Monday, September 21, 2009

Scenes from the Midwest Birding Symposium

Monday, September 21, 2009

As the just-finished 2009 Midwest Birding Symposium was about to start, the Lakeside businesses were putting out the welcome mat. It seemed like the entire Lakeside community was happy that the birders were invading.
The Hotel Lakeside is a grand old gal, and once again she hosted the majority of our attendees staying on site. Golf carts, the best mode of transport in this gated community, were purring along every street, moving MBS attendees from the Hotel Lakeside, south to South Auditorium and Wesley Lodge.

Ohio Ornithological Society board member Marc Nolls was the keeper of the check list for the MBS.

Attendee badges were lined up in alphabetical order, awaiting their matching attendee. In all, we hosted well more than 800 people at the 2009 MBS.

South Auditorium at set-up time (above) was much less lively than South Auditorium on Friday morning, shortly after opening (below).

The crew from Field Guides mooches some fancy coffee from Jeff Gordon.

Hoover Auditorium on Thursday afternoon.

Hoover Auditorium on Friday morning, I took this photo from the podium, before the event's opening remarks.

Jim McCormac was our first keynote speaker, with a program entitled "Lake Erie Birds & Birding." Ten minutes into his talk I got a text message that a Kirtland's warbler had been found and confirmed at nearby East Harbor State Park. It was hard not to stand up and shout the news. Instead, I waited until the talk was over to make the announcement. Fortunately many folks got to see the bird, which was very cooperative, if not consistent in its appearances.

Alvaro Jaramillo, a guide for Field Guides, Inc, and the author of the "Identify Yourself" column in Bird Watcher's Digest, gave a talk called "Bird ID Outside the Box." He was constantly preening himself so he'd look good on the Big Screen to the left of the stage.


On September 21, 2009 at 11:38 PM Anonymous said...

The community of Lakeside was thankful and delighted to serve attendees of the Midwest Birding Symposium. We wish to thank all who participated and visited the Chautauqua on Lake Erie. And a big congratulations to Bird Watcher's Digest and Ohio Ornithological Society for organizing this premier birding event. It was a blast!!

Kevin Sibbring
President and CEO
Lakeside Association

On September 22, 2009 at 6:57 AM Bill of the Birds said...

Thanks Kevin!

The success of the MBS was greatly enhanced by Lakeside—it's charming, beautiful setting, and its wonderful, helpful staff.

On September 22, 2009 at 8:59 AM Heather said...

Bill, my hat is off to you and every other single person who worked so hard to pull this event off. My hubby and I had a wonderful time, and thought that the location was absolutely perfect. The town was so welcoming, and the whole weekend was just too much fun. It was a pleasure to finally meet you and your family.
Now, get some rest!

On September 22, 2009 at 9:46 AM OpposableChums said...

Truly, a splendid time was had by all. Your 22 months of hard work paid off in spades. Many thanks.

On September 22, 2009 at 10:01 AM Mary said...

I haven't heard much yet but from I've heard so far it was fabulous!

On September 22, 2009 at 8:58 PM Anne said...

As a relative newcomer to the world of birding, I found the symposium to be SUCH an inspiring gathering of naturalists, enthusiasts, experts, mentors, artists, and plain good folk.

The organization was really impressive. Speakers, events, transportation, programming, dining...all of the details were considered so that the weekend was easy, fun, and stimulating.

I can't imagine the work and pressure that was involved in putting on this event, Bill, but hopefully you are feeling very proud and happy that 800+ people went home this weekend with big smiles on their faces and perhaps a lifer on their lists.

On September 23, 2009 at 7:11 PM Gunnar Engblom said...

Sounds just fantastic. I wish to be able to visit one of your birding festivals in the US. MBS sounds particularly interesting and good fun.
I have a dream of sometime arranging a birding festival in Lima. Hey, Bill maybe you can come down and help us?

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