This event was light on astronomy (some solar views), but was done in cooperation with our partners at St Charles County Parks Department. Someday we may see more of an alliance with local birder organizations. Our thanks to the participants who shared their time serving the public in the cold. - - Jim T
Marc Arnold, David Lloyd, John Sgouros, and I were there this morning. Cold & windy might best describe it. I was less than a thrill to see ice forming on the shoreline of the river. Kathy Arnold was there, but was too cold, left for a while, and then came back. The wind was about 15 mph out of the NW. We set up between the parking lot and river so we could focus on the island and Illinois. I'm guessing that we saw about 10 birds and three spent a good deal of time perched so the optics were on them most of the time. Surprise, most of the time the birds were on our side of the river and we rarely were focused on the Illinois side.
John pushed ASEM and FNOHs and passed out quite a few business cards. After 2 1/2 hours last night, getting up early this morning, the cold, and wind, I pretty much sat.
Nancy & Betty from the Parks Department were both there as were about 100 people. I get the impression from talking to Nancy that we'll be asked back next year and they'll include us in the flyer.
Mark & I both had our dobs & binos, David had binos, and John had two refractors. Some where along the line I mentioned solar filter. John had one in his car and put it on one of his scopes. It was a good idea because we didn't always have an eagle present. For future reference, SCTs would be better than Newts because our birds perched on their heads;-) and the lower eyepiece location meant that my scope was often blocked by cars in the lot.. We had Newts/Dobs because we both were too lazy to unpack & repack from the FNOH less than nine hours earlier.
It's tough to do something Friday night and then on Saturday morning!
- - Steve B