), the July 5 informal meeting of the DVOC will be moved to July 12. On that date, Bert Filemyr will present “From the Archives: The Strange Case of DVOC Member Charles J. Pennock” as part of the informal summer meeting.
Phil stated that he is still looking for speakers for the club’s informal summer meetings. Programs can be short or long and deal with any variety of topics. Contact Phil if you can present a program at a summer meeting.
On Sep 6, a small group of DVOC members will present short 5-10 minute discussions of the pros and cons of some apps and/or technology for use in birding.
On Oct 4, Sue Killeen will present “Birding Cuba for Cuban Endemics.”
On Oct 18, Derek Lovitch will present “How to be a Better Birder.”
On Nov 1, Bob Curry will update the club on his chickadee research.
Phil revealed that he has a speaker for the DVOC Banquet, but would be keeping the identity of the speaker a secret for the time being.
Art McMorris announced that The Academy of Natural Sciences is presenting a bird-themed weekend event that the Academy has dubbed Bird Fest. Bird Fest takes place on June 9-10 as part of the Academy’s bicentennial celebration. DVOC will have a table at the event, and those interested in manning the table should contact Anita Guris. More information about the bird weekend can be found online:
Art McMorris announced that the Pennsylvania Game Commission
and Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation are offering a limited number
of scholarships to cover the Wildlife Diversity Forum registration fee, meals
during the conference and one night of lodging. The Wildlife Diversity Forum
takes place in State College, PA on June 28-29. More information about the PGC
Wildlife Diversity Forum and the scholarship program is available online: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1131495&mode=2
Jack Creighton reported that John Heinz NWR at Tinicum had 22 species of warblers, with the highlight being a Wilson’s Warbler that he and Frank Windfelder observed. There was a warbler in every tree according to Jack.
Paul Guris reported on his recent visit to High Point State Park in NJ and the Delaware Water Gap from the weekend before last. Paul noted that there had been a good warbler fallout during his time there including around 50 Chestnut-sided Warblers. Breeders in the area included Canada Warbler on territory and the local Blackburnian Warblers. The past weekend, Paul noted over 50 Yellow-rumped Warblers in the Unami Valley along with 24 Blackpoll Warblers. No thrushes were present at the time, but White-eyed Vireo and Acadian Flycatchers were on territory.
Win Shafer reported on a trip to Magee Marsh in Ohio. Win, Chris Walters and Erica Brendel visited Magee Marsh for International Migratory Bird Day and enjoyed close encounters with various warblers along the boardwalk. They were able to see a female Kirtland’s Warbler that stayed in the area for a few days. Other sightings from Magee Marsh included Blackburnian Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Mourning Warbler and Cape May Warbler. Afterwards they visited the Oak Openings near Toledo where they saw Lark Sparrow, Red-headed Woodpecker and Scarlet Tanager. On the way back to SE PA, they stopped at the Clarion County grasslands to see Grasshopper Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Henslow’s Sparrow and Northern Harrier.
Mike O’Brien reported that two to three dozen Cedar Waxwings were at 53rd and Chestnut St in Philadelphia. Two Ovenbirds were killed after striking the windows at the Holy Family Home. Art McMorris and other DVOC members mentioned that such birds were of interest to the Academy of Natural Sciences for their collections.
Rodney Platt reported a Bobolink from Great Swamp NWR in NJ.
Erica Brendel reported on the Eastern Screech-owls in Carpenter Woods, noting that the male red phase screech-owl was at the same perch every morning, but that the location of the nest site was not discovered this year. The male was seen with a fledgling on Friday night. Marty Dellwo added that he had seen two Eastern Screech-owls on the eastern side of the woods one and a half months ago.
Marty Dellwo reported that he took part in the Pennsylvania Migration Count (PAMC) on Saturday and noted that the Philadelphia section listed 120 species for the count. Marty saw 16 species of warbler including Kentucky Warbler singing on a possible territory. The Delaware River Trail behind the Walmart in South Central Philadelphia yielded Bobolink, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Bay-breasted Warbler and Nashville Warbler. John Heinz NWR at Tinicum had a Wilson’s Warbler and a Canada Warbler a couple weeks ago.
Some discussion on the Delaware River Trail broke out during Marty’s report. Marty noted that the Delaware River Trail could be accessed from the Walmart or the Sheet Metal Workers’ Hall and that the trail ran near the site of the possibly defunct Sugarhouse Casino. Secretary Steve Kacir created a Google Map of this area, including a few landmarks: http://goo.gl/maps/6Hty
Sam Perloff reported on the Montgomery County section of the PAMC, which also listed around 120 species of birds for the count. Sam noted that the Fort Washington State Park territory had 21 species of warbler including Cerulean, Nashville and Tennessee. Sam reported hearing a Virginia Rail from an unspecified location in the county during the PAMC.
Mike Fritz reported that Ridley Creek State Park had 22 species of warbler including 3 Tennessee Warblers, a male Blackburnian Warbler and Hooded Warbler; though no Kentucky Warbler was found there. In addition, the park had two hen Wood Ducks with ducklings and a female Scarlet Tanager that was catching wasps, beating them to remove the stinger and then eating them.
Anita Guris mentioned that the former members of the Nikon/DVOC Lagerhead Shrikes World Series of Birding Team are enjoying being out birding and looking for birds instead of racing around scouting and trying to figure out where they’re going to get Black Rail for the competition.
World Series of Birding Report:
President Art McMorris announced that a detailed account of the new DVOC Loons World Series of Birding Team was initially on the schedule for the meeting, but that George Armistead was unable to attend the meeting as planned. Art mentioned that the new DVOC Loons Team consists of Captain Bill Reaume, George Armistead, Scott Fraser and Todd Fellenbaum. Despite a very low amount of scouting, the DVOC Loons were able to find 192 species of birds and achieve fourth place in the competition.
Art McMorris then introduced Nathaniel Sharp, a member of the Upper Main Line YMCA B.B.Kingfishers World Series of Birding Team, which earned first place in the World Series of Birding youth division with a total of 173 species of birds. Nathaniel mentioned the team’s misses including Common Raven, Eurasian Collared-dove, White-winged Dove and both cuckoos. Nathaniel also noted some avian highlights from the competition: 28 species of warbler, Virginia Rail, Clapper Rails and close encounters with Least Terns and Piping Plovers at the meadows (The Nature Conservancy’s Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge). Nathaniel concluded by recounting the ultimate highlight for the competition: having enough time to stop for a brownie sundae before crossing the finish line.
Vice President Phil Witmer introduced tonight’s speaker, Dr. Edwin Scholes III who presented a mind-blowing multimedia talk entitled, “The Birds-of-Paradise Project: Revealing an Avian Wonder of the World.”
After the talk, Dr. Scholes entertained questions from the audience for twenty-eight minutes.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:02 PM.
Stephen E.T. Kacir, Secretary