Bird watchers search for water fowl at Helens Pond in the Three Crabs area near Dungeness during a tour of bird-spotting locations for last years BirdFest. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Bird watchers search for water fowl at Helens Pond in the Three Crabs area near Dungeness during a tour of bird-spotting locations for last years BirdFest. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Registration still open for many BirdFest activities

SEQUIM — Openings are still available for most field trips and activities planned for the 16th annual Olympic BirdFest, set April 12-14, and for the guided birding and wildlife cruise in the San Juan Islands from April 9-11.

“BirdFest registrations continue to pour in,” said Banessa Fuller, coordinator of the annual celebration of birds on the Peninsula, which is based at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, Sequim.

As of Wednesday, eight of the more than two dozen activities were full with all others still open for registration.

Among those with all seats filled are the BirdFest Banquet live auction, raffle and guest speaker at 6 p.m. April 13 in Blyn. The guest speaker will be John Marzluff, who will present “Welcome to Subirdia.”

Also full are Owls of the Olympic Peninsula on April 11, a photography workshop with Bonnie Block on April 12, and drawing classes April 12.

But as of Wednesday, the $80 Bays & Coasts of the Olympic Peninsula field trip from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 13 was still available although the trip the day before was full.

The $25 Sunday Day Chorus on April 14 was available, while the Saturday Dawn Chorus on April 13 was full.

The $30 Dry Creek Waterfowl Sanctuary field trip from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 13 still available although the trip earlier in the day was full. This trip is offered to the public only once a year.

Another tour offered only during BirdFest is the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Totem Tour at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. April 13.

Among new offerings this year are:

• Birds and Brew — A free social event at 5 p.m. April 12 at the Rainshadow Coffee House at 157 Cedar St., Sequim.

• Hummingbirds — A $15 lecture at the Dungeness River Audubon Center at 9 a.m. April 13.

• Swallows of the Olympic Peninsula — A $15 lecture at 1:30 p.m. April 13.

• Sunday Dawn Chorus — A $25 field trip near Port Angeles on April 14.

• Gardiner Beach & Diamond Point —A $25 field trip at 7 a.m. April 14.

• Talons & Toast — A $25 presentation with snacks at Wild Birds Unlimited at 275953 U.S. Highway 101 in Gardiner at 9:30 a.m. April 14.

• Discovery Bay Wild Bird Rescue — free meet-and-greet at Wild Birds Unlimited at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

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 Viper HD binoculars and gear valued at $825 are $5 each at the Dungeness River Audubon Center. 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.

BirdFest/BirdQuest begins Monday in downtown Sequim and continues through April 14.

The contest challenges visitors to find birds created by the Sequim High School ceramics class in downtown businesses, fill out a game card and drop it off at the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1192 E. Washington St.

The grand prize is a Sequim Bay Cruise with Salty Girls Charters for up to six people and a one year’s membership in the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society.

The BirdFest Photo Contest is open to all photographers whether or not they are registered for a BirdFest activity.

Birds must be photographed on the Olympic Peninsula between April 5-17.

Up to three photos can be submitted free by email to [email protected], with the date, location and species included.

The deadline for photo submission is April 20. The winner will be announced April 25 with cash prizes.

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

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