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Minutes of the DVOC
October 2, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 by club president Paul Guris. Twenty-six members and 1 guest were in attendance. One guest, Patty Wren, was welcomed. The minutes of the September 18th meeting were read and accepted.

Committee Reports:
Conservation: Chair Debbie Beer informed us that our club contribution to the Ned Smith Center’s Saw-whet Owl banding program has been recognized with gratitude. DVOC has been presented with a club membership to the Ned Smith Center. Last night, 10/1/08 was the start of banding for the season; Debbie read a characteristically inspirational Scott Weidensaul quote, published about that hopeful first night of banding.
Debbie also notified us that a worldwide species in decline report has been published by Birdlife International. This follows the benchmark report on our national decline in bird species by the National Audubon Society in 2007. A summary of findings and a weblink can be found on the DVOC website’s Conservation Corner.

Field Trips:
Bob Horton reported on the PEEC trip held on the weekend of 9/19/08 – 9/21/08, led by James Maloney. The group had good weather. Though there were fewer migrants than had been hoped for, highlights included good hawk sightings from Sunrise Mountain.
Upcoming Field trips :
Frank Windfelder announced the trip he will lead to Tuckerton Marsh, NJ on 10/4/08. Low tide being at 7:30am indicates conditions should be good for sightings of the major target bird, Nelson’s Sharptail Sparrow, and others.
Frank Windfelder will lead a trip to Bake Oven Knob on Saturday or Sunday 11/1/08 or 11/2/08, whichever day promises by weather reports to have the better hawk sighting conditions.
Adrian Binns will lead a trip to the Saw-whet Owl banding operation on 11/8/08 – numbers are limited, send Adrian an e-mail if you are interested.

Frank Windfelder announced the up-coming programs:
10/16/08 – Rob Fergus – “Urban Bird Ecology and Conservation”
11/6/08 – Adrian Binns – “Watching East Africa’s Unique Wildlife”
11/20/08 – DVOC’s annual banquet with speakers Clay and Pat Sutton speaking on “Birds and Birding at Cape May.”
12/4/08 - Scott Weidensaul, speaking on his recent book “Of a Feather.”
12/18/08 – The club Photo Contest. Send all entries to Frank Windfelder. This time there will be a prize for first place in each category – a $25.00 gift certificate for Nikon Gear.

There was a question and discussion about the “lottery” held in previous years for seats at the banquet speaker’s table. Connie Goldman agreed to hold the lottery again. Place your name into the box at a meeting. At the last meeting prior to the banquet, a name will be drawn. That person and a guest will have banquet seats at the same table as Clay and Pat Sutton.
Frank Windfelder reminded us of summer meeting speaker Sarah Thorpe. Sarah had informed us of the project for a Delaware River Trail project along the shores of the river within Philadelphia. Now a section of that trail, where Rhawn St. meets the Delaware River has had a dedication, and will be open to the public by the end of November. Because of the nature of the habitat, Frank advised that it should be a very promising birding spot. The next section proposed to be opened will be Lardner Point, the Delaware shoreline that lies directly across from the Palmyra Nature Center in NJ.
Anita Guris announced two December pelagic trips offered by Paulagics. The trips are filling – contact Paulagics.com or Paul or Anita for information.
Debbie Beer advised that Christmas Counts are approaching and that it’s not too soon to think about participating in one this year. See the Christmas Count section of our club website for information.
Tony Croasdale announced he has left Tinicum and now has an environmental position at the Cobbs Creek Environmental Center.

Local Notes:
Anita Guris sighted a Glossy Ibis flyover on the turnpike near Bluebell, PA
Frank Windfelder found a Marsh Wren on 10/1/08 at the Benjamin Rush State Park.
Debbie Beer sighted a number of warblers at Tinicum on Sunday ___ and had a Brown Thrasher in her backyard. She witnessed a Cooper’s Hawk that had caught a Squirrel.
Rick Mellon had been at a conference on South Mtn in the Lehigh Valley. He discovered that the conference room window there provided wonderful hawk watching, with raptors at eye level. He sighted Sharp-shinned and Coopers Hawks and a Merlin in conflict with a Cooper’s.
Rick Mellon also has noticed the seasonal movements of American Robins. A roost near Five Mile Woods held an estimate 25,000 bird quietly roosting in the trees. During one observation he watched groups of robins in fly over head. All went in the same direction and there were 100 birds within just 2-3 minutes.
The seasonal movements of Blue Jays were also mentioned by Paul Guris and Frank Windfelder.
Bob Horton has been hearing a Great Horned Owl calling outside his window at home.
Ann Scott recently saw a large number of Brown Pelicans at Hilton Head – though not “local,” this sighting was interesting in that the number of 478 birds moving along the coast was an impressive sum.
Tony Croasdale mentioned that suspected warbler window strike victims are being found near cover, in city courtyards, etc. This may conflict with the view that most strikes of non-resident birds occur during the hours of their overnight migration.

Main Program:
Howard Eskin presented his photo gallery, “The Challenges of Bird Photography.” His wonderful shots of birds and bird behavior were accompanied by interesting descriptions, humorous commentary and even some ID challenges for the audience. Members were impressed with the low angle of his water shots, the detail of serial behavioral photos and the sheer variety of birds captured beautifully their natural state.

Ornithological Study:
Debbie Beer presented, “Refuges By the Numbers.” Her ornithological study set forth in plain numbers some of the pertinent statistics related to our National Wildlife Refuge system. Its beginnings, scope and current developments were displayed with numerically-focused facts of interest.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Connie Goldman, recorder for this meeting in substitute for Art McMorris, Secretary