I came up with a total of ~ 30 or so individuals as a final participant count. Most did not sign in, but I knew many of the birders I seen over the two day festival. I was hoping for better turn out, but I think it was pretty good considering the fact that it was put on with such short notice. I am planning on having it again next year, with many new changes.
Some of the highlights in pictures from the festival.
The Baltimore Oriole had to be the bird of the festival, they were everywhere!
Leader Mike Kravitz leads birders to check the beach for birds.
Participants checking out the Red-tailed Hawk...
And here are a couple of birders getting ready to go kayaking for birds! (Photos ©Becky Powers)
And off they go!
Some bird highlights from the festival included seeing Blue Grosbeak (A lifer for one participant!), Summer Tanager (lifer for same participant), Barred Owls, and Woodcock.
The highlight for me was the night birding. I was able to show people an American Woodcock displaying for the first time. One participant stating: "How long have I lived here and never seen one." It is a sight to behold if one has never witnessed it. Also, I was able to call in up to 5 Barred Owls, with everyone getting to see one real good. I love showing people life birds!
I am planning on doing this again next year if people are interested. I have already heard some suggestions and or complaints from this year. I am going to try to do things a lot different next year and also try to get more non-profits involved. I am also going to have some food available somehow next time. I will need help with reaching out to non-profits to encourage them to participate. Please let me know if you have a suggestion or idea.
I am definitely going to need more advertisement for next year. I am thinking about having a large sign made that can be put out on SR 125. Many birders not used to the area had a hard time finding us. I think of the rowing regattas that are held here and how many signs are out for it. Maybe next year I can put up a sign like this one: WELCOME BIRDERS!
This sign was about 5 miles out from East Fork in Amelia. It is warning rowers that there is a speed trap ahead. It appears to have been put up by ODOT. If I was to put a sign like this up for birders for the festival, I would have been put in jail for putting up an not-allowed sign! ;-)
This brings me to part 2 of this post - Big Money and East Fork SP that I will post later. It has some important information for birders and others that enjoy the outdoors that East Fork State Park has to offer. I encourage all local birders to read my next post, as I see some major changes coming to the park! (Warning - it gets political and may offend some)
Again, I want to thank those that came out and participated in the festival. I hope to see you next year!