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President’s Notes

President’s Notes – January-February, 2018
by Bob Phreaner

With the New Year upon us, it is time to review last year’s accomplishments and next year’s challenges. Please indulge me as I reflect.

Let’s start with our citizen science programs. OPAS was the first Audubon chapter in Washington to participate in the Climate Watch Study, with the Bluebird breeding survey managed by Joyce Volmut. The Swan Study, coordinated by Mary Porter-Solberg, has tripled observer participation and is finding record numbers of Trumpeter Swans this season. Mary has been our olybird.org website and Facebook manager and continues to keep us posted on breaking news and conservation alerts. The OPAS Facebook page now has 140 followers. OPAS received an Audubon collaborative grant which we matched to fund a data compiler for a Pigeon Guillemot breeding study organized in Clallam County by Ed Bowlby.

The Wednesday morning bird walk, led by Bob Boekelheide, is in its seventeenth year! It is very popular with locals and visitors alike. And it’s still free! Did you know that Bob also leads a crew of observers who have been collecting data on the bird population at 3 Crabs before, during and after the NOSC restoration? Bob also leads pelagic trips for BirdFest and Neah Bay outings with his shipmate, OPAS Field Trip coordinator Denny Van Horn. We appreciate that Denny has organized at least one field trip every month in 2017, and it looks like 2018 will be just as active and interesting. Have you attended any field trips? Would you consider leading one to your favorite birding spot?

Ken Wiersema assumed the role of Education coordinator this year and has continued in the tradition of Shirley Anderson by providing entertaining and informative Back Yard Birder classes. We also greatly appreciate the support of Jane Stewart and Mike Barnes in making BYB classes possible.

The OPAS Conservation Committee had a notable achievement this year, when the Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee (WSACC) unanimously adopted OPAS’s resolution to ask the Washington Legislature to change the law so that our state can cease leasing aquatic lands for Atlantic Salmon net pens in its marine waters.

Membership Chair Audrey Gift reports that we now have a ten year high of 350 OPAS members. Annual memberships expired December 31. So if you haven’t renewed, you can find a membership form at the end of the newsletter.

2018 presents us with challenges. The OPAS Conservation Committee needs a Chairperson. Ken Wiersema will mark twenty years of nurturing the Purple Martin colony at 3 Crabs and is now facing the proposed removal of the pilings that host their nest boxes. And speaking of new nests, plans for the Dungeness River Audubon Center expansion depend on your support. It takes many volunteers to provide quality programs, and if you would like to give back we would welcome your participation on one of our many committees.

On behalf of the OPAS Board, I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy 2018, and I hope to see you at the next OPAS general meeting.



From Harlequin Happenings, January-February, 2018