Wings Over Water festival returning to Blaine area

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By Jami Makan

The 17th annual Wings Over Water birding festival will take place in Blaine Friday through Sunday, March 15 to 17.

The festival celebrates the variety of migratory birds that flock to the coastal waters of Drayton Harbor, Birch Bay and Semiahmoo Bay at the northwest corner of Washington state.

The event begins in Delta, B.C. on Friday, March 15 with a field trip to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary; for $45 a person, visitors will have the chance to view a variety of rare birds, such as sandhill cranes. Later that day, the public is invited to the Wings Over Water opening dinner and featured artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Vault Wine Bar, 277 G Street. The cost is $25 a person.

A birding expo opens on Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street. It’s free to the public and will feature live presentations, wildlife exhibitions, arts and crafts vendors and activities for kids. Guests can also participate in photography workshops. Fees apply for some activities.

That evening, enjoy a free presentation by keynote speaker Tim Boyer, who will be delivering a talk, “Understanding Shorebirds: The Miracle of Migration,” at the Blaine Performing Arts Center, 975 H Street.

Naturalist and photographer Paul Woodcock will lead a free birding walk around the trails and shoreline within Birch Bay State Park at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 17.

These are just some of the activities planned for the three-day festival. More information and a full schedule can be found at wingsoverwaterbirdingfestival.com.

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