Lakeside, Ohio. Lakeside was home base for the Ohio Ornithological Society's annual meeting, and I was part of the festivities. This was the 7th annual powwow if I've got things straight, and these "meetings" are always a great time. They're meetings only because the official vote on elected officers takes place, but that's a tiny part of the get-together.
The main focus of an OOS meeting is speakers, and field trips. Being along Lake Erie, as we were, shorebirds were the primary theme, but it could just have well been warblers. The songbirding probably eclipsed the shorebirding, but both were good. Our two keynote speakers were Mr. Shorebird himself, Kevin Karlson, and Lukas Padegimas, who gave a great presentation on his work with shorebirds in Alaska last year.
Jen Brumfield front and center, probably receiving an update on some rarity from one of numerous agents deployed along the lakefront.
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, which provided access to areas of the refuge that are normally off limits. Saturday afternoon's field trip along the dikes was quite an affair, with some 40 vehicles queued up. The sheer volume of optics was staggering.
East Harbor State Park on Saturday morning, and we had scads of songbirds, including at least 17 species of warblers. Most conspicuous, by far, were the blizzards of Blackpoll Warblers. I went over to East Harbor with Kevin Karlson for a few hours on Friday afternoon, and we estimated that we saw well over 100 Blackpolls. The next morning our group had even more, and all of the field trips were reporting scads of Blackpolls. The individual in this photo - which I took with my macro lens - was gorging on the fruit of Gray Dogwood, Cornus racemosa, as were many others.
The Ohio Ornithological Society is truly a birder's organization, and does an excellent job of working with birders of all skill levels. Don't let the OR-NIH-THO-LOJ-IH-KAL word spook you! We have a blast, and the various conferences and symposia are worth their weight in gold. CLICK HERE for membership info.
Thanks to everyone who worked to make this another great event!