Sunday, July 3, 2011

When nesting is over, then what?

One thing that I have really enjoyed about taking part in Ohio's 2nd Breeding Bird Atlas is the fact that it's gotten me out exploring other habitats. I live in the woods - my house is in the woods, and our "neighborhood" is heavily wooded, with some bits of open field here and there. As a result, I have become very familiar over the last 6 or so years with woodland birds, and also those birds who prefer what is known as "edge" habitat (the edge between woods and open areas). I am not so familiar with birds of more open areas, nor of birds that like moderately wet places. Due to my work with the Breeding Bird Atlas, though, I have taken the first steps to learning more about the areas beyond my backyard. I have gained a better appreciation and understanding for what birds are likely to be found together in these surroundings that are new to me. I am far, far away from the flat lands of the upper 2/3rds of the state, though, so there are still many things I need to see and learn about all types of different habitats that just don't exist down here in the hilly, unglaciated portions of Ohio.

There is one place to learn about VERY different habitat from what I'm used to, and that's up along the northern border of the state, in a very special town called Lakeside. In just a couple of months, this quaint little town that juts out into Lake Erie, just south of Put-In-Bay and Kelleys Island and a few miles west of Marblehead, will became a haven for birders. We will be gathering for a very special weekend, where we will look, listen, learn, and laugh, and leave our cares behind for a few days on a mini birding vacation. I'm really looking forward to it. This little getaway takes place in the form of the Midwest Birding Symposium.

I went to my first Midwest Birding Symposium 2 years ago, and had a wonderful time. It was where I met a lot of my blogging friends for the first time, and I'm looking forward to meeting even more of you at this year's symposium! Don't get me wrong - you don't have to be a blogger to attend, but there will be a good number of us there. If you'd like more information about the symposium, you can get to the homepage right from my blog! See that little badge in the upper right-hand corner, the one that's got rotating images, just above my photo? Click on it and you'll find all the nitty-gritty details about this awesome event, including how to register!

Quoting from the homepage of the event, it's "the highlight of the birding year!" It will be the highlight of my fall, that's for sure. What with breeding season wrapping up pretty much by August, I'm sure I'll be going through a little birding withdrawal after having spent so much time intently looking for breeding evidence in this little corner of the state. The symposium will be the perfect cure for those blues.There will be many fabulous programs to attend, and wonderful things to see and do.

Gulls, terns and cormorants are commonplace up along Lake Erie, but for a "country girl" like me, all these waterbirds are still new and novel. They are waiting to welcome you to the symposium!

You can watch bird banding at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory. The folks there would love to see you!

The town of Lakeside is small, peaceful and quaint. Don't you want to come see it for youself?

Here's the entrance to the pier. Can you smell the lakeside air yet?

You'll likely see some folks fishing out on the pier...

... and you can enjoy a wonderful Lake Erie sunset from there.

Here's the auditorium. We all gather together here at various times throughout the symposium.

One of those seats is waiting for you. Won't you come join us?

Official 2011 Midwest Birding Symposium Blogger


Tom said...

Great images Heather- as someone who spent time at lakeside as a child- the warm light that you have captured with your lens brings me right back to one of my favorite spots along Lake Erie-

ksdoolittle said...

What a wonderful post, Heather! I would love to be able to take part in the symposium! ~karen

Beyond My Garden said...

Heather, I've been thinking very seriously about attending the symposium. I am so unskilled that I might be overwhelmed though It never hurts to learn a bit more. Your pictures make it very inviting. If you are ever close to Marietta and want to check out the similarities in our environment, let me know. It seems like we surrounded by the same habitat.

Nina @Nature Remains said...

I like that shot through the window, Heather, Very cool!
And the old auditorium,...can't wait to be back there and relive the wonderful weekend I know is in store for us all!

Heather said...

Tom - I didn't know you were a "Lakeside kid." What a wonderful place it is! I hope you and the family can make it up to the symposium. Would love to see you!

Karen - Are you still in Texas? Maybe you could plan a stop-over in Ohio on your way back to Canada? We'd love to have you!

Nellie - Oh, you should come!!! Don't worry about skill level - this is the most welcoming birding event for birders of every stripe. And being around other folks always helps with the learning (I speak from experience). I truly hope you will consider it!

Nina - I know, I can't wait, either! See you there, friend.

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