State College Bird Club

September 24, 2014

The State College Bird Club met at Foxdale Village on September 24, 2014.  Approximately 30 members and guests attended, including one first time visitor. Diane Bierly presided.

•    The minutes of the April 24th meeting were read.
•    Dorothy Bordner presented the Treasurer’s Report.
•    Diane Bierly recognized and thanked Betty Kirchner, who is the bird club’s sponsor from Foxdale Village.
•    Ro Fuller announced that the next bird club meeting would be on October 22, and the speaker would be Alyssia Church who will give a program entitled “A Big Day and a Bigger Week: The Good, the Bad, and the Birdy.”
•    Field Trips – Joe Verica announced that he would lead a field trip to Scotia Barrens on September 27.  Joe also said that Bob Snyder was planning to lead a field trip for migrating waterfowl at BESP later in the fall.
•    Diane noted that club dues are due, and that the amounts were $15 for individuals, $25 for families, and $40 for a supporting membership.
•    Greg Grove read the checklist of species seen within 25 miles of Old Main since August 24th. Some species of note included Baird’s and Buff-breasted Sandpipers, an American Bittern, and a Mississippi Kite.

•    The Big Sit bird count will be held on October 12 at BESP, Penns Valley, Shaver’s Creek, and several other locations.

The evening’s presentation was by Susan Braun, who gave a talk on Birding in The Gambia. The Gambia is located on Africa’s west coast and is the smallest country in Africa. Susan visited it in March 2014 with some friends from Juniata College. Her tour of the country started and ended in the port city of Serekunda.

Susan presented her Top 10 Reasons for visiting Gambia.  Some of the reasons included ease of communication with English being the common language, as well as excellent and affordable bird guides and a variety of accessible birding locations. Gambia has been protecting bird habitat since the 1970s in an effort to promote tourism by birders.  Gambia is a very bird-rich country with 560 bird species including many Paleartic migrants.

Susan presented photos and described many of the birds she saw. In total, she saw 227 species in 7.5 days of birding, with 215 of those life birds.

Submitted by Ron Crandall, Secretary.