-President Doug Rogers opened the meeting, welcoming first time visitors and Charlottesville Camera Club members. There were 37 present.
-Recent birding sightings were shared. Joanne Dalley sighted fifty bird species on the Bellair Farm Field Trip, including Great Horned Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Wilson’s Snipe. Ruth Douglas saw an Eastern Bluebird nest filled with dense fibrous material she could not identify. She found one dead fledgling. A Pine Siskin was reported at a feeder. First sightings of Rufous-sided Towhee, Palm Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Myrtle Warbler were reported.
–The Priscilla Kingston Memorial benches are well underway. $1,210 was donated, at last count. We have met with Ivy Creek and have final approval to proceed with the project. The project will be completed in mid to late April.
-Jim Nix announced that he has a notebook of bird club newsletters and records going back to 1986.
-The Proposed slate of officers and Board Members for fiscal year July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 was voted on (and in) by the membership: President-Guy Babineau; Vice President-Dan Bieker; Treasurer-Maynard Davis; Secretary-Peggy Cornett; Field Trips-Susan Babineau; Programs-Lou Tanner; Membership-Myrlene Staten; Club News-Joanne Bricker; Hospitality-Patty Kalbfleisch; Publicity-Doug Rogers; Bird Seed Sale-Bernice Melvin.
-There was a call for a vote by all Board Members present to authorize the new president’s access to the Club’s P.O. Box and accounts at Sun Trust. Secretary Peggy Cornett signed as witness.
The second annual MBC Bird Photography contest has been finalized. Info is on the web site under the tab, “Projects.” We will have 4 categories of photos (backyard birds, birds up close, birds in their habitat, and birds in motion) and 2 categories of photographers (advanced and beginners). Any member may enter only one photo per category, up to a total of four photos for the entire competition. The choice of entering either as beginner/intermediate (B) or advanced (A) is left up to the entrant. Judging will be done at our regular meeting on May 2, 2018.
-Field Trips Report: The trip to Pine Knot is April 21 at 8:00 am. Pine Knot is near Keene, off Route 20 South. Dave Hogg will lead this birding walk at the historic retreat of President TR and Edith Roosevelt. Last year, we were very successful in finding many warblers. A house tour and light refreshments will be offered following the walk. The April 28 birding trip to Loft Mountain Loop is with Joe Coppock leading. We should have a chance to see resident birds and early migrants and the possibility of spotting Ruffed Grouse, which are known to be in the Loft Mountain area and which Joe has encountered twice (though briefly) on this trail. There are also 2 fantastic vantage points with a chance for raptors. Birding Before Work – First Week is April 23 – 27 and Second Week is April 30- May 4. Local spots we will be visiting include Ivy Creek, Observatory Hill, Riverview Park, and Secluded Farm. These walks will start at 7 AM and go until 8:30. Directions, leaders and more information can be found on the web-page.
-Doug gave the publicity update. There is a barn opening at Ivy Creek on April 14. MBC will have an educational table at the opening.
-Vice-president Dan Bieker gave an update on the club’s outreach program for schools. Training sessions will take place for the fall.
-Treasurer Maynard Davis reported that all is well with the club’s finances. Membership currently is at 169, with thirty new members. We have exceeded our goals.
-Myrlene Staten reported that the MBC site on the Land’s End catalog is up and members can purchase t-shirts, hats, and other items with the bird club logo. Photos from last year’s photo contest are still on display in the Crozet Library.
Patty Kalbfleisch reminded everyone that MBC will provide refreshments after the First Saturday Birding event on May 5th at Ivy Creek. This will be an occasion to celebrate spring birding and socialize with MBC and Blue Ridge Young Birders Club members.