Sunday, June 26, 2011

NOT about Bobolinks!

Bobolinks at Byers Woods. This events just keeps getting better and better each year- but as I recently told the Ashland County Commissioners- this is NOT about the Bobolinks.

This event is about conservation, education, eco-tourism and that feel-good-feeling one gets when you show a kid (even the ones aged 50 or so...) their very first Bobolink.

It is food, displays, crafts, vendors, native plants, bird walks, butterflies and dragonflies! Dragonflies?

Oh, and yeah. Maybe... Bobolinks, too.

Two of the stars of our show were Jen Brumfield and Greg Miller. (If you think these two look "normal" remind me to show you my favorite photos of them!)

Jen is a fabulous talent in her own right, a crack birder, butterflier and dragonfly expert. And her art work- simply amazing! Greg is the most lovable guy around- and popular character of the book- about to be released as a movie- The Big Year! Greg is never too busy to help someone find a bird in his scope or help us sort out a call. We're glad he is a GMAS member!

And here are Hugh and Judy Kolo-Rose and other friends from BSBO just getting off the bus! Black Swamp Bird Observatory is the busiest bird banding station in the USA, but they took time and showed tremendous support for our little event. Mark Shieldcastle even drove the bus down - woot, woot!!! (or is that toot-toot?)

Tim Leslie, long-time guide at Byer's Woods gathered the people with a brief history of the past-landfill and the birds found there. The local Friends of Ashland County Parks were right there working shoulder to shoulder. This event would not happen without their support!

Guy Denny, retired from Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, promotes Jen Brumfield's work in the Dragonflies of NE Ohio. Guy led an afternoon walk (with Jen's assist). It was a little windy for butterflies, but some dragons were found so folks loved it. Besides, Guy could just talk about dirt and make it interesting!

Julie Davis, Jen Sauter, Sue Evanoff .. and Cheryl Harner (aka Weedpicker)

My peeps from Ohio Ornithological Society showed up to lend support and get their first of the year BOBOLINK! Even great birders have to schedule trips to see this bird- they are becoming rarer each passing year.

Crafts! Food! Mowing and weeding the butterfly garden! Ashland County Park District is all volunteers- and some of the nicest people you'll ever meet! A special thanks to them for the work they do, not only for this event- but for all their educational events hosted throughout Ashland County all year long!

Gary Cowell, (center) chief tent pitcher and bird-whisperer, and Don and Diana Plant (far right) have forgot more about bats and bluebirds than I will ever know- and we greatly appreciated their display.

And Bobolinks. Did I mention Bobolinks? A male perched on his landfill-vent pipe, giving the what-for to everyone who passed by their nest. Deep in the grass Mrs. Bobo must have been silently brooding some eggs, as he was ever vigilant!

And this year, those baby bobolinks have until July 10th to clear out safely. Let's hope it is enough time: cross your fingers for successful fledging. Wouldn't it be great if Ashland county could be #1 in Ohio Bobolink exports!?

Again Special Thanks: to Tim Leslie, Jen Brumfield, Guy Denny and Greg Miller for guiding folks to bobolinks and interesting insects.

KUDOS: to Black Swamp Bird Observatory and Ohio Ornithological Society for all of their support in this effort to conserve bobolinks.

And to all of those people from both ACPD and GMAS: Sam W., Jack and Lolle L., Tom K., Louise F., Gary C., Jan K. and Annette M., Bianca D., Don & Diana P., and Miss Paula- Go Team Bobolink!


  1. FANTASTIC EVENT. Will be there next year, for sure. - Jen Brumfield

  2. Hi Cheryl, Thanks for spearheading this and for being our GMAS fearless leader. It's a lot of work to get events together. I'm glad it happened, and I look forward to next year's. It was fun!