Bimonthly Membership Meeting
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
7:30 PM -- 10:00 PM
Virtual Zoom Platform from Pittsburgh, PA

At least 92 computers were logged on to 3RBC's December meeting, with several of those shared by more than one person. In total, more than 110 individuals viewed the club's third virtual Zoom meeting. The meeting featured the club's popular "Slide Slam" program, which highlighted amazing photographs (and a few videos) from 13 of the club's photographer / birders.

3RBC President Sheree Daugherty called the meeting to order at 7:30pm. She and other club officers made the following announcements and reports.

    •  Sheree began by reminding all that, because the health and well-being of the clubs members is a top priority, 3RBC will continue to hold virtual meetings until such time as it is safe to once again meet face-to-face. She then announced that the Erie Bird Observatory (EBO) is requesting the assistance of any birders who made birding visits to Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania, during the months of September and October, 2020. EBO is conducting a survey to help document the economic impact of birding on the region and assist in the development of services, infrastructure and facilities to enhance birders' experiences. This study as part of a larger program funded by a grant from DCNR's Community Conservation Partnerships Program. The survey is confidential (and can be completed anonymously if you choose) and will take approximately 10 minutes of your time. Please include your email address if you would like to hear back about the study's findings.

    •  The Peregrine Editor Paul Hess announced that Sheree's "President's Message" column will retell the important story of 3RBC's founding 20 years ago by a small group of dedicated birders. Initially the founders believed that they would form a small group to meet together periodically and be entertained by a birding presentation, with birding outings organized in the times between meetings. Interest was so strong that the 'small' group has grown to more than 400 members, achieving a success that no one could have imagined!

    Tom Moeller's "Observations" column deals with Pine Siskins and their behavior. This is especially appropriate, since this has been a strong year for this bird.

    Mike Fialkovich's bird report has more interesting sightings than customary, featuring a number of unusual, rare and uncommon birds, along with some great photos to illustrate his report. Several birds sported unusual plumage: note especially Margaret Higbee's photo of a fantastically super saturated Purple Finch! Other photos depict pale birds and other color variations.

    •  Next, Tom Moeller gave his Treasurer's report. He explained to new members that, as treasurer, he is also de facto membership director, and, in that capacity, he reported that the club now has 324 memberships, totaling more than 400 individual members. He noted that the club is still maintaining its Covid-19 policy of retaining those few members who may have not yet paid their dues. He thanked those who have joined during this strange time, announcing that the club has gained 5 new members since October, including one tonight! The popularity of birding has soared during the pandemic, since it can be safely practiced outdoors with limited contact with others. On behalf of the club, Tom extended sincere thanks to those who have renewed their memberships during the pandemic, and to the many who have increased their monetary commitment to the club. The club's finances are very sound.

    •  Webmaster Tom Moeller explained that the Zoom format will make the Slide Slam especially enjoyable, since every photo and video will be displayed clearly and brightly on everyone's personal computer screen. Tom reminded everyone that they could remove their own image from the Zoom meeting by clicking the camera icon/"Stop Video" button in the lower left of the screen, thus blocking their own image while still being able to see the presentation.

    Finally, Tom reminded everyone that the club's Facebook page is still operational and is a good way to check in on things or report sightings.

    •  Outings Coordinator Steve Thomas again re-stated the club's position: due to the pandemic emergency and the potential danger to leaders and attendees, there are no outings planned for the foreseeable future. The club will resume its outing schedule as soon as it is safe to do so. He also reminded the viewers that the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (ASWP) will hold its annual Christmas Bird Count soon. Those interested should check ASWP's website for all the details: a number of counts are taking place throughout the region. This annual event is an excellent way to get in some birding, while staying safe and contributing to the nation's premier citizen-science event.

    •  3RBC Vice President Mike Fialkovich next relayed recent bird sightings and reported the following: American Wigeon at Wingfield Pines; Killdeer at Imperial and South Park; Solitary Sandpipers at several locations; Pectoral Sandpipers at Imperial and Boyce-Mayview; Spotted Sandpipers at Dashields Dam; Wilson's Snipe at Imperial; Green Herons at several locations all through October; Horned Lark heard near Schenley Park (probably a first for that location); Swainson's Thrush in Squirrel Hill; Hermit Thrush at Deer Lakes Park, Beechwood Farms and Indiana Township; large flocks of American Robins at Bridgeville and Imperial; a large flock of Cedar Waxwings at Boyce Park (in Plum); American Pipet heard calling as it flew over Homewood Cemetery; flock of House Finches at Boyce-Mayview Park; Chipping Sparrows in Pine Township; Field Sparrow in Pine Township; Lincoln Sparrow at Wingfield Pines; Red-winged Black Bird at Pine Township and Harmar Township; late Warblers include a Tennessee Warbler photographed at Ross Township and Beechwood Farms; Orange-crowned Warbler photographed in Schenley Park; Nashville Warbler in Oakland; Common Yellow Throat at South Park and Beechwood Farms; Northern Parula at Deer Lakes Park; Bay-breasted Warbler at Deer Lakes Park; Snow Goose at North Park and Allegheny Cemetery; Tundra Swans have been flying over since October, sighted in Bridgeville, Tarentum, and Upper St. Clair; Northern Shovelers at Imperial; Northern Pintail at Wingfield Pines; Surf Scoters at the Point, Downtown Pittsburgh; Black Scoter and Surf Scoter at Leetsdale Boat Launch and Dashields Dam; White-winged Scoter on the Allegheny River near Tarentum; Long-Tailed Duck at Rivers Casino; Great Egrets at Dashields Dam, South Findlay Township and Imperial; Dunlin at Duck Hollow, Boyce-Mayview Park and Imperial; Sanderling at Dashields Dam (fifth county record); Merlin at O'Hara Township, Dashields Dam, Schenley Park and Frick Park; Black Vulture photographed in Ohio Township and seen in Franklin Park; dead Virginia Rail found in Shadyside; Sora at Wingfield Pines; male Rufous Hummingbird at Hampton Township; Marsh Wrens at Wingfield Pines; Lapland Longspur at Findley Township; Pine Siskins are everywhere, in too many locations to list; Common Redpoll at Marshall Township, Sewickley Heights Park, Imperial, and Findley Township; Red Crossbill seen flying over Indiana Township; Evening Grosbeaks have been reported in many locations; and Rusty Blackbird in Upper St. Clair.

    •  Program Coordinator Dave Brooke noted that the club's next meeting - also on Zoom - will be Wednesday, February 3, 2021, and will feature a presentation by Sarah Sargent, executive director of the Erie Bird Observatory (EBO). She will tell us how the Observatory is working to preserve Presque Isle's environmental treasure in a program titled "Erie Bird Observatory: Bird Monitoring and Conservation in Northwest Pennsylvania." Among EBO's projects are banding migrant birds to monitor their timing and numbers, monitoring shorebirds, marsh birds, and water birds, and maintaining Osprey nesting platforms in cooperation with utility companies. The organization's efforts also include a study of the economic impact of birders on the Erie region. Again, this will be a Zoom meeting online starting at 7:00 PM ET, allowing plenty of time to log on. The business meeting will begin at 7:30 PM, and the presentation will start at 8:00 PM. Details on joining the meeting (Zoom passwords and other instructions) will be supplied in the days before the meeting.

Dave next announced that the evening's Slide Slam features 13 talented photographers, including the following presenters and topics:

      1. Amanda Haney
      2. Garrett Sisk
      3. Dan Weeks
      4. Ron Burket
      5. Kraig Cawley
      6. Malcolm Kurtz
      7. Donna Foyle
      8. Chris & Tom Brockmeyer
      9. Roger Higbee
    10. Liz Glowark
    11. Mike Fialkovich
    12. Dave Brooke
    13. Carlis Spivey

    Arizona 2020
    Year of Birds
    Birding 2020
    Western Birds
    6.5 Days Birding OZ
    Slide Slam 2020
    A Few Weeks in Florida
    Biggest Week Warblers 2018
    Various Birds Over Several Years
    Antarctic Penguins
    Pictures from Several Places
    Best Birds of 2020
    Photos and Video of Local Birds

After the final presentation, Sheree thanked all the participants for their excellent work. She wished everyone well, cautioned us to stay safe, and adjourned the meeting.

— prepared by Frank Moone on 12-14-2020

Image Gallery

Mission of 3RBC

To gather in friendship, to enjoy the wonders of nature and to share our passion for birds!

© Photo Credits:
Sherron Lynch, Tom Moeller, Brian Shema, and Chuck Tague