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Photo by Joe Meche

March 13, 14, 15, 2015
Blaine • Semiahmoo • Birch Bay

March 14, 2015
All Day Birding Expo
Blaine Middle School
975 H Street, Blaine, WA

13th Annual Wings Over Water Festival

Contact Us

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

Student Visual Display Contest

About Us

Featured Speaker

Featured Artist

Other Guest Speakers

Photos

Sponsors

Purchase a Wings Over Water Wine
glass at our opening reception.
Cost comes with a sampling
of wine. For details, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Festival Event Schedule -

This annual multi-day wildlife festival, with the majority of the events taking place on Saturday, March 15, 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 13th Activities

All Day

Create Your Own Birding Adventure:

Come early on Friday and explore on your own some of the best birding hot spots on both sides of the border. Experience one of Canada’s top birding sites, George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary just 40 minutes across the border in Delta, BC: www.reifelbirdsanctuary.com. Please note passports or an enhanced driver’s license is required for crossing the US/Canada border. Click here for a list of nearby best birding locations in Whatcom County you won’t want to miss: Bird Watching Links

 

 

6 pm to
8 pm

WOW Festival Opening and Artist Reception
Location to be determined

Everyone is invited for the Opening and Artist Reception of the 13th annual Wings Over Water FestivaL. Meet our featured artist Lorna Libert and view an exhibit of her powerful, larger than life paintings.There will also be a gallery of artistic bird images by local & professional photographers. Join us for a fascinating presentation by featured speaker, David Hancock. Purchase a commemorative Wings Over Water wine glass and enjoy wine tasting & hors d'oeuvres.

Cost: Reception: Free. Purchase of wine glass, TBD, includes wine tasting.

Saturday, March 14th Activities

8:00 am to 11 am

Blaine Community Pancake Breakfast  
Where: Blaine Senior Center 763 G Street

The Blaine Senior Center, just across the street from the Middle School, will be serving pancakes, waffles, biscuits & gravy or french toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, coffee & OJ.

Cost: Adults $6, Children $4

8:30 am to 5 pm

WOW All Day Birding Expo, Festival Headquarters & Information 
Where: Blaine Middle School - 975 H Street 

Enjoy lots of free activities for the whole family including Kids’ Activities, Expert Wildlife Speakers, Sardis Center Live Raptor Presentations, Food, Art & Craft Vendors, Wildlife Exhibits & Displays.

Make Reservations and Purchase Tickets for: Plover Ferry Wildlife Cruises Wildlife & Birding Field Trips*.

*Pre-registration ticket sales available starting at 8:30 AM.

9 am to
noon

Birding Field Trip to Semiahmoo Spit- led by Paul Woodcock & Jim Jorgensen
Cost: $5 includes snack
Reservations are recommended:  360-332-4544 or vic@cityofblaine.com

This field trip 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 by 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 walk 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.

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.

 

10 am to
noon

Eye on Wildlife Workshop for Kids 
Where: Blaine Middle School - 975 H Street
Cost: FREE
Ages: 8 & up
Maximum of 15 participants.

Participants will view and discuss slides and short videos of amazing birds and animals. Inspired, students will then take part in a watercolor paint art project celebrating wildlife and appreciation of the wonders of nature. The class is taught by local artists, Wendy & Megan Bloom.

10 am to
noon

Salish Sea Pelagic Birding & Wildlife Cruise - by San Juan Cruises & North Cascade Audubon 
Semiahmoo Resort Plover Dock, 9565 Semiahmoo Dr.
Cost: $47.50 

New this year! Join us for a two hour round trip pelagic cruise from Semiahmoo Spit to Point Roberts 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.

10 am to
3 pm

Plover Passenger Ferry Nature Cruises*
Blaine Harbor- Boating Center Dock, 235 Marine Drive
Reservations & tickets available at the Blaine Middle School - 975 H Street*. 
(Sorry, no ticket sales from the dock).
Cost:  $5

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.)

Shuttle Bus Available to and from Blaine Middle School to Blaine Boating Center. 

*Pre-registration, ticket sales available, starting at 8:30 AM at Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street.

 

 

10 am to 5 pm

Kid’s Activities
Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street
Cost:  FREE

All day kids’ activities including arts & crafts, games, face painting and some wild surprises!

10 am til gone
Kids' Birdhouse Building
Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street, Blaine
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.)

10 am to
4 pm

North Cascades Audubon Society Bird Viewing Stations 
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 question

10 am to noon

Digiscoping 101 - by Joe Meche
Blaine Boating Center - 235 Marine Drive
Cost: FREE

Digiscoping is a relatively new technique that allows you to use a regular point and shoot camera and a spotting scope to capture surprisingly sharp images of birds that are beyond reach of most telephoto lenses. Joe Meche has been an active practitioner/proponent of digiscoping for several years and will demonstrate this technique in a hands-on class/workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras, scopes, and tripods for this unique tutorial, which includes a short field trip to practice the how-to methods in a natural setting.

10 am to
4 pm

Alaska Packers Association Cannery Museum
Where:  9261 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine

Experience the history of Blaine’s fish cannery days, 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.
For more information: www.draytonharbormaritime.org

Cost: FREE - Donations welcome

 

11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Wildlife Presentation: "The History of Bald Eagles, Salmon & Wildlife in the Fraser Valley Region"  by David Hancock 
Blaine School Performing Arts Center - 975 H Street 
Cost: FREE

David Hancock; biologist, filmmaker, writer and publisher; has been lecturing and teaching about wildlife and conservation for over 50 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. David will present the history of bald eagles, salmon and wildlife in the Blaine and Fraser Valley region. Why does Drayton Harbor, the adjacent Boundary Bay and the nearby Harrison Mills areas host the world’s largest collection of bald eagles? Why are the urban eagles nearly twice as productive as the wilderness eagles? As you already know, our region is special and you will learn another reason why!

Noon to 1:30 pm

Live Raptor Presentation: "Hunters of the Sky"  by Sardis Raptor Center
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.

Noon to 2 pm

Painting is for the Birds - Uptown Art
Blaine Harbor Boating Center, 235 Marine Drive
Cost: $25

Discover your inner artist and come away with your own hand painted work of art! A Bellingham Uptown Art instructor will be here to guide you step by step in creating your own painting featuring local birds one brush stroke at a time.  Educational and fun! No experience required. All supplies included. Class size limited, pre-registration recommended. Click Here to register.
12:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Salish Sea Pelagic Birding & Wildlife Cruise - by San Juan Cruises & North Cascade Audubon 
Semiahmoo Resort Plover Dock, 9565 Semiahmoo Dr.
Cost: $47.50 

New this year! Join us for a two hour round trip pelagic cruise from Semiahmoo Spit to Point Roberts 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.

1:15 pm to 2:45 pm

Photography Workshop: The Basics of Photographing Birds- by Photographer Ken Salzman
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 twenty-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. Ken teaches birding and bird photography classes at Whatcom Community College.
1:30 - 3:00 pm

Meet this Year’s Featured Artist:  Lorna Libert
TBD

Lorna will be available to provide insight about her paintings and her background as a successful artist.

1:30 to
3 pm

Baja Birds - by Joe Meche
Where: Blaine Performing Arts Center - 975 H Street
Cost: FREE

If winter is too cold or wet and too dark to enjoy getting out to do a little bird watching, consider following the birds to a more suitable winter climate, take a trip down the Pacific Flyway to Baja Sur, Mexico. Some of the same birds that we see here in spring and summer spend their winters south of the border, along with a few species that you won’t see anywhere near the Northwest. Join writer/photographer Joe Meche as we take a virtual trip down the coast to sample some of the sights that are just a short flight away.

 

2:00 pm to
4:30 pm

Wildlife & Geology Field trip to Semiahmoo Spit & Birch Bay with Jim Jorgensen* 
Ticket Sales/Bus Departure from Blaine Middle School - 975 H Street
Cost: $5 includes snack

Take a scenic bus ride around Drayton Harbor to Semiahmoo Spit, a 1.25 mile natural spit, rich in history, geology and opportunities to view wildlife. Guided by 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. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Alaska Packers Association Cannery and Fishing Museum. 

Dress appropriately for inclement weather.

*Pre-registration available 8:30 am at Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street or call (360) 332-4544.

 

2:30 pm to 4 pm

Live Raptor Presentation:” Hunters of the Sky”  by Sardis Raptor Center
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.

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Photography Workshop: Advanced Bird Photography by Paul Bannick
Blaine Harbor Boating Center, 235 Marine Drive
Cost: $25  Registration at the Festival:  Blaine Middle School 

This is a unique opportunity for photographers to learn from Paul Bannick an award-winning wildlife photographer specializing in the natural history of North America with a focus on birds and habitat to inspire education and conservation. Paul coupling his love of the outdoors with his skill as a photographer will share how he creates images that foster the intimacy between viewer and subject.  
With this ever developing workshop, Paul explores how to get the best bird photographs with the lowest cost and the least technical variables using your digital camera with a lens (does not cover digi-scopes).

Bannick’s workshops use photographs, personal stories and interaction with students to communicate the key ideas. You do not need to own a camera or lenses to take this class.

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Wildlife Presentation:  “Welcome to Subirdia" by John Marzluff
Blaine School Performing Arts Center - 975 H Street,
Cost: FREE

John will talk about the subject of his latest book, “Welcome to Subirdia” He will reveal how our suburbs and city parks are often remarkably rich in bird diversity—holding more species than either wilderness areas or urban centers. Learn how suburbs may play a key role in preventing loss of species in the face of the dramatic disruptions of climate change and other human impacts.  Learn what steps we can take to secure the future of birds and wildlife among us.
John Marzluff is James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington, where he teaches classes in ornithology, urban ecology, conservation and field research. His previous books include, In the Company of Crows and Ravens (with Tony Angell), Dog Days, Raven Nights (with his wife Colleen), and Gifts of the Crow (with Tony Angell). He is a Fellow of the American Ornithologist’s Union.

 

5 pm

Featured Presentation: “Wood Peckers of North America” by Paul Bannick
Blaine School Performing Arts Center 975 H Street
Cost: FREE

Paul Bannick is an award-winning wildlife photographer specializing in the natural history of North America with a focus on birds and habitat. Coupling his love of the outdoors with his skill as a photographer, he creates images that foster the intimacy between viewer and subject, inspiring education and conservation. He has been invited back again this year as keynote speaker by popular demand.

As co-author and photographer for the new book, "Woodpeckers of North America, A Naturalist's Guide" Paul will examine each of the North American woodpecker species through award winning images, intimate sounds and stories and observations from the field. Paul's presentation will help you distinguish between species by behavior, habitat and field markings. He will also touch upon races of woodpeckers, adaptations to specific habitats, morphology and cultural ties.
 

Sunday, March 15th Activities

9:00 am to 11:00 am

Breakfast for Birders
CJ’s Beach House Restaurant, Birch Bay, 7878 Birch Bay Drive
Cost:  $13 for Adults,  $10 for children (under 10)

Seating is limited.  Reservations recommended at Blaine Middle School or call 332-4544.

Enjoy a fabulous breakfast buffet and presentation Birds, Back Yard Habitat and Beyond (DVD) by featured speakers Craig and Joy Johnson. Craig is a watercolor artist and photographer, and his wife Joy, a writer, together are authors of Our Puget Sound Birds & Habitat and two other photographic bird books including their newest book, Our Pacific Northwest Birds & Habitat. Puget Sound area natives, their passion is to inspire others to appreciate and protect birds and their habitat.

 

11:00 am
to
1:45 pm

Bird Watching Stations
4 locations along Birch Bay Drive and the Heron Center, Birch Bay State Park

Bird watching stations with telescopes and binoculars will be provided along the bay.***NOTE: Discover Pass or Single Day paid parking required in the Birch Bay State Park. (Handicap exceptions)

11:15 am to
1:30 pm

Guided Bird Watch with Paul Woodcock
Birch Bay State Park and Terrell Creek

Paul Woodcock of the North Cascade Aubudon Society will lead a guided bird watch near the Birch Bay State Park and Terrell Creek. Sometimes, as many as 50 different species of birds can be seen in this location.

11:30 am to
1:30 pm

Wildlife Photo Shoot
7900 Birch Bay Drive
Limit to 25 participants

Local photographers, Wayne Diaz and Eric Ellingson will lead a wildlife photo shoot behind the Birch Bay Visitors Center on Birch Bay Drive and along the bay. Wayne and Eric are two of Birch Bay's own professional wildlife photgoraphers who take most of their photos in this area. Birds commonly seen at this time of day are eagles, brandts, king fishers, song birds, dunlins, hawks, crows, various ducks and blue herons. Bring your own camer

1:30 pm to 3:15 pm

Explore Birch Bay Birds & Habitats
BP Heron Center, Birch Bay State Park
Cost: FREE

*Discovery Pass required for parking at Birch Bay State Park- Discover Pass Info

Explore additional opportunities for bird viewing as well as an afternoon workshop by Whatcom Conservation District at the new BP Heron Center. There will also be a field trip to nearby Terrell Creek Marsh one of the few saltwater/fresh water estuaries still left in Northern Puget Sound. More details to come. For more information call 360-371-5004.