Monday, September 19, 2011

Midwest Birding Symposium: Days 1 and 2

Almost 1,000 people from the 37 states and multiple foreign countries decended upon Lakeside, OH this past weekend to attend the Midwest Birding Symposium. The event is one of the premier birding festivals in the county and fully lives up to its reputation as the world's friendliest birding festival!There were many well known birders in attendance including my personal favorite, Kenn Kaufman!

It was a great chance to hang out with old friends and meet some new ones! I spent quite a bit of time birding with Kelly Riccetti (Red and the Peanut), Corky (one of Kelly's professors from college that she had not seen since she took his class in the 80s), and Robert Mortensen (Birding is Fun).

On Thursday night, my mom and I went on the sunset cruise that was the kick off event for the symposium. We had a great time meeting new people and enjoying the sunset while we cruised around the Lake Erie Islands!

The Goodtime 1

After getting off the boat, a bunch of us hung out in the lobby of Hotel Lakeside. That is where I got to meet Greg Miller who is featured in the book, The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession , that is being turned into a movie! He will be played by Jack Black! View the trailer here.

Greg Miller and I at Hotel Lakeside

Even though we stayed up way to late, my alarm went off at 5am so that we could make it to Magee Marsh by sunrise. We were even able to convince Kelly, who swore she could not get up before 6:15, to come with us! The birding was a little slow by Magee standards but since Robert is from Utah, he had lots of lifers! He ended up with seven lifers that morning and got his 400th lifer later on during the symposium!

As for me, the highlight of the morning was photographing a flock of 27 Sanderlings on the beach!

I attended presentations for the rest of the day including talks by John Robinson, Mark Garland, Bridget Stutchbury, author of The Private Lives of Birds , and Pete Dunne.

Hoover Auditorium Opening Ceremony

Before the keynote speeches, I was suprised to hear my name called by Bill Thompson III. I had brought the most people to the symposium using a group code. I won a poster signed by all of the speakers at the symposium! I was even more shocked when my name was called a second time during the raffle drawing and I won a huge set of books from Cornell!

Check back tomorrow to hear about the rest of the weekend!


1 comment:

Unknown said...

That was so awesome birding with you guys. Its always fun to see new birds, but even better to have such cool people to go birding with! Thanks again for showing me the ropes of MaGee Marsh.