Three of us led the Friday bus trip for day 1 of the Festival. Jeff and I agreed near the end of the day that this was one of the hardest field trips ever on the Festival. It rained most of the time, there was occasional strong wind and the temp range was 34 to 39 degrees---probably the first time that one of these trips spent the entire time in the 30s. It was cold!! Thank goodness the full bus of birders was very cooperative, despite the questionable weather. They enjoyed it with only 91 species tallied (one of the lowest totals for a bus trip) with 16 warblers, Whooping Crane, 10 Black-necked Stilts, "both " rails, several Am Bitterns, Com. Gallinules and a few shorebirds, etc. We received special permission to go on the Dike Rd (closed because of water levels) and on the Old Marsh Rd. Both are mainly all water. I have never seen this much water on these roads or along hwy 49 in years! There is limited habitat due to the current high water. Undoubtedly these conditions will persist for quite some time.
Hopefully the weather will improve for the remaining three days of the Festival. Good luck. Daryl Tessen Appleton,, WI