[Bristol-Birds] ad hoc biologists' network meets in Johnson City

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bristol-birds" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 23:30:13 -0400

 (L to R) Dr. Andy Jones, Tom McNeil, Wallace Coffey,  Carolyn Coffey, 
 Rick Knight, Rick Phillips and Dr. Tom Laughlin.

 A group of regional biologists, college faculty and leading
 naturalists met in Johnson City Thursday evening (28 May).

The group represents an ad hoc network which is informal
and self-configuring.  Tom McNeil and Rick Knight were
new editions to the network and think tank activities. The
biologists have been meeting irregularly for several years.

Topics considered Thursday included an update of 
on going research, recent graduate student activities,
Andy Jones' recent trip to the Galápagos Islands, regional
field problems, methods and ongoing studies of Yonahlossee 
Salamanders, a Tiger Salamander population on a TVA lake
island and other Ambystoma species and Four-toed

Ornithological considerations included the possibility and
methods of determining the remote chance of disjunct
Blue-winged Warbler influence on a Golden-winged
Warbler population in the Southern Blue Ridge of Northeast
Tennessee.  The site has nearly annual Brewster's 
hybrid types in a population that reveals no apparent presence
of obvious phenotypic Blue-wings.

Also discussed was possible night flights of shorebirds on the
South Fork Holston River of the region, where probable peeps and
other species were detected flying along the river just above
the surface well after dark.  They were observed under the
strong lighting from the Riverfront Seafood Restaurant, well
after dark.  Efforts to possibly monitor this were discussed.

Immediate follow up to Cliff Swallow bridge structure nest
sites with the two state departments of transportations to
determine any clues to the apparent absence of the species
on new bridges along the North Fork Holston River.  It was
noted that the species is so well established throughout the
region that in Carter County alone, almost every available
bridge and suitable culvert-type locations has nests of 
the species.  Some Cliff Swallows do nest on some bridges
along the North Fork Holston in Scott County, VA.

Other topics in general discussion were eventual nominations
of an appropriate national speakers for the upcoming TOS/VSO
joint state meeting in 2012 as well as limitations to some very
good Northeast Tennessee sites for the meeting.  The event
will be sponsored by the Bristol Bird Club.  Also a future 
ornithological speaker arrangements for a college seminar.

Considerable conversation included various social functions
and aspects of participant's lives and upcoming events and
plans for the near future.

Dr. Andy Jones, ornithologist with the Cleveland Museum of
Natural History, was present along with Dr. Tom Laughlin of
the ETSU biology department and Rick Phillips of the same
department.  Tom McNeil of Northeast State Community
College attended. Rick Knight, Wallace Coffey and Carolyn 
Coffey were also present.

Rick Knight acted as if he owned the restaurant where 
the dinner was held and thanked the unconvinced group for
being his guest.  Nevertheless, the group was inspired by a
double rainbow which ended at the ETSU Mini Dome, a
promise that a football team and a marching band would
soon be funded from two pots of gold.  How nice :)  




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