Saturday, October 10, 2009

Indiana Audubon Society's Fall Festival - 3 Lifers!

Lincoln's Sparrow... Dunes State Park, IN. One of 3 Lifers for me over the weekend.
Last weekend, my nephew and I attended the Indiana Audubon Society's Fall Festival at the Indiana Dunes State Park. As expected, it turned out to be an awesome event! Birders from across the state gathered to attend seminars, workshops, etc. as well as some quality time birding the Lake Michigan shoreline. I was able to gain 3 lifers over the weekend - LeConte's Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Nelson's Sparrow.

Who is this handsome birder along the Lake Michigan shoreline?

Scenic view from the shore.

Another very attractive view of the Dunes. Gorgeous!

Alison V., Rob R., Me, and Eric R. ... McCool Watershed Basin near the Lakeshore. Alison, Rob, and Eric are each very exceptional birders. I was definitely in the presence of greatness!
I picked up two lifers on Saturday after spending some very wet time at the McCool Watershed Basin along with several participants from the festival. This relatively small area which is in part managed by the Northern Indiana Migratory Bird Association is a haven for some awesome birds! We were very privileged to get to spend some time trampling through the swampland in search of both the LeConte's Sparrow and Nelson's Sparrow. It was extremely rainy and extremely wet but it was all worth it when we got some very good views of both birds, especially the Nelson's which stayed in place for some time for almost everyone to get some spectacular photo quality views of the bird. The LeConte's wasn't as still for us but did flutter up multiple times as we approached allowing all of us to see its very ragged tail and behavior of flying low to the grass and instantly dropping back into the grass. Having both the Nelson's and LeConte's together allowed for some nice comparisons in flight, color, and behavior. We also got some nice views of multiple Savannah Sparrows.

Red-breated Nuthatch... Dunes State Park Nature Center. There were three at the feeders this particular day. They just recently arrived back to the area.

Yellow-rumped Warbler... Dunes State Park. This particular bird was just banded by Brad B., the head Naturalist at the park.
Other highlights of the weekend were presentations by Dr. Ken Brock, Lee Sterrenburg, Ross Brittain, and Alison Vilag (young birder extraordinaire) all of which were absolutely fantastic!
A huge personal thanks to Brad Bumgardner and Amy Wilms and team for pulling together such an outstanding event! I had a awesome time!
World List - 415, ABA List - 220, Indiana List - 193!


Kelly said...

Alright! A LeConte's, Lincoln's and a Nelson's! I read about this trip on Rob's blog too. Sounds like a fantastic trip, made all the more fun because you got to mush around in the wetlands (while it rained)--the weather just seems to add to the excitement!

Kelly said...

p.s. Is that spiffy bird vest you're wearing new? I want to get one of those!

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal