On Tour: Oswego, NY

24 Apr

April 18th, 2013  |  What We Need is the Impossible!  |  Oswego, NY

The highlight of the tour so far? Spent this morning with a bunch of birders watching migrating hawks at the Derby Hill Bird Observatory on Lake Ontario near Oswego!

photo-62_Birder Group

Chris, the lovely proprietor of the Serendipity B&B in Oswego (my pal Jenny Abel wrote about him in her recent OSIP blog post) mentioned that this is an auspicious time and place for migrating birds – the birds are flying north to return to their summer grounds and run into Lake Ontario, and apparently birds won’t cross a lake if they can’t see the other side. So they flurry around in the skies above Derby Hill before moving on to skirt the lake around to the east.

photo-65_Birds Flying

The birders at Derby Hill were great. They seem so nice! Reminded me of Esperanto speakers. They loaned me some binoculars and were happy to answer all my questions. It seemed like a real scene there, and I got the sense that many of them were regulars. Peter Davidson, an older hippie-ish guy, told me he’d been coming to Derby Hill for 25 years.

He said they see Golden and Bald Eagles, Sand Hill Cranes, Rough Leg Hawks, and Sharp-Shinned Hawks. And besides the birds, they have “a lotta knee-slapping laughs.”

One of the younger fellows, Steve Colby, is paid by the Audubon Society to come out and count the birds. I was particularly taken with the gizmos he had for keeping track of what he saw.

photo-66_Counter Billboard

photo-59_Important Bird Area

photo-60_Counters

photo-64_Counters

Derby Hill is a beautiful spot. It’s apparently very windy in Oswego in general, but it was especially windy up on the hill – a big blustery wind that felt like the whole sky was blowing. And the Hill overlooks Lake Ontario, which is huge and feels more like a sea than a lake. (Having grown up in Michigan, it felt good to be back around one of the Great Lakes).

Derby Hill map

And the screening? It was OK. I was happy to meet Jacob Dodd and Josh Adams who teach at SUNY Oswego. And I enjoyed speaking with their students during the afternoon. A light turnout at the theater though. I shoulda invited the birders!

Post by OSIP Touring Filmmaker, Sam Green

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