Visitors flock to Olympic Peninsula for annual BirdFest: 16th annual event has more events, field trips

SEQUIM — Many field trips and activities are still available for this weekend’s 16th annual Olympic BirdFest.

The festival offers more than two dozen guided trips, workshops, classes and tours.

Registration is through the BirdFest website, www.olympicbirdfest.org, which gives the complete catalogue of activities and events along with availability and prices.

Raffle tickets for the Viper HD and gear valued at $825 are $5 each at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road. Proceeds from the raffle and BirdFest activities help support the center’s educational programs.

“Our field trips are designed to accommodate birders at all levels,” said expert birder and trip organizer Bob Boekelheide.

He added that three hours of birding at John Wayne Marina, Dungeness Spit or Three Crabs might be more enjoyable and productive for a beginning birder or someone with limited stamina than some of the longer trips.

In connection with the festival, the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a free game, BirdFest/BirdQuest on Sunday. Participants find ceramic birds created by Sequim High School students in Sequim’s downtown businesses. After they have found them all, they can drop off game cards as well as People’s Choice votes at any of the participating merchants or the chamber office at 1192 E. Washington St.

The grand prize is a Sequim Bay cruise with “Salty Girls Charters” for up to six people and a oneyear membership to the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society.

The drawing for the grand prize will be at the chamber luncheon at Guy Cole Convention Center, 292 N. Blake Ave., in Carrie Blake Park at 11:45 a.m. April 23.

At the same time, the artists who created the three top favorite sculptures will receive cash awards.

Sculptures will be on display at the Dungeness River Audubon Center until April 27.

Back by popular demand is the BirdFest Photo Contest, open to all photographers.

BirdFest registration is not required to participate.

Birds must have been photographed on the Olympic Peninsula between April 5 and 17.

Photographs can be submitted by email to [email protected]

The deadline for photo submission is 11 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Include the date, location and bird species in the email.

A number of events are new this year.

According to the organization’s website, spots were still available as of Wednesday at a number of events, including:

• Birds & Brews — a free social event at 5 p.m. today.

• Hummingbirds — lecture 9 a.m. Saturday.

• Swallows of the Olympic Peninsula — lecture 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

• Gardiner Beach & Diamond Point — field trip — 7 a.m. Sunday.

• Talons & Toast — presentation and snacks — 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

• Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue — meet and greet — 11:30 a.m. Sunday, free.

A Saturday evening banquet and raffle are fully booked, according to the organization’s website.

To learn more about the Olympic BirdFest, go to www.olympicbirdfest.org or call the Dungeness River Audubon Center at 360-681-4076.

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