Festivals and a Rarity

A rare bird for Maine, this Lark Bunting made a short-term visit during the Acadia Bird Fest!

A rare bird for Maine, this Lark Bunting made a short-term visit during the Acadia Bird Fest!


Edison and Kevin just returned from a great road-trip cross country. Kevin was teaching a photo workshop in the Grand Tetons and Edison, Wildside’s top South American birding guide, stayed in the USA to join him to learn a bit more about photography and to enjoy seeing more of the USA’s scenic wonders, wildlife and of course, birds to complete a two month odyssey before returning to Ecuador.

Edison arrived in the USA back in mid-April to help Kevin at the Florida Birding and Photo Fest in St. Augustine. Kevin taught six workshops at the event and Edison manned the booth offering information and friendly conversation to those who stopped by.

This fun event is well worth attending for those interested in getting better images of the birds and wildlife they see. Loaded with great instructors, including Kevin Karlson, the Florida Fest will take any bird photographer to their next level!

With about 10-days between events, Edison joined a couple of Wildside’s regular clients for some northern California birding before arriving at Magee Marsh for the most amazing spectacle in warbler migration, now known as The Biggest Week in American Birding. Wildside has been a huge part of this event for the last four years of this six-year old festival.

Kevin again taught photo workshops, and was also a keynote speaker, offering his favorite presentation, “The Color of Birds: In Celebration of a Passion.” All the while, the Wildside guides in attendance were busy guiding morning walks every day and leading many of the bus trips being offered for the registrants. It is hard work, but we love it! Senior leaders Edison, Gabriel, Adrian, Greg, Kevin, Steve and Elmer, along with interns Erin, Sarah and Nancy, enjoyed team camaraderie, throughout the event and are looking forward to next year!

The fun didn’t stop in Ohio, however, Kevin, Adrian, Greg and Edison went north to Maine to lead walks and workshops at the Acadia Bird Fest the last week in May. The weather was fantastic and Edison found a rarity… a 9th Maine record of Lark Bunting! Edison hadn’t studied that bird as it was not typically found in the east, but Cape May Bird Observatory director, David LaPuma, was co-leading the walk and made the ID. Teamwork! The bird stirred quite a fuss as all the birders went to see it as it hopped about in the grass at Seal Cove, feeding on dandelions. The visit was short, however, as the bird was not seen again after that day.

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