SEQUIM — Registrations for field trips offered by the 15th annual Olympic BirdFest set Friday through next Sunday continue to pour in, according to Coordinator Vanessa Fuller.
The home base for the festival is the Dungeness River Audubon Center, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, which is the recipient of proceeds from the guided trips. Registration is available at http://www.olympicbirdfest.org/.
The popular Dawn Chorus and nighttime Olympic Peninsula Owl Prowl are both full, as is a cruise to Protection Island and a trip to the Dry Creek waterfowl breeding sanctuary.
But many of the some two dozen trips remained available as of Friday.
Among them are the most expensive — the San Juan Islands Cruise, which costs $950 per person for double-occupancy and $1,100 for single occupancy, and the Neah Bay: Birding at the Beginning of the World, which costs $650 per person for double occupancy and $750 single occupancy.
The San Juan Islands Cruise will be from Tuesday through Thursday this week. It will launch from the north boat ramp at John Wayne Marina. Naturalist Bob Boekelheide will guide the trip. The package includes lodging, transportation and breakfasts and lunches.
Registration is separate from other festival events. To register go to https://tinyurl.com/PDN-sanjuanislands.
The Neah Bay cruise is from Monday, April 16, through Tuesday, April 17. It is limited to 20 people and includes lodging at Hobuck Beach.
Guided by Denny Van Horn, Bob Boekelheide and Stacey Fradkin, the trip will explore birding hot spots in the Makah Indian Nation, which is known for bald eagles and many other birds, and — if the weather permits — go on a six-to-eight-hour offshore boat trip on the M/V Windsong to view pelagic sea birds and marine mammals.
Each day will begin with breakfast at Neah Bay at 7 a.m., with participants meeting at 8 a.m. at Washburn’s Store.
Those who want to join Boekelheide as he begins birding on the way to Neah Bay can join him at 2:30 p.m. next Sunday at Clallam Bay County Park in Clallam Bay.
Two free events are planned.
The BirdFest kick off will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Dungeness River Audubon Center. Participants can meet field trip leaders and have last-minute questions answered. RSVP is required for estimating the amount of refreshments and can be done while registering for any event.
Next Sunday, April 15, Northwest Raptor Center director Jaye Moore and her volunteer staff will present eagles, hawks and owls at 2 p.m. at the Audubon Center’s amphitheater.
Other events have at least a minimal fee attached. For instance, on Friday will be BirdFest Trivia Night at the Rainshadow Coffee House at 157 W. Cedar St., Sequim. The cost will be $5 per person at the door.
The centerpiece of the festival will be the BirdFest banquet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the Jamestown S’Klallam Triber’s Red Cedar Room.
Kokopelli Grill will cater the dinner. The guest speaker will be Claudio Vidal speaking about birds in Patagonia and Chile. A live auction and raffles are planned. Cost is $50.
Other events are field trips.
On Friday and Saturday will be Bays & Coasts of the Olympic Peninsula for $80, Birding Sequim Bay & John Wayne Marina for $25, Birding Three Crabs & Dungneness Bay for $25, Birding Dungeness Spit for $25.
On Friday only will be a bird drawing class with Robert Amara at the Audubon Center for $40 and balloon rides in the overflow parking field near the Audubon Center, for $10-$20.
On Saturday only will be Birding from the Elwha to Dungeness Rivers, for $80, a tour of Jamestown S’Klallam’s totem poles, Birding by Bike for $35 and a photography workshop with Bonnie Block for $45.
Speaking of photographs, the festival is hosting a photo contest for anyone, even those not registered for BirdFest. Photos must be taken between Tuesday and April 17. The winner will be announced by April 27 and receive $100 credit for next year’s BirdFest. Second prize will get $50 credit and third prize, $25. For more information see the website.
Already in progress is BirdFest-BirdQuest, which began Monday.
The game challenges participants to find and match the ceramic bird sculptures created by Jake Reichner’s Sequim High School ceramic’s class to the business where they are hidden. Game cards are available at each of the participating merchants and the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1192 E. Washington St.
Cards are to be turned in by 4 p.m. Saturday at Forage Gifts & NW Treasures, 121 W. Washington St. The winner will be announced at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Audubon Center’s River Stag.
The grand prize includes a tour of the Northwest Raptor and Wildlife Center (www.nwraptorcenter.com) for as many as six people; a gift card to Hi-Way 101 Diner, and a one-year membership to the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society (www.olympicpeninsulaaudubon.org).
The Audubon Center is a partner with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society.
For more information, call 360-681-4076, or email [email protected]