Our Polk County Birding Blitz may have been a week ago, but we still have many fond memories of the event. In this post, Tyler and Jenna share their favorite Birding Blitz moments…

Tyler and Suzanne spent most of the morning of the Birding Blitz “dipping for American Dippers” before their efforts were rewarded.

Tyler’s Favorite Moment: My favorite part of the blitz was finding the first of two American Dippers that proved extraordinarily difficult to locate. At approximately 5:40 am, Doug Robinson told us that our township was full of dippers. Throughout the morning we were sure to check every stretch of stream, creek, and river possible but by 10:25 am we had dipped out on dippers for more than four hours. My emotions wavered between failure and betrayal (directed towards both Doug and the dippers) until 10:26 am when we pulled off to check yet another portion of Teal Creek. Suzanne and I split up to check both directions. As I peered upstream and scanned the water I saw nothing. While trudging back to the car I heard Suzanne make a sound of triumph and excitement. I ran over, and as I passed the bend in the river, an American Dipper stood less than 20m away on one of the many rocks in the stream, dipping conspicuously and innocently, as if it claimed no responsibility for the emotional roller coaster it caused.

Jenna’s Favorite Moment: My favorite parts of the birding blitz were all the positive interactions with landowners. My teammate Evan Jackson and I were invited to bird Zena forest, where we met Sarah Deumling. It was wonderful to see how much enthusiasm Sarah had for our project! Her generosity in allowing us to bird her land provided us with hotspot data that we could never have collected otherwise. Other blitz teams had similar experiences. In one case, a landowner invited a team to bird the rest of their property after only a few minutes introduction! Our birding blitz created some exciting new relationships with Polk county residents. The public support for the blitz was great, and I look forward to more of the same during our next event.

If you have your own experience from the Birding Blitz that you’d like to share, let us know!. Thank you again for everyone who participated in the Birding Blitz. We can’t wait to make more fun memories in the future!

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