Wow! What a last four days it has been! We just wrapped up the 2009 Midwest Birding Symposium today, and the whole affair couldn't have come off any better than it did. Major props to all of the organizers and the legion of people who volunteered on tasks too numerous to describe. It is a TON of work to pull off a multi-day event for over 800 birders. To everyone with Bird Watcher's Digest, the Ohio Ornithological Society, and the Lakeside Association, thanks for coming together to make MBS '09 a reality. And thanks to everyone who attended.
A particularly fortuitous happening was the discovery of a Kirtland's Warbler ten minutes away from MBS central, discovered by Jim Lindway and crew. They got word out quickly, and over the course of Friday, many dozens of birders got to see it; a lifer for many. Yours truly also bagged the bird, after my second run over to the site. Number 360 for Ohio and a real milestone for me, reaching the 360's. And what a bird to get there with!
Another wonderful byproduct of MBS, thanks to the generosity of our attendees, was the $5,000 that we were able to raise to support education and conservation. As most of the OOS board was there, we were able to convene and unanimously vote to match that number out of the OOS conservation and education fund, upping the ante to $10,000. The money will go to support the Black Swamp Bird Observatory; the Roger Tory Peterson Institute; the Lakeside Association; the Black Swamp Conservancy; and The Alliance for Appalachia. All do great work, and your money could not support better causes.
MBS '09 took place on the grounds of Lakeside, a gorgeous, tranquil village on the shores of Lake Erie on the Marblehead Peninsula. There is no better place in Ohio to host such an affair, and Lakeside's Director, Kevin Sibbring and his staff were topnotch and supported us in every way and then some. Almost everyone in town this weekend was a birder, which was pretty cool, and Lakeside is compact enough that one could walk to all of the various venues.
We'll be back in 2011 for the next MBS, and I hope you are there!