This has been a great eight months for me as your president. I really enjoyed getting to know all of you better, actually making it to a couple of field trips, promoting the bird club whenever I get the chance, feeling supported by all of our members, seeing many of you step forward to help in small ways and in very large ways; all has been extremely gratifying. I am glad I said yes when Bob asked if I would consider serving. I would have missed out on much if I had let my fears restrict me. So I thank you all for being a part of this experience and for letting me be a part of your life.
At our May meeting we discussed some upcoming projects, and since the minutes of the meeting probably will not be posted until the September newsletter, I want to let everyone know what we are planning. I am hoping that many of you will be excited by these ideas.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust is holding an event they are calling “Celebrate the Lake” at the Farmers’ Market site on July 17 from 4–7. There will be many water activities. This day is meant to highlight all of the ways people interact with the lake and will focus on education, recreation, and conservation. We have been offered a booth for free, along with other organizations such as the Sciencenter, the Watershed Network, and the Cayuga Nature Center. It will be an opportunity for us to promote the club, the books, and the birds. I plan to accept this offer and would love to have a couple of people take part in staffing the table and leading an easy bird walk or two. I will be calling on a couple of you, but feel free to contact me if you think you could spare some of your time and offer some of your enthusiasm for a couple of hours.
On the Cayugabirds-L email list there has been much discussion about the woods at Stewart Park that we call Renwick Wildwoods and about the memorial plaque to Louis Agassiz Fuertes at the Swan Pen—discussion accompanied by confusion. We have begun to research how the Renwick Sanctuary’s name somehow was changed to Fuertes Sanctuary on city documents and maps. This discussion, along with the town’s plans to upgrade much of the terrain at Stewart Park, has generated interest in taking Renwick Wildwoods Sanctuary under our wing, for the club to once again become stewards of this area. I am hoping the plans will encompass renovation or replacement of the concrete arch, some signage detailing club history, replacing invasive plants with native ones, upgrading the trails, and generally making the sanctuary a more welcoming and safe area. Some people expressed interest in being in the front line of planning the improvements. Again, I will be in touch, but if this is something that appeals to your historic or esthetic sensibilities, please contact me. When we do come up with a plan, I am hoping that we will get widespread club participation implementing it.
This summer club officers and other interested members are getting together to determine the feasibility of hosting the New York State Ornithological Association’s annual meeting in the fall of 2014. The club hosted the 2004 meeting with great success and much acclaim. When we have a firm plan in mind, we will present it to the club. I am hoping for a positive response so that we can successfully host this event once again. For now just keep the idea in mind.
Next year, 2013, is the 100th anniversary of the Cayuga Bird Club, but as I mentioned at the meeting, in some of those years the club was quiescent. I have some ideas for how we might mark this anniversary but would love to hear more thoughts from you. I am hoping we continue next year as enthusiastically as we did this year.
Yesterday morning I was in the woods by Fall Creek early, and four Wood Thrushes were singing, fluting identical phrases back to each other, starting each phrase almost simultaneously—almost. One Wood Thrush overhead and three ghost thrushes fading back in to the distant forest. In the misty spring warmth and mossy filtered light, it was a wondrous chorus. I hope you all have a beautiful summer. Keep on checking the website, cayugabirdclub.org, for additional field trips and other information that may appear. And please come to the dish-to-pass dinner on June 11 at Myers Point. Bring your families and friends!!
- Linda Orkin