Submitted by Lesslie Crowell in lieu of Peggy Cornett.
–Doug Rogers welcomed visitors and newcomers. There were 35 in attendance.
–Unusual sightings: Lesslie Crowell watched a hummingbird on her front porch trying to drink nectar from concrete flowers on a garden sculpture. Patty Kalbfleisch reported seeing an amazing variety of birds last week at the New River Gorge Birding Festival, which she highly recommends. Carol Hill watched crows remove a towel she had used to hide her expensive suet from them. In her effort to humanely deal with a pesky rat after her millet seed, JoAnn Dalley reported that she ended up with only a catbird in her have-a-heart trap. Luckily, the bird dined and safely exited the premises; as for the rat, only time will tell. Lou Tanner saw 8 Wood Ducks, Green Heron, Solitary Sandpiper and other species in a wetland near Franklin Street. Nancy Newman witnessed a bumblebee that had driven bluebirds out of their box and learned that bumblebees are indeed a threat to nesting birds. Stephanie and Lou Tanner were delighted to have an Ovenbird in their garden in Belmont. John Holden had Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at his feeder, and was recently at Shackelford Island, NC, where he saw incredible numbers of shorebirds. Linda Lester visited one of the largest wetland areas of the upper Mississippi River–Nahant Marsh, near Davenport, Iowa, where nest boxes are being installed to attract Prothonotary Warblers, and to study Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism. And Jim Nix was amazed at the variety of warblers downtown and in Court Square: Chestnut-sided Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, and more.
–Doug Rogers thanked those continuing on the board for next year: Kathy Sudduth as vice-president, Maynard Davis as treasurer, Peggy Cornett as secretary, Gabriel Mapel as field trips coordinator, Lou Tanner as programs chair, Susan and Guy Babineau as publicity chairs/Facebook , and Priscilla and Ron Kingston as hospitality chairs. Joanne Bricker will remain on the board as she morphs from newsletter editor into club news reporter, and MBC transitions to posting club events on the website each month rather than publishing a newsletter. Doug thanked John Holden for running the bird seed sale last fall and Myrlene Staten for taking on the job of membership chair next season as Lesslie Crowell retires from that position.
–Doug reported on the Planning Committee meeting of April 24. The Board approved the reshaping of the website to accommodate a page for Club Events, President’s Message, Treasurer’s Report, Membership Column, and Minutes of the meetings. The Bird Seed Sale Team will continue to divide the work for the fundraiser into manageable portions in order to attract more volunteers; the warehouse at the Department of Forestry may not be available for the sale next fall. (Editorial note: Thankfully, it has since been determined that the DOF warehouse IS available.) The board was in favor of running the Bird Conservation Poster Contest again. Ideas for outreach included a regular birding column in the newspaper, introducing MBC to local realtors and the Chamber of Commerce, advertising at ACAC, and recruiting from Dan Bieker’s PVCC Field Ornithology class. It was suggested that holding bird walks on Sundays might help to attract younger people, many of whom have family activities on Saturdays. It was unanimous that MBC keep its membership roster confidential and secure. Also, a blind email for those wishing to contact board members now replaces board members’ phone numbers and email addresses. A proposal to give members of BRYBC a reduced rate in MBC will be discussed at the next board meeting. Finally, there was a suggestion to invite new members to give a short bio at a meeting or bird walk as a way for others to get to know them better.
–Richard Teig suggested there be a designated place to keep a list of birding hotspots around the country visited and recommended by MBC members.
–Lesslie Crowell welcomed newest members Mary Langenkamp, Anne Ochs, Alexia Smith, William Shaw, and Peggi Johnson. Membership is currently 171, with 23 Sponsors, 21 Contributing members, and 29 new members. Dues are payable July 1 and members will be get an email reminder in late June. Thanks to those who volunteered at the MBC tables at plant sales in April: Kate Asquith, Peggy Cornett, and Patty Kalbfleish. All are invited to the New Members’ Bird Walk at Mint Springs Park on Saturday.
–Doug read the Field Trips report from Gabriel, who was absent. Thanks to all who led or will lead trips: Dave Hogg on April 16 to Pen Park; Doug Rogers on April 23 to Pleasant Grove Park in Fluvanna County; John Holden on April 30 to Cumberland Marsh/York River State Park, where he reported Bald Eagles and Ospreys; Michelle McKenzie to Bellair Farm on May 8; Lesslie Crowell and Doug Rogers on May 14 to Mint Springs Park for the annual New Members’ Bird Walk; and on May 21, Janet Paisley to Pocosin Fire Road in Shenandoah National Park. John Holden reported that he and others will lead a trip June 5 to Big Meadows and Pocosin Fire Road; details will be on Facebook.
–The treasurer was absent.