The retirement this year of Bob Domagalski as Christmas Bird Count Compiler for WSO, a position to which he had devoted 14 years, is cause not only to stop and say thanks to Bob, but also to reflect on the role the Society has played in this oldest of all large-scale citizen science endeavors.
Beginning this winter, Kyle Lindemer will take over as the state’s Christmas Bird Count Compiler for the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. The Badger Birder asked Kyle to introduce himself to WSO members; here’s his report:
This year we probably should have gone with the earlier of our dual date options, but we made the change to the 12th so that participants could also attend the Noel Cutright memorial at noon at Forest Beach on that day. As it turned out, the 5th would have turned out to be a fine migration day with clear skies and stout NW winds, but unfortunately on the day of our field trip the winds were out of the south – making for rather slow migratory movement.
2014 was the 16th year of this very popular event, so we’ve been at this for a while, and over the years we have learned that nothing can be assumed. Every year has been different, and this one was no exception. Last year, the jaegers provided nearly non-stop action during all three days, while this year this was not the case – several jaegers were spotted, but much greater patience was required!
The morning was sunny and clear, with a light to moderate NW breeze blowing. Some birders began gathering before 7:00 AM at Bay Beach Sanctuary, partly because there was also a Bay Area Bird Club field trip there this morning. Our two groups combined initially for a time, and then separated for a while, before rejoining again later. Early on, a Snowy Egret was spotted along the edge of the big lagoon near the parking area, and was in view for several minutes – but unfortunately some of the folks who arrived a little later missed the chance to see it. Black-crowned Night-Heron, Green Heron and Great Blue Heron were also present, along with several Belted Kingfishers.