President’s Report, June 10, 2013

At the end of this President’s Report is a short summary of the Presentations by DNS members

The following Report can also be downloaded by clicking on PRESIDENT’S AGM REPORT


We had a very busy and successful year since our last AGM on June 11, 2012.  I am haphazardly listing below events we participated in, contributions by other members, issues we promoted and other stuff I deemed relevant.  The list is neither exhaustive, nor in any particular order.

DNS Executive (VP Jim, Treasurer/Membership Jennifer, Newsletter Mary, Mail Hans, Secretary Annie K & Judy, BCN/Speakers Ursula, Social Lorraine & Marilynn, Publicity Valerie & Dorothy) met regularly at the Ronback’s home, usually two weeks before each regular Monthly meeting, to discuss issues and decide the direction and participation of our Club.

Jennifer Melville-Roberts did a super job managing our finances as well as coordinating our membership programme.

Mary Ronback created 10 monthly Newsletter gems, which I know all members enjoyed and appreciated.  She continues to request member contributions.

Ursula Easterbrook represented us at the Fall (Parksville) and Spring (Abbottsford-Mission) BC Nature meetings.  She also wrote reports for inclusion in BC Nature’s quarterly magazine, as well as recruited the Speakers for nine monthly meetings (Members did the 10th).

Annie Kaps and Judy Kilcup performed yeoman Secretarial duties, taking the Minutes of our Executive and Monthly meetings.

First Dorothy Graham, then Valerie Fuller, handled our Publicity, which included advertising our meetings and events in the Optimist, Leader and other venues.

Hans-Ulf Schellhase was our Member-at-Large who handled our Mail and helped Jonathan and Jim with technical assistance for our Speakers.

Lorraine Mwenifumbo and Marilynn King were our Social Convenors.  They made sure we had Member-prepared goodies at our Monthly meetings, organized our annual Garden Party in June with Jennifer and Pamela, etc.

Jonathan Mwenifumbo became our DNS Technical Coordinator and assisted our Speakers at monthly meetings, ensuring the presentations were problem-free.

Ken Borrie has taken on DNS Website Coordination and has made our DNCB Blog not only very user-friendly, but also has added lots of information to it, including Mary’s DNS Newsletters, our DNS Meeting Minutes, our DNS Events especially those where we have our Display; plus, he has edited, enhanced and added photos to the weekly outing reports.  It is now more than a Blog; rather a DNS Website.

Terry Carr assumed Display Coordinator responsibilities along with his team of Joyce Manary, Roger Meyer and Rochelle Farquhar, with many other Nats  volunteering at the many events.  (see Events Report under Education below)

Geoff Hacker produces the Poster for each monthly meeting, illustrating the subject matter of the wide variety of Speakers whom Ursula recruits.  It is a challenge.  Geoff does a magnificent job, successfully enticing people to come.


Cosmetic Pesticides: Judy Kilcup and other Delta Nats had worked tirelessly in previous years to achieve success with Delta legislation banning these pesticides.  Since then, Judy and other Delta Nats monitored, informed and encouraged DNS members to petition the Provincial Government to ban the sale of cosmetic pesticides in B.C.  The resulting government policy was very weak and disappointing.  Prior to the Provincial Election in May, the Delta Working Group on Cosmetic Pesticides was reconvened (Marilynn King represented the Delta Nats) and the need for a cosmetic pesticide ban was raised in all candidate meetings and Delta candidates were solicited as to their views on such a  ban.  Delta Nats President sent correspondence to government officials, political candidates (for Delta) and other decision makers encouraging and supporting new BC legislation.  Both elected Delta MLA’s have indicated their support of the provincial ban.

Vancouver Airport Fuel Project Opposition for Richmond (VAPOR):  Jim Ronback is/was an active member of the committee opposing the transport of jet fuel in the Fraser River and building a terminal on its banks.  Many Nats members are supportive of this opposition.  Your DNS donated $200 to this VAPOR initiative.

RAMSAR:  On September 22, 2012 the Fraser River estuary and Burns Bog were designated as RAMSAR Wetlands of International Importance.  Several Nats had been pushing and advocating for this world-wide designation for many years.  Your President represented DNS at a formal recognition ceremony at Delta City Hall on Feb. 2, 2013.

Earth Day-April 22:  For the fourth consecutive year, DNS was represented at an event at Delta City Hall.  Previous years we have had our Informative Display.  This year your President gave a “Pecha Kucha” presentation on Delta Nats Casual Birding.  Nat Ursula Easterbrook also gave a presentation on nature photography.

Car Racing at Campbell Valley Park:  DNS President sent letter to Metro Vancouver Parks and other Legislators in support of Campbell Valley Park Association’s opposing the re-introduction of Car Racing at the oval in CVP.

Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline:  Two Delta Nats, Anne Murray and Jim Ronback, gave presentations, endorsed by DNS, to the Joint Review Panel voicing opposition to the proposal without more information and attention given to the environmental impact.

OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation facilities):  Your DNS has regularly supported Bev Day’s OWL on 72nd Street.  Mary Ronback is our Liaison to OWL, and we again donated $200 to OWL this year.


Delta Nats Display Events:  Delta Nats showcased their new-and-improved Display, under the direction of our Display Coordinator Terry Carr, at 9 events since our last AGM, namely:

(1) Fathers’ Day Pancake Breakfast at BBRP on June 17/12;

(2) International Bog Day on July 24/12;

(3) MV Parks Starry Night at Deas Island on August 18/12;

(4) Richmond Raptor Festival at Terra Nova Park on August 26/12;

(5) Day at the Farm on Westham Island on September 8/12;

(6) Cammidge House Open House on September 15/12;

(7) Delta Corp’s Annual Fish Release at Watershed Park on April 21/13;

(8) Migratory Bird Day at Cammidge House on May 12/13;

(9) Ladner May Days on May 26.


Since last June’s AGM, there have been 52 DNCB outings, that is one each week.  Reports of all outings are on our DNCB Blog at  Outings were on Wednesdays from June 13 to December 12, and Mondays from December 17 to April 1.  Participation ranged from one person to 40, but the most common number has been 13.  Destinations were most local Parks in Delta, plus others in the Lower Mainland and several further afield such as Mt. Baker, Manning Park and the Gulf Islands.  We also had four quarterly Birds on the Bay outings in Boundary Bay Regional Park on Sept. 12/12, Dec. 12/12, March 13/1 and June 5/13.  Participation in these events was usually higher, in the 15 to 25 range.  The BOTB events were coordinated by Rochelle Farquhar, and delicious home-made goodies were always provided by the Delta Nats Ladies including Rochelle, Jennifer Melvile-Roberts, Eleanor Coulter, Jean Hacker, Sandra Bearss, and others.

Delta Nats also has a Picasa site at which showcases DNS members’ photos, mostly taken on our weekly DNCB outings.  The calibre of photos has monumentally improved since the site was created a few years ago.  Regular contributors include: Terry Carr, Ken Borrie, Marion Shikaze and Jonathan Mwenifumbo.

BBRP Nesting Box Program:  Delta Nats have 31 new and refurbished nesting boxes in Boundary Bay Regional Park.  Delta Nats thank Peter Ward and Ken Hall for their direction and for organizing and leading the construction of 15 new boxes (Nats Ken & Anne Borrie and Kay Gotoh assisted).  We had several work parties to clean, replace and install the nesting boxes in October and February.  Pictorial reports are on our Blog.  Donna Thompson has prepared reports and maps on the Boxes and our program.  We will continue to monitor the boxes as to their success or failure in attracting inhabitants.  We will also install, under MV Parks instructions, a Barn Owl Box in BBRP.  Another of our Barn Owl Boxes is awaiting assignment (perhaps North Forty Park).


The Boundary Bay Park Association (BBPA) was officially created at a meeting at Cammidge House on June 7, 2013.  This BBPA meets Metro Vancouver Park requirements and is similar to other associations in other MV Parks.  Delta Nats have one of the seven positions on the Executive.  The CAMMIDGE HOUSE COMMITTEE (CHC) remains an important part of the new BBPA and 6 of the 7 Executives on the new BBPA happen to be Delta Nats members as well.  Delta Nats worked closely with CHC over the past year, participating in 10 monthly meetings and their events including Heritage Day, Fathers’ Day Sunday in the Park and Santa Claus at Cammidge House.  Many Delta Nats also volunteered to staff the 8 CAR BOOT SALES at BBRP, which are held twice monthly in June, July, August and September.


Christmas Bird Counts:  Many Delta Nats participated in at least two Christmas Bird Counts, the Ladner CBC on December 23 and the White Rock CBC on December 30. A couple of Nats also hosted CBC participants on their lunch breaks.

BC Nature events:  In addition to Ursula, both the Fall General Meeting in Parksville (Sept. 27 to 30, 2012) and the AGM in Abbottsford-Mission (May 2 to 5, 2013) were well attended by Delta Nats.  Your President, along with Joyce Manary and Boudi Van Oldenborgh, Annie Kaps and Anne Murray attended both meetings.  At the AGM, your President was elected to be a Director on the BC Nature Foundation.

Our “Guru” Delta Nat, Anne Murray, coordinates for BC Nature the IMPORTANT BIRD AREA (IBA) programme in BC.  Delta Nats hosted an IBA Caretakers’ Workshop at Cammidge House on October 20.  BC Nature is working on a sign for Boundary Bay Regional Park about the Important Bird Area and is grateful for Delta Naturalists’ Society financial support ($200) and members’ help with supplying photographs.  It should be ready later in the summer.  Other interpretive signage near the concession stand is in planning stages with MV Parks.  Anne also participated in the Baillie Birdathon and raised $1300 for Bird Studies Canada programs (Anne is a BSC Board Member).  Anne expresses her gratitude to the DNS members for their support of her Baillie Birdathon in the Chilliwack and Abbotsford area plus a short, late foray to Blackie Spit and Tsawwassen jetty on the way home.

SUMMARY:  Many members of the Delta Naturalists’ Society have been very active over the past year and made huge contributions to making DNS a very vibrant, successful and fun organization.  We are a super Team.  Thanks.

Tom Bearss, President, Delta Naturalists’ Society

After refreshments, the Presenters at our AGM were:

1) Tom Bearss on “A Typical DNCB Outing”;

2) Rochelle Farquhar‘s photos of birds and other wildlife seen on her and Don’s vacation in Australia;

3)  Joyce Manary‘s photo presentation of her trip to islands on the way to Antarctica on a Russian boat (the same ship Ursula took);

4) Valerie Fuller gave a photo presentation of the Dickcissel which spent several days in her backyard last month;

5) Jonathan Mwenifumbo gave two presentations:

• Birding in London
• Colours (focus on flowers)

6) Ursula Easterbrook‘s photo shoot of the Spirit Bears (white Grizzlies) and other stuff seen on her trip to Alaska.  This was the “Pecha Kucha” presentation Ursula gave on April 22 at Earth Day at Delta City Hall.

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