Olympic BirdFest offers flock of field trips this weekend

SEQUIM — Birders will be out in force with their binoculars and cameras this weekend during the 14th annual Olympic Peninsula BirdFest.

Centered at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, BirdFest is a collection of field trips and presentations on the abundant wildfowl that live on or visit the North Olympic Peninsula.

Field trips, timed to overlap wintering birds and the beginning of spring migration, span the Peninsula from Sequim Bay to Neah Bay. Most of the events are offered with fees. Proceeds go to support educational programs of the Dungeness River Audubon Center. Registration can be completed on the website at www.OlympicBirdFest.org.

Two events are free.

• Northwest Raptor &Wildlife Center staff will present birds of prey at the Dungeness River Audubon Center amphitheater at 1 p.m. Sunday. Center director Jaye Moore and volunteer staff will present owls, eagles and hawks.

• The Sequim Merchant Group is hosting the BirdFest BirdQuest in conjunction with BirdFest River through Sunday.

The free game, sponsored by the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, is taking place in 20 of Sequim’s businesses. Participants find bird sculptures created by Jake Reichner’s Sequim High School ceramics class and match them to the business in which they are found on game cards, which are available at each participating location.

Game cards are due at the chamber office at 1192 E. Washington St. by 4 p.m. Saturday. The drawing for the winner will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Dungeness River Audubon Center.

Saturday’s BirdFest banquet, which costs $50 per ticket, will feature photographer Bonnie Block speaking on tips for success in photographing birds in the Pacific Northwest.

The banquet and live auction will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Red Cedar Room at the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center in Blyn.

Block, a self-taught wildlife photographer who lives near Seattle, won the 2016 Audubon Photography Award Grand Prize for an image of a bald eagle and great blue herons.

As for other events, the days-long San Juan Islands Cruise is already in progress and the two-day Neah Bay Birding by Land and Sea, which begins Monday, is full.

Some shorter excursions — such as the Saturday Owl Prowl, Birding from the Elwha to the Dungeness Rivers, the bird drawing class, a photography workshop and a Protection Island cruise — are already full.

Here is what remained available as of Wednesday:

• Totem Tour — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday; tour of Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s totem poles; $25.

• Bays &Coasts of the Olympic Peninsula — 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday; meet at the Dungeness River Audubon Center; $80.

• Birding Sequim Bay &John Wayne Marina — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; meet at north boat ramp at John Wayne Marina; $25.

• Birding Three Crabs &Dungeness Bay — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; meet at Dungeness Landing County Park; $25.

• Birding Dungeness Spit — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; meet at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge parking lot; $25.

• Dawn Chorus at Railroad Bridge Park — 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Saturday; meet at Dungeness River Audubon Center parking lot; $15.

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