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March 11, 12, 13, 2016
Blaine • Semiahmoo • Birch Bay

March 12, 2016
All Day Birding Expo
Blaine Middle School
975 H Street, Blaine, WA

14th Annual Wings Over Water Festival

Contact Us

Wings Over Water Birding Festival
PO Box 3095
Blaine, WA 98231
(360) 332-4544 | (800) 624-3555
email: dharger@cityofblaine.com

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About Us

Featured Speaker

Featured Artist

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Purchase a Wings Over Water Wine
glass at our opening reception.

NEW THIS YEAR!
Wings over Water Caps $20

Many colors to choose from. Hats will be available at the Opening Reception and the Expo. Supplies Limited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EVENT SCHEDULE - CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE VERSION

This annual multi-day wildlife festival, with the majority of the events taking place on Saturday, March 12, 2016 celebrates the abundance of wildlife and bird species in this pristine area of the Pacific Northwest with field trips, live raptor displays, workshops, educational activities, expert wildlife speakers and more.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bus Charter Guided Field Trip to Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Delta, BC
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Departure: 8 am, Birch Bay Square (Behind Woods Coffee) 8130 Birch Bay Square Rd. Return time is approximate due to unpredictable border wait times.
Cost:  $40 includes entrance fee and bag of bird seed.  Lunch:  Additional fee for Subway lunch options or bring your own lunch. (No glass)

Experience a guided field trip to one of Canada’s top birding sites, George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary just 40 minutes across the border in Delta, BC: ReifelBirdSanctuary  Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Please note passports or an enhanced driver’s license is required for crossing the US/Canada border. Online reservations and more information is available at: WingsOverWater

WOW Festival Opening and Artist Reception
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Loomis Trail Golf Club: 4342 Loomis Trail Road, Blaine
Cost: $10

Everyone is invited for the Opening and Artist Reception of the 14th annual Wings Over Water Festival! Meet our featured artist Bev Connor of Dreaming Otter Arts, view an exhibit of her life like detailed pen and pencil wildlife drawings. There will also be a gallery of artistic bird images by local & professional photographers. Jim Jorgensen, vice president of Wings Over Water NW and former geology and ornithology teacher, and recently retired Port of Bellingham Commissioner will share a few words followed by an inspiring presentation by featured speaker Maynard Axelson, president of the Washington Brant Foundation also a board member and a founder of the Wings Over Water Festival. This year there will be a no-host bar and a complimentary variety of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres as well as a silent auction.

Saturday, March 12th Activities

Blaine Community Pancake Breakfast
8:00 am – 11 am
Where: Blaine Community Center, 763 G Street (Across the Street from Blaine Middle School)
Cost: Adults $6, Children $4.

The Blaine Community Center will be serving a hardy breakfast of pancakes, waffles, biscuits & gravy or French toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, coffee & OJ.

WOW All Day Birding Expo, Festival Headquarters & Information
8:30 am to 5 pm
Where: Blaine Middle School – 975 H Street
Cost: Free


Enjoy lots of free activities for the whole family including kids’ activities, expert wildlife speakers, Sardis Raptor Center live raptor presentations, food, art & craft vendors, wildlife exhibits and displays. (10 am – 5 pm) Make reservations, purchase tickets for workshops and field trips starting at 8:30 am.


Birding Field Trip to Semiahmoo Spit- led by Paul Woodcock & Jim Jorgensen
10 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Bus departs in front of the Blaine Middle School Cafeteria.
Cost: $5 includes snack
Pre-registration is available on Saturday, starting at 8:30 am at Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street.

This fieldtrip offers both the novice and experienced birder the best opportunity to explore the abundance of birds along Semiahmoo Spit, a 1.25 mile natural land spit located between Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor. Enjoy a scenic bus ride around Drayton Harbor, and learn about the fascinating geology of the area from Jim Jorgensen whose background as a geology and ornithology teacher will help you to discover what makes this such an intriguing area of the northwest and premiere birding location. Take a leisurely two hour alk lead by Naturalist, Paul Woodcock, on both a paved walking trail and along the beach to view the birds close at hand. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Alaska Packers Association Museum to learn about the history of the area by Sunny Brown, APA Museum Coordinator.
Paul Woodcock is a naturalist, birding expert as well as vice-president of the North Cascades Audubon.
Jim Jorgensen’s background is a geology and ornithology teacher as well as current vice-president of Wings Over Water, NW.

 


Salish Sea Open Water Birding & Wildlife Cruise - by San Juan Cruises & North Cascade Audubon
10 am to 12:00 pm
Where: Boat Departs from Semiahmoo Resort Plover Dock 9565 Semiahmoo Dr.
Cost: $50 per person  On-line reservations are available at WingsOverWater.

Join us again this year for a two hour open water cruise from Semiahmoo Spit aboard the 50’ Salish Sea. View a diverse variety of seabirds in the rich waters of Boundary Bay and the Strait of Georgia. Professional naturalists will be aboard to help spot the birds and wildlife you'll see along the way. Dress for inclement weather, bring binoculars, and camera. The Salish Sea has plenty of indoor seating, as well as ample outdoor viewing areas on two levels of the boat. Seating is limited. Preregistration is available online.
Cruise may be subject to cancellation due to rough sea conditions. If this should happen, prepaid registration fees will be refunded.

 


Plover Passenger Ferry Nature Cruises*
10 am to 3 pm
Where: Departure on the hour from Blaine Harbor- Boating Center Dock, 235 Marine Drive
Cost: $5 
Pre-registration is available on-line at WingsOverWater or on Saturday starting at 8:30 am at the Blaine Middle School - 975 H Street*. 
*There are no ticket sales from the dock.
Note:  Shuttle bus service will not be available this year from the school to the Plover Ferry Dock.


The historic Plover Ferry will be taking passengers on a nature cruise of Drayton Harbor & Semiahmoo Bay with wildlife biologist Dick McNeely.
Dress appropriately for inclement weather.
For details on MV Plover Passenger Ferry, visit: www.draytonharbormaritime.org
Departure: On the hour, from Blaine Boating Center Dock (Last Departure is at 3:00 pm.)


Kid’s Activities
10 am to 5 pm
Where: Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street
Cost:  FREE

All day kids’ activities including arts & crafts, games, face painting and some wild surprises!
Sponsored by Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2

Kids' Birdhouse Building
10 am till gone.
Where: Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street, Blaine
Cost:  Recommended Donation $1

Build a bird house to invite the local birds to make your back yard their home. (For Kids up to age 14, while supplies last.)


North Cascades Audubon Society Bird Viewing Stations
10 am to 4 pm
Where: Viewing Station maps will be available at festival information at the Blaine Middle School.
Cost: FREE


Seeing is believing! You will be amazed at the number of interesting bird species you can see close at hand viewed through a spotting scope. Knowledgeable birders from North Cascade Audubon are on hand to assist and answer questions. A map of bird viewing station will be available at the registration desk.


Swans of Winter- by Martha Jordan
10:00 –11:30 am
Where: Blaine School Performing Arts Center - 975 H Street
Cost: FREE

Trumpeter swans, the largest waterfowl in the world, have been brought back from the brink of extinction and once again grace our skies and waterways. They trumpet the success of our conservation efforts and continue to call us to action to protect farmland and wetlands. Martha Jordan, well-known swan biologist, will share some of the history and biology of Washington’s native Trumpeter and Tundra Swans and will shed some light on the problems and controversies these birds face on their wintering grounds and what is needed to ensure their future. Get updated on the swan lead poisoning die-off, habitat issues and more. She will share some excellent photos that help clarify the difficult identification of these swans and will provide free swan identification pamphlets at her presentation. Discover ways in which you can contribute to our understanding of swans in Washington just by doing what you already do outdoors.
Martha Jordan has a degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University. She began to look at swans in the late 1970s as an independent citizen, and by 1984 had contributed much information to state and federal agencies on the status of trumpeter swans in Washington State, including the first swan management plan. She is currently the Executive Director of Northwest Swan Conservation Association, a regional non-profit.


Alaska Packers Association Cannery and Fishing Museum
10 am to 4 pm
Where: 9261 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine
Cost: FREE - donations welcome


Experience local maritime history, housed in an original Alaska Packers cannery building, the museum exhibits tell the story of days gone by and include a scale model fish trap, antique machinery, a gallery of historic photos, and an original 28 foot Bristol Bay fishing boat. Sunny Brown APA Museum Coordinator will be available to provide a presentation about this rich time in Blaine’s history.
For more information: www.draytonharbormaritime.org.
 


Youth “Bird Art” Workshop (ages 8 & up):
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Where: Blaine Middle School Classroom, 235 Marine Drive
Maximum 15 participants
Cost: FREE

"Ever wanted to draw or paint a bird but couldn't make it realistic. In this workshop, we will view & discuss cubist and abstract techniques in bird art. Participants will create 'bird art' through allowing the essence of the bird to flow from the parts that make a bird a bird." 
Class is taught by local artists Wendy and Megan Bloom.
Sponsored by Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2

Wildlife Presentation: "Eagles Next Door” by David Hancock 
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Blaine School Performing Arts Center - 975 H Street 
Cost: FREE


David Hancock; biologist, filmmaker, writer and publisher; He has been lecturing and teaching about wildlife and conservation for over 60 years. Founder of Hancock Wildlife Foundation, he is renowned for his use of live streaming video of eagles and other wildlife to promote the conservation of wildlife and its habitats through science, education, and stewardship. Hancock Wildlife was recently featured on an entire episode of CBC's Nature of Things with David Suzuki.  The program focused on a year of activity at the White Rock eagle nests and others in the Metro Vancouver area.  “Once endangered, eagles are a conservation success story with over 70,000 of these majestic birds thriving in North America today”.  We are lucky to live close to these majestic birds which thrive in our region of the northwest.  Learn from David how we can be good neighbors to these fascinating wild friends.


Live Raptor Presentation:” Hunters of the Sky” by Sardis Raptor Center
Noon to 1:30 pm
Blaine Middle School Cafeteria - 975 H Street 
Cost: FREE


This is an exciting opportunity to have up-close encounters with many magnificent birds of prey including owls, hawks, falcons, and eagles. All birds are residents of the center that have injuries that prevent their return to the wild.


Kayaks and Bird Photography – by Joe Meche
Noon to 1:30 pm
Where: Blaine Harbor Boating Center - 235 Marine Drive
Cost: FREE


Do you want to broaden your adventure as a bird watcher or bird photographer? Do you want to get closer to the action, beyond the reach of your spotting scope or telephoto lens? Perhaps it's time to look into using a kayak to gain a new appreciation/perspective of the birds you've always seen from terra firma.  Join Joe Meche as he takes us through the basics of kayaking essentials and then paddles us to some of his favorite places to kayak in search of birds.  Joe's virtual tour will take us to both salt and fresh water habitats to see a good mix of the birds you'll find there.


Salish Sea Open Water Birding & Wildlife Cruise - by San Juan Cruises & North Cascade Audubon
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: Boat Departs from Semiahmoo Resort Plover Dock 9565 Semiahmoo Dr.
Cost: 50.00 per person On-line reservations are at WingsOverWater

Join us again this year for a two hour open water cruise from Semiahmoo Spit aboard the 50’ Salish Sea. View a diverse variety of seabirds in the rich waters of Boundary Bay and the Strait of Georgia. Professional naturalists will be aboard to help spot the birds and wildlife you'll see along the way. Dress for inclement weather, bring binoculars, and camera. The Salish Sea has plenty of indoor seating, as well as ample outdoor viewing areas on two levels of the boat. Seating is limited. Preregistration is available online.
Cruise may be subject to cancellation due to rough sea conditions. If this should happen, prepaid registration fees will be refunded.


Photography Workshop: The Basics of Photographing Birds- by Photographer Ken Salzman
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Where: Blaine Middle School Classroom, 235 Marine Drive
Cost: FREE, Registration at the Festival: Blaine Middle School
 

Designed for beginner and novice photographers, this workshop will present the basics photographers need to know about capturing images of our feathered friends. Ken will share some of the tips and techniques that he has practiced for over thirty-five years of photographing birds and share the do’s and don’ts related to getting good shots of all types of birds. The workshop will be entirely in the classroom but having your camera with you might come in handy in reference to your camera’s functions and settings.
Instructor Ken Salzman has been an avid birder and bird photographer since 1981 and currently serves on the board of the North Cascades Audubon Society.
You can see some of Ken’s bird images at: www.kensalzman.zenfolio.com.


Blaine Elementary School Choir- lead by Mike Coffey
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: Blaine Cafeteria Stage
Cost: FREE


Live Raptor Presentation:” Hunters of the Sky” by Sardis Raptor Center
2:30 pm to 4 pm
Where: Blaine School Performing Arts Center - 975 H Street 
Cost: FREE


This is an exciting opportunity to have up-close encounters with many magnificent birds of prey including owls, hawks, falcons, and eagles. All birds are residents of the center that have injuries that prevent their return to the wild.


Let’s Get Back to Nature: by Bradley Smith
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Where: Blaine School Performing Arts Center - 975 H Street
Cost: FREE


National trends show a decline in traditional outdoor pursuits such as hunting and fishing. State fish and wildlife agencies rely on hunting and fishing license sales revenue for a large part of their budget. With declining participation in such pastimes how will that change the future of wildlife management. How can we broaden the appeal of other activities that will get more people into nature? How can we "un-plug" the next generation and inspire them to get out and into the out-of-doors?
Dr. Brad Smith currently serves as the Chair of the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission, appointed by the Governor to the commission in 2006 and 2015. Dr. Smith served as the dean of Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University from 1994 - 2012. He has served on a significant number of environmental councils, boards and commissions. His most recent publications include co-author of the widely used textbook Environmental Science: A Study of Interrelationships, 14th edition 2016, and Environmental Science Field Guide and Laboratory Manual, 12th edition 2013, McGraw-Hill.


Featured Presentation: “The Roar of the Eagle” by James Currie
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Blaine School Performing Arts Center 975 H Street
Cost: FREE (donations welcome)


You won’t want to miss this year’s featured keynote speaker presentation by James Currie,  National Geographic and Nikon's Birding Adventures TV host, will tell riveting stories from his book When Eagles Roar - Tales of an African Birding Adventurer. Listed as one of the top 10 nature books of 2014 by The Guardian and listed by the Birder's Library as the best book of the year, James will be sure to keep you on the edge of your seats!.  Book signing and free refreshments to immediately follow.
Sponsored by Kathy Stauffer, Windermere Real Estate


Sunday, March 13th Activities

Breakfast for Birders
9:00 am to 11:00 am
Marine Birds of the Salish Sea by Joe Meche
Where: BP Heron Center, Birch Bay State Park, 7878 Birch Bay Drive
Cost: $15 for Adults, $10 for children (under 12)
*A Discovery Pass or a $10 day pass is required for parking within the state park.
Seating is limited. Reservations available online @ WingsOverWater or on Saturday at the festival headquarters Blaine Middle School Cafeteria, 975 H St.


Enjoy a delicious breakfast and wildlife presentation by Joe Meche.  An avid birder, wildlife photographer and writer –you will experience intimately through Joe’s stunning photographs the many bird species which live and migrate here to this beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest.  Joe has spent many years observing the birds of this premiere birding area along the shores and bays of the Salish Sea.  A founder of the festival and a favorite speaker at Wings Over Water for the last 14 years, his presentation will inspire you to explore the surrounding shorelines and estuaries of Birch Bay following the presentation.

Sponsored by David Hiller, The Muljat Group

Explore Birch Bay Birds & Habitat
11 am – 1:30 pm
Where: BP Heron Center, Birch Bay State Park, 7878 Birch Bay Drive
Cost: FREE*
*A Discovery Pass or a $10 day pass is required for parking within the state park.

Explore opportunities for bird viewing and photography along the beaches of Birch Bay State Park and Terrell Creek Marsh one of the few saltwater/fresh water estuaries still left in Northern Puget Sound.

The Art of Falconry- by Dan Pike
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: BP Heron Center- Birch Bay State Park, 7878 Birch Bay Drive
Cost: FREE


*A Discovery Pass or a $10 day pass is required for parking within the state park.
Dan Pike has been a falconer since 1983 and breeds Harris hawks, goshawks, and falcons.  Learn about the art of falconry, called by some "interactive bird watching" and by Aldo Leopold "the perfect hobby".   Please come prepared to ask him questions and learn more about this ancient practice! For more information about Wings Over Water Birding NW Festival Birch Bay Activities call 360-371-5004.    
Event Sponsored by Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce