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Recap of Florida Rendezvous: Birding Basics & Beyond

January 31 to February 4, 2018

We had a wonderful time in east-central Florida during the “Birding Basics & Beyond” Reader Rendezvous from January 31 to February 4, 2018. In addition to the engaging instruction in field sketching, bird photography, and birding skills, we managed to see more than 140 species, including painted bunting, Sandwich tern, red-cockaded woodpecker, brown-headed nuthatch, Bachman’s sparrow, purple gallinule, limpkin, American bittern, and lots of other amazing birds.

Our local guides, Adam and Gina Kent, regaled us with interesting insight into Florida’s birdlife, while leading us from one hotspot to another. Special guest instructor Catherine Hamilton led several field-sketching sessions both indoors and outdoors, with amazing results from the participants. Bruce Wunderlich of Bird Watcher’s Digest and Patrick Nagle from Tamron helped Rendezvousers take better bird photographs in addition to shooting the full moon, a rocket launch, and lots of alligators.

Clay Taylor of Swarovski Optik and Rich Moncrief from Carl Zeiss Sports Optics joined us for the Rendezvous not only to represent their respective companies (which sponsor the Rendezvous series) but also to assist with birding, photography, and loaner optics. Having these fine gents with us for the debut event for Redstart Birding made things even more special.

All in all it was a fantastic extended weekend of birding, socializing, and fun. Thanks to Emily Jones at Bird Watcher’s Digest for organizing another successful Rendezvous, and to Bill Thompson, III, and Ben Lizdas for their guiding and logistical help. Thanks, too, to the rest of the BWD team back at the home office for making these Rendezvous possible.

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Check Out Our Gallery!

If you missed the Rendezvous, or if you want to recapture the spirit of those fun-filled days, you’ll want to check out pictures taken by the BWD staff and attendees.