February 2011

Monthly Archive

Gulls at Daytona beach Shores by Don

Posted by on 21 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: birding

Thirteen hardy folks braved the eighty degree weather under blue skies, gentle breezes and the myriads of other beachgoers on Feb 19 to see the gull spectacle at Daytona Beach Shores. Upwards of 35,000 gulls are often seen on this stretch of beach, including some rare ones like the Thayer’s Gull, Icelandic Gull, Glaucous Gull, etc. Michael Brothers, Director of the Marine Science Center was our guide. Probably because of the large number of other beach goers and cars, there was only a fraction of the normal gulls around. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t get to see some rarities and add a couple to most of our life-lists. Continue Reading »

Viera Wetlands by Dick and Gail

Posted by on 21 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: birding

Following Friday’s Shore Bird Survey, Saturday morning, Feb 5, 6 members of our chapter traveled to Viera Wetlands. Although it was overcast and became windy in the afternoon, the lighting was very good for both birding and photography. There were many visitors to the wetlands including and Audubon group from Palm Beach County. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the day and sharing what they had seen. Continue Reading »

MINWR Scrub Jay Festival by Don

Posted by on 20 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: outreach

The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge invited SEVAS to have a booth at their annual Scrub Jay Festival on Feb 5. Seven of us participated. We had a great time meeting other exhibitors and many of the over 400 visitors who checked out the festival and its activities. Among the other exhibitors were the FWC, wildlife rehabilitators, Scrub Jay conservationists, and Halifax River Audubon. Nancy and Gail also enjoyed helping young visitors make bird feeders from pine cones, peanut butter and bird seed. Continue Reading »

2011 Shorebird Survey by Ken

Posted by on 18 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: birding

This is the fourth year that this area and the third year that Volusia County has participated in the Winter Shorebird Survey. Southeast Volusia Audubon surveyed the beach from Smyrna Dunes Park to Canaveral National Seashore and put boats in the water to cover part of Mosquito Lagoon and the Intercoastal Waterway from Edgewater to Port Orange. Continue Reading »

Owling in Houston by Ken

Posted by on 09 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: birding

Houston Audubon sponsors an owl prowl at their Edith L. Murphy Nature Sanctuary monthly over the winter. This past year our daughter gave Beth and I tickets to the December 17 event as a Christmas present.

The program started inside an on-site log house with an hour long presentation by their Education Director, Mary Anne Weber. There were about 30 of us with an age spread of six years old to me. Ms Weber did an excellent job of keeping it interesting for the youngsters while not boring the adults. The fact that she had three non-releasable owls from their rehab center no doubt helped. I personally learned a great deal about owls, an order about which I knew remarkably little. Continue Reading »

TOMOKA REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR by Don

Posted by on 03 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: outreach

For the umpteenth year, the three Volusia County Audubon groups collaborated to provide judges and prizes for students having projects which meet our environmental/conservation agenda. We did it again on Jan 27th. Judges were Karyn Hoffmann WVAS, Fred Mosher HRAS, and Don Picard SEVAS. We all had a great time interviewing the students and congratulate all of them for achieving the regional level. Special congratulations go to our prize winners. Our winners were:

FIRST PLACE SENIORS (9th-12th grades):
Ryan Brown, Spruce Creek High School
The Effects of Powdered Garlic, Cinnamon, Cloves and Mustard on Escherichia Coli and Bacillus Cereus

SECOND PLACE SENIORS:
Roshan Patel, Spruce Creek High School
What is the Effect of Ground Slope on the Number of Aquatic Plans of the Species Pontedesia Cordata?

FIRST PLACE JUNIORS (6th-8th grades):
Sydney Levy, New Smyrna Beach Middle School
Coast Sand Fence Design: A New Approach, Inspired By Nature

SECOND PLACE JUNIORS:
Amanda Fortier, Silver Sands Middle School
Do Oil Spills Affect Plant Growth

Pictures by Karyn

111th Christmas Bird Count by Dick and Gail

Posted by on 03 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: birding

Thanks to everyone who helped with the 111th Ponce
Inlet Christmas Bird Count. We had a high number of 41
participants and were able to split our circle into 11 areas
giving everyone more time to observe and count birds.
We also had our highest species count at 137 with the
possibility of up to 140. Rare Bird Documentation forms
have been submitted for 3 additional species – Red-eyed
Vireo, Eastern Fox Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow,
species that have previously not been reported in our
CBC circle. Two Least Tern were also reported as observed,
however photographic evidence, which we do not
have, is required for this species. According to Bill Pranty,
Florida CBC Editor, there is no documented record of this
species in Florida during the winter months. Our total
individual count was 35,959, within 3000 of the 110th
count.
Participants covered 473 miles by vehicle, 17 miles
by boat, nearly 22 miles on foot and contributed 92 hours
overall on this effort.
Thanks again to all.

Don’s pictures are included. If you were not up on time for the meeting, you missed a great sunrise. The other picture shows the large numbers of birds near Smyrna Dunes Park on the beach.

Panama Canal by tour boat by Ken

Posted by on 03 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: Wandering Members

Beth and my trip to Panama with another couple began Wednesday, October 13. On Friday afternoon, we left Canopy Tower and transferred to a hotel in Panama City. Saturday we crossed the continent, south to north, through the Panama Canal. Continue Reading »