Birch Bay Wings Over Water Art Gallery Walk – March 14 – 17 – Birch Bay is hosting the First Annual Wings Over Water Art Gallery Walk and everyone is invited to the opening reception on Thursday, March 14 from 4:30 to 7:00 PM at Via Café, 7829 Birch Bay Drive, Birch Bay. The Birch Bay Gallery Walk will continue during the festival through Sunday, March 17 featuring over 10 artists works exhibited in businesses around the bay. This year’s Featured Festival Artist, Vivian Mazzola, a renowned Bellingham Artist, will have a new series of paintings exclusive for the festival. Her work is inspired by her fascination of the herons, the serene beauty of wetlands and marshes and beaches of Birch Bay.
Meet the artists; enjoy art exhibits, refreshments and a beautiful sunset over the bay! Wines by the local winery GLM from Blaine will be served at the wine tasting event. Pair your wine with chocolates from Sweet Art in Bellingham. Other appetizers will be served. Maps will be available at Via Café & Bistro of the Art exhibits located in businesses around the bay. How much better can it get: wine, art and chocolate!
Upcoming Festival Activities & Locations: – The 11th annual festival is a multi-day event March 14-17 with activities in Blaine as well as Birch Bay and Semiahmoo. The focus of the festival will be the all day birding expo with free activities for the whole family on Saturday, March 16 at Blaine Middle School, 975 H Street, just off I-5 exit 275. There will also be indoor and outdoor activities to mix and match according to interests and the weather including live raptor presentations by Sardis Raptor Center, wildlife exhibits, displays, on site craft vendors, kids’ activities including build your own bird house and more. Bird viewing stations will also be available on Saturday at Marine Park, Semiahmoo and Birch Bay State Park offering the opportunity to experience the birds close at hand.
Field Trips and Expert Speakers – Saturday, March 16 – Experience a guided field trip by bus with Jim Jorgensen, retired geology and ornithology teacher to explore Semiahmoo Spit or Birch Bay to learn about the birds as well as the unique geology of these areas or take a wildlife cruise around Drayton Harbor aboard historic Plover Ferry with wildlife biologist, Dick McNeely. Cost for the field trips are $5 per person and recommended to make your reservation early by calling 360-332-4544. Expert wildlife speakers and workshops throughout the day include eagle biologist David Hancock, Hancock Wildlife Foundation; expert birder, writer and wildlife photographer Joe Meche, and David Drummond from the Merlin Foundation. Workshops include “Gardening for Birds and Feeding Birds in a Nutshell”.
Featured Speaker Presentation: Saturday, March 16, 5 pm. – At 5:00 pm there will be a free presentation at the Performing Arts Center (925 H Street, Blaine, WA), “Snow Geese and Other Wildlife of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve” by Vasiliy Baranyuk, biologist and accomplished photographer who will present his stunning photography of the island wildlife and arctic landscape as well as share his experiences over three decades of studying this northernmost World Heritage Site.
Breakfast for Birders In Birch Bay – Sunday, March 17 – Sunday morning, CJ’s Beach House Restaurant with feature Breakfast for Birders at 9:00 am. Enjoy a great breakfast and presentation by expert birder, writer and photographer, Joe Meche. There will be an opportunity after the presentation to view from the beach some of the local birds close up through a spotting scope. The cost for the breakfast is $13, seating is limited. CJ’s Beach House Restaurant, 7878 Birch Bay Drive, Birch Bay, WA. For more information call 360-332-4544.
About Us – Wings Over Water Northwest is a non-profit corporation committed to the importance educating awareness, and protecting the birding habitat within this important migration corridor. The festival is made possible by Corporate Sponsor, BP Cherry Point Refinery, Sponsors: City of Blaine, Blaine Chamber, Birch Bay Chamber, Port of Bellingham, NW Parks and Recreation District #2, Tutor Doctor, Alcoa Intalco Works, Phillips 66, Praise 106.5 as well as many local individual and business supporters.
For More Information – For a complete schedule and additional information about the festival go online at www.wingsoverwaterbirdingfestival.com. For lodging and area activities, please contact the Blaine Visitor Center at (360) 332-4544 or Birch Bay Visitor Center at (360) 371 -5004 or go to www.blainechamber.com or www.birchbaychamber.com.
Contact Information: Debbie Harger, Festival Chair – (360) 543-9982