Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Field marks of an MBS-er

Most days of the week find me outside with my binoculars at some point, even if it's just around our house and on our property. Ninety-nine percent of the time I'm checking out birds, but sometimes I also spy on butterflies, dragonflies, squirrels, and chipmunks.

This evening had me looking at some other things though. I had some strange sightings on the property that I had to check out.

For one thing, there were some odd markings on my car that were puzzling me.

Unfortunately, my field guides were of no help.

But then I remembered something. I had seen similar field marks on a publication I got in the mail earlier in the week. It was all becoming clear.

These were the field marks of a car that has been to the Midwest Birding Symposium before! How appropriate that my Ohio Ornithological Society sticker is right next to my MBS sticker, especially since the OOS is one of the hosts of this year's symposium, along with Bird Watcher's Digest and the Lakeside Association. If you're not already a member of the OOS, they can get you signed up right at the symposium. You ARE coming to the symposium, aren't you?

MBS-er field marks can also be found on people, like my husband. There's a great marketplace at the symposium, where you can get cool hats and t-shirts, ogle over optics, buy your next birdfeeder, plan your next birding vacation, or maybe even pick up a cool binocular harness, as modeled here by Dave along with his MBS hat (the harness helps reduce the strain caused by the weight of heavy bins around your neck).

But wait, Dave has his sights on something, too. When I asked him what he was looking for, he had to whisper his response, as he didn't want to spook his quarry. He was looking at the mysterious Blogger Bird.

Okay, maybe she's not SO mysterious, but she was hard at work. Oh wait - that's me! And I'm in the middle of crafting this very post.

Speaking of bloggers, there will be ten Official Bloggers at the symposium. They are as follows:
Many of these will be "life" bird blogger sightings for me, as I've only met a handful of these folks in person, and some of these blogs I am not familiar with at all (looks like I've got a little homework to do!). For those of you coming to the symposium (and I'm talking to YOU, right?!), us blog-folk will have our own special blogging spot in the north end of Wesley Lodge. Be sure to stop by and say "hi!" This is, after all, the World's Friendliest Birding Event!

Other cool things going on at the symposium include a Lake Erie Island sunset boat cruise, multiple screenings of the documentary film "Ghost Bird" about the search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, songbird banding demonstrations, an exhibit of birds of prey by Back to the Wild, and so much more! Not to mention that there will be over 20 amazing speakers addressing all kinds of birding topics.

Oh, and let's not forget the birds themselves. This area of Ohio is a magnet for birds in both spring and fall migration. Great birding can be had right from the lovely town of Lakeside, but there are also other wonderful designated birding areas within driving distance of Lakeside, including the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Magee Marsh, Black Swamp Observatory, Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, and Meadowbrook Marsh (a new birding sight for the area). When I attended the symposium in '09, I had to learn the hard way that there's just not enough time to see all these places during the course of the symposium itself, so this year we're gonna get there a little early to leave time for exploring on our own!

If you can swing it, bring someone you love, be it spouse, family, or friend. Birding is best when it's shared with someone special.

Official 2011 Midwest Birding Symposium Blogger

I really hope to see you there!


Red said...

Thanks for listing all the bloggers. Now I can check them out.
Neat of you to include yourself in a post.

KaHolly said...

What a delightful post today! Well done. I wish I COULD attend. What fun would THAT be??

Heather said...

Red - I'm not below making a fool of myself just for the entertainment of my readers! Ha! And yes, please do check out all of the other bloggers!

Karen - I wish you could attend, too! I know you would have a blast. What's the birding scene like up in Cape Breton? Any birding festivals up there for you to attend?