Minutes of the San Francisco Field Ornithologists’ Meeting

October 20, 2002

Luke’s House


Present: David Armstrong, Luke Cole, Hugh Cotter. Nathan Dias, Mark Eaton, Brian Fitch, Alan Hopkins, ChrisLewis, John Lewis, John Luther, Susan Masta, Eric Preston, Kathy Robertson, Nancy Shelby, Gerry Weinberger, Jay Withgott

Call to order: President Eaton gavelled the meeting to order at 6:16 pm. The Angels were leading 7-4 and would go on to win the game.

Reading of the minutes: The minutes of the February 22, 2002 meeting were distributed. Eric moved that the reading of the minutes be dispensed with, Brian seconded. Brian moved they be approved, Nathan seconded, approved unanimously. Luke noted that the February 2002 minutes had been on the website since March, and that all previous minutes were also on the site.

Journal: Mark noted that the latest annual journal has now been posted to the website. Kudos to all involved.
Website: Some of the site guides for birding in the City have been completed and are now up on the website. Kathy completed Golden Gate Park, Kevin M has completed his section as well. Eric volunteered to type in a section. Mark noted the need for a map with the names of places birders refer to often. Alan suggested that in reporting birds, people should report the house number on the street closest to the bird so that people could look up the spot using Mapquest or a similar mapping program. Hugh noted the need for an interactive map of Golden Gate Park, and volunteered to do the Lincoln Park section for the website.

Treasurer's report: Luke reported that we have about $146.12 in the treasury, with our only major expense being the web site yearly fee. He reported that SFFO has 26 paid members for 2002, and was disappointed that Joe M. was not present to see the nifty graphic demonstrating an upward trend in the membership, from 24 to 26. Luke also called for payment of 2003 dues, which are due now.

Pelagic: Mark raised the perennial topic of an pelagic, reporting that a deepwater trip could cost under $100 for a 12 hour trip on the catamaran. Seven members present expressed interest. It was delegated to a reluctant Luke to inquire as to the liability issues of SFFO sponsoring the trip.

Restaurant reviews: None have yet been submitted. Alan suggested we start with donut shops.

Bad birding behavior: Luke inquired about the status of walking off the path at the Lobos Dunes area in the Presidio which had been the rule for many years and was chastised for doing so as it is apparently native plant restoration area. Luke was appropriately penitent, and it was agreed that we should not walk off the path at Lobos Dunes.

Hawkwatching: Brian reported on his fall at Twin Peaks, which he has been working as Paul S has worked Mount Davidson. Strategies for hawkwatching in the City were bandied about. Alan noted that at Battery Godfrey, one can watch the raptors at Hawk Hill and with patience they come over. Mark suggested having radios and being in different locations, radioing around on moving birds. Hugh noted that many of the birds from Hawk Hill head toward downtown, and perhaps over the eastern part of the city would Bayview Hill be a good spot? Brian noted that Twin Peaks produced more than hawks, lots of swifts and swallows at eye height, Band-tailed Pigeons and even the bonus Phainopepla. He said that he had never had anything on Hill 666. Mark and Jay suggested that simply putting the raw data up on the website would be a good start, that we don't need to wait for analysis. Jay wondered how hawk migration patterns correlated with weather. Mark suggested an SFFO raptor round-up, and inviting someone from Golden Gate Raptor Observatory to address the membership on this topic. John Luther noted the history of hawkwatching in the Bay Area, with Laurie Binford discovering Hawk Hill. Luke and Mark suggested a Bay Area-wide survey. John Luther suggested cross-posting the day of the raptor round-up to East Bay Birds. Alan wondered if in spring there would be a reverse Hawk Hill phenomenon here in SF, and Jay suggested we do a hawk day next March. Alan suggested we watch the wind patterns. Hugh reported that GGRO had agreed to post good bird on SFBirds, and that they report Prairie Falcons regularly at the end of August and early in September, but that nothing had yet been posted.

Save the Quail: Alan reported on quail-banding in the Presidio. All but 1-2 birds were banded by PRBO banders during a formal quail count. Informal reporting based on the 4-color bands should be sent to Alan. Formal quail counts will be announced on SFBirds.

Adjournment: at 6:57 the meeting was adjourned on Eric's motion, and Alan's second. The membership then enjoyed an evening of slides.