For those of you who might not be familiar with "Jaegerfest", this extended birding field trip will take place on Wisconsin Point (at Superior) on Sept. 18-20. This annual field trip started in 1999, so this year will mark the 17th anniversary of this annual outing. Many birders stay in motels, but some choose to stay in one of the nearby campgrounds.
We have had very good success with finding jaegers on this outing, with some years being quite spectacular -- which is why we coined this event "Jaegerfest". The most likely of the jaeger species is Parasitic, but we have also found Pomarine and Long-tailed on a few occasions. We also typically find a nice variety of gulls, with Sabine's Gull being one of the most highly sought. We have found at least one during most years, and one year we had several flocks that totaled at least 30 birds!! Arctic Terns have also been found on several occasions, as have Pacific Loons, along with a wide assortment of other rarities over the years. This is generally a reliable time/place to find Harris's Sparrows, as well as a variety of other sparrows, warblers, shorebirds, etc.
One thing to keep in mind about this trip is that ANYTHING may be possible weather-wise, so it would be prudent to come prepared. We have experienced some very warm days when shorts and t-shirts are fine -- but we have also had very cold mornings, with frost on the ground and cold winds blowing off Lake Superior -- so bringing a hat, gloves and a warm winter parka would be recommended. Wet weather is also possible, so make sure you have a rainsuit, boots, and protection for your optics. One suggestion would be to bring some stiff plastic sheeting and rubber bands so you can cover your scope, as well as soft cotton cloths for wiping off wet optics. We have birded in all weather on Wisconsin Point -- except for during heavy downpours or lightning storms.
Be sure to bring a cooler and lots of food (sandwich makings, etc.) and beverages, as most people stay all day on The Point for each of those days. A comfortable folding chair might be a wise addition. We are planning to arrange for a porta-potty again this year, so I will be happy to receive/collect any donations to help cover the cost (in Superior), so WSO doesn't have to pay for this. Also we recommend that you bring along a family-band radio if you have one, as this is always a popular and useful means of communication. We use Motorola radios on channel 11 and sub-channel 22 for these birding events, and they have proven very helpful for reporting bird sightings. (Other radio brands might be used, but they may not have the same subcodes available, so you may only be able to receive, but not send radio messages.) WSO will have a few radios on hand to loan out if you need one – but please return it prior to the end of each day so it can be recharged.
As always, there is no requirement to be a WSO member to attend this outing. Just show up on Wisconsin Point at Parking Lot #1 anytime after sunrise on any of those three days and join in the fun!
WSO Field Trips co-chair