Bird lovers, rejoice! From March 10th – 12th 2017, Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival celebrates the Spring arrival of migratory birds to the Pacific Northwest.
Set in scenic Blaine, WA. near the Canadian border, the festival attracts advanced and novice bird lovers of all ages.
Toast this year’s 15th annual celebration with a day trip or weekend getaway to experience exceptional birdwatching. From opening festivities, to birding and wildlife cruises, guided bird-watching tours and workshops, Wings Over Water has you covered. Spring into Spring here with your fine-feathered friends.
Start Your Weekend at the Blaine Community Pancake Breakfast.
Bird lovers need food to sustain birdwatching activities. So why not kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast? Pancakes and waffles, French toast, biscuits and gravy, sausage and eggs abound. This is a fun way to connect with locals, engage with like-minded bird enthusiasts, and plan your day ahead.
Visit the Vendor Expo.
Food, crafts and plenty of activities for kids make this a popular place to spend time during the birding festival. Check in here for festival information, exhibits and special events.
Go on a Guided Bird Walk.
What kinds of birds can you expect to view in their protected habitat? Snow geese, Great Blue Herons, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, Belted kingfisher, to name a few. Nearly 300 species call the Northwest home here.
See for yourself on an all-day guided field trip to Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta, B.C., Canada. The Sanctuary is located on over 850 acres of managed wetlands and natural marshes in the Fraser River Estuary.
Reserve your spot in advance. And pack your passport, camera, binoculars and sunflower seeds for chickadee feedings. Dress in layers and be prepared to walk on gravel, grass and wet trails. If you forget your binoculars, not to worry. You can borrow a pair or pick up snacks, birdseed and books at the gift shop on-site.
For shorter visits, naturalist Paul Woodcock, vice-president of North Cascades Audubon, leads birders on a leisurely two-hour stroll along Semiahmoo Spit.
Take a Nature or Wildlife Cruise.
Hug the shore for a short ride aboard the historic MV Plover Foot-Passenger Ferry. Look for birdlife as you tour Drayton Harbor and Semiahmoo Bay with your own on-board wildlife naturalist.
For a two-hour, open-water wildlife cruise, hop on board the 50-foot Salish Sea to view seabirds in Boundary Bay and the Georgia Strait. See if you can spot the birds before your ship naturalist does. Bonus points if you’re the first one to also identify the birds.
Attend a Presentation.
Extend your fun festival escape by attending featured speaker presentations. Pick up wildlife photography tips from this year’s keynote speaker, Paul Bannick, author of Woodpeckers of North America, A Naturalist’s Guide. Additional featured speakers add their expertise in such topics as bald eagles (David Hancock), trumpeter swans (Martha Jordan) and local birding field trips (Joe Meche).
Extend Your Stay at Semiahmoo Golf Resort & Spa.
Pacific Northwest hospitality awaits at this recently-restored Northwest iconic treasure. As our resort receptionist advised upon check-in: “Take one day to settle in, or two to change your life.” After reveling in spellbinding sunset views, fine dining, an outdoor bonfire and beachcombing, we got the message. We came away relaxed and rejuvenated from just an overnight stay.
And in case you need a little special pampering after all your birding activities – and you know you do – there’s a full-service spa on site. Before check out, enjoy a delicious brunch in Pierside Kitchen or head over to nearby Semiahmoo Marine Café for a more casual-style breakfast.
Explore Birch Bay.
Not ready to leave quite yet? Visit Birch Bay just a short drive away from the Wings over Water festivities. While the beach town is best experienced during the summer months for outdoor activities, there’s something special about wandering quiet beach towns in the off-season.
Thanks to my hosts for the opportunity to attend the Wings over Water festival and for my stay at Semiahmoo.
For more information, visit:
Wander on, bird lovers!
What’s your favorite Spring festival in the Pacific Northwest, wanderboomers?