Wings Over Willapa Festival

Photo by David Ryan

Are you a bird lover? Then stop by Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula for the first-ever birding festival at Willapa Bay in Southwest Washington. The Wings Over Willapa Festival will be held on September 29 and will include activities such as birdhouse building, a silent auction and, of course, many different guided bird-watching tours.

The festival date was specifically chosen to coincide with the beginning of the fall migration, so there should be plenty available for viewing. Event organizer David Ryan expects visitors to be able to see snowy plover and possibly albatross, among many other bird species.

The perfect place to view these birds is on one of the many different tours the festival offers. These include a beach biking tour, a sea kayak tour and several different boat tours, in addition to walking tours. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides, so even if you don’t know a sparrow from a seagull, you can fully appreciate the experience.

Those who prefer to stay indoors have plenty of options as well. There will be presentations throughout the day about different aspects of bird watching and many opportunities for crafting, with classes on pottery, basket-making, and painting, among others. Near the end of the day, there will be a keynote speaker and silent auction in support of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, which hosts the event.

Avian experts and novices alike will surely find something to enjoy at this event. Even if you miss the festival date, there’s plenty of opportunities for spotting some of the 200 species of birds at Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge throughout the fall and winter.

To find out more about the festival, visit friendsofwillaparefuge.org/wings-over-willapa. Visit the wildlife refuge’s website at fws.gov/refuge/willapa. To plan your visit to the Long Beach Peninsula, go to funbeach.com.

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