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B I R D  L I S T




Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival

E V E N T S 2016

Field Trips

PLEASE NOTE: Friday field trips leave from and return to the Grays Harbor NWR Office on Airport Way. Saturday and Sunday field trips leave from and return to Hoquiam High School.

Tokeland, Grayland and Westport Loop - $45
Friday, 8am - 4pm

           Field Trip Leaders: Phil Kelley and Charlie Wright
This field trip will take you to the best shorebird viewing areas along the coast! Target birds are 22 species of shorebirds including Snowy Plover, Willet, and Long-billed Curlew. Good numbers of waterfowl and other water species will be encountered along the way. "Streaked" Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs will also be sought after at Midway Beach Road. There will be some walking at Midway Beach Road; the remainder of the day will involve short visits to key areas in search of shorebirds. Bring a lunch and dress appropriately.

Ocean Shores - $35
Friday, 8:30am - 3:30pm
          Field Trip Leaders: Scott Morrison and Mary O'Neil
Saturday, 9:30am - 4pm
          Field Trip Leaders: Phil Kelley and Mary Russell

This beautiful coastal resort town hosts some of the best birding spots on the West Coast with more species per location than anywhere else in the State of Washington. The tour will visit a variety of habitats and upwards of 60 species may be found. Highlights on this trip include: Semipalmated Plover, Whimbrel, Marbled Godwit and Sanderling. Wandering Tattler, Surfbird, and Rock Sandpiper are possible on the Jetty.

Huynisisoos (pronounced hoo-ni-shoo, formerly Point Grenville)- $40
Saturday, 9am - 3pm
          Field Trip Leaders: Marcus Roening, Faye McAdams-Hands, and Diane Yorgason-Quinn

Huynisisoos is a great vantage point from which to observe seabirds over the open ocean. Pelagic Cormorants, Common Murres and Tufted Puffins nest in the scenic seastacks. This may be the southern-most nesting area for the "Sooty" Fox Sparrow. Huynisisoos is on Quinault Tribal lands and a Tribal guide will accompany the trip. Uneven, easy to moderate path; wear appropriate footwear.

Shorebirds for Beginners - $15
Saturday, 12 noon - 2pm
          Field Trip Leaders: Scott Morrison and Art Pavey
  A bus takes you to the Sandpiper Trail at Grays Harbor NWR where you will walk to the prime shorebird viewing area at the tip of Bowerman Peninsula. As the shorebirds gather on the mudflats, you can learn to distinguish a Western Sandpiper from a Dunlin. Other possible birds include: Least Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Red Knot, and Peregrine Falcon.

Birds Beaks and Bugs - $25
Sunday, 8am - 1pm
          Field Trip Leaders: Alan Rammer and Janet Strong
This new filed trip is sure to be a great adventure! After departing from Hoquiam High School, you will travel to Ocean City Beach along the Washington Coast where you will learn about and see first hand the critters shorebirds are feeding on in various coastal zones. The field trip leaders are among the best and most knowldegable about what life is like at the beach!

Westport - $35
Sunday, 9am - 4:30pm
       Field Trip Leaders: Kristin Stewart and Judy Taylor

Another special coast town, Westport is famous for its picturesque marina, fishing, and whale watching trips. Excellent birding places are the Westport (South) Jetty and Half Moon Bay, Johns River Wildlife Area, and Bottle Beach State Park. Scores of species will be found including: Greater Yellowlegs, Red Knot, Sanderling, and Western Gull.

 Lectures and Workshops

Shorebird Identification Basics - $10
Saturday, Noon - 1pm, Lecturer Scott Morrison
Shorebird identification can be tricky. With the help of experienced birders you will become familiar with the more common shorebirds so that you, too, can identify them in the field! You are encouraged to follow up this lecture with the "Shorebirds for Beginners" Saturday field trip to Grays Harbor NWR and the free guided walk on Sunday.

The Turkey Vulture: Love at Second Sight - $10
Sunday, 11am - 1pm - 2pm, Lecturer Dr. Dan Varland
Many consider the Turkey Vulture a rather unpleasant member of the bird world, given that it feeds on dead things and has a rather unattractive, featherless, red head. However, a closer look at the Turkey Vulture reveals the species is quite essential to the environment and beautiful in its own way. Dr. Dan Varland, of the Hoquiam-based non-profit Coastal Raptors, will share information from Coastal Raptors research on Turkey Vultures. He will talk about the natural history of the species, including distinguishing characteristics, related species, habitat, and behavior. Proceeds from this lecture will go to Coastal Raptors (

Keynote Speaker (7:30) and Dessert Reception (6:45) - $15
Friday, 7pm - 9m
The evening will start with a dessert reception at 6:45pm. At 7:30pm, the keynote speaker, Robert Michael Pyle will present his program. (Read more at the bottom of this page.)

Annual Dinner and Speaker Ken Bevis "The Wonders of Wildlife"
Location: Hoquiam Elks Lodge
Saturday, 5:30pm-9pm; $25

An entertaining and unique presentation is in store when our featured speaker, Ken Bevis, takes us on an exploration of the varied animals and habitats in our great state through images, stories, and original songs. His presentation is entitled "Wonders of Washington's Wildlife".

Participants will have a chance to donate to support the education program at Grays Harbor NWR including an AmeriCorps member and school bus transportation to the Refuge. Last year, donations raised $2400. We would love to see that amount increase this year.

The year's Annual Dinner will offer a scrumptious catered dinner by O'Brien's Catering located in Aberdeen. Dinner is served buffet style with your choice of several entree options.

Pre-registration is required by April 30th for this event. The Elks is located at 624 K Street in downtown Hoquiam. All proceeds benefit the Shorebird Festival and Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge.

Other Events

Birding Marketplace - Free
Saturday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, 9am - 4pm

Exhibitors and vendors of bird and nature items (such as bird feeding supplies, books, wildlife art, and crafts) will be present to sell their goods and answer your questions.

Guided Walks at Grays Harbor NWR - Free
Friday, 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Sunday, 2pm - 4pm
Join a naturalist along the Sandpiper Trail during peak shorebird viewing times. The trail is flat and easy walking, about 2 miles round-trip. Bring binoculars. Meet at the Refuge Kiosk on Airport Way.

Shorebird Festival Run/Walk
Saturday, 9am - 10am registration; 10am - 11am run/walk
$5 without shirt; $15 with Shorebird Festival T-shirt
This event includes a 2 mile run/walk, and a 5k and 10k run. Awards will be given to overall winners of each race as well as 1st-3rd in each age division. Pre-register (360-532-5700, ext. 240) for a Shorebird Festival T-shirt! Registration is at Hoquiam City Hall, 609 8th Street.

Nature Fun Fair - Free
Saturday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, 9am - 4pm

Wildlife art projects and activities including Shorebird on a Stick, thumbprint art, button making, and more! Great for families.

Mudflat Meals: See What Shorebirds Have for Dinner - Free
Saturday, 9am - 4pm
Estuaries are teaming with life even in the most unexpected places. Some mudflats are estimated to contain as many as 40,000 organisms per cubic inch of mud! Learn about the amazing critters living in the mudflats. Don't take it from me, come and see them yourself through microscopes and on a video monitor. Great for kids.

Be a Shorebird in the Procession of the Shorebirds! - Free
Saturday, Mask making 9am - 5pm; Procession: 10:15am
Make co0l bird masks in the Fun Fair Area any time Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Join in the Procession of the Shorebirds in front of Hoquiam High School at 10:15am just before the Poster Contest Awards Ceremony. You can also bring your own bird or nature related costurm for the parade. Great for kids and the whole family!

Shorebird Festival Poster Contest Awards Ceremony - Free
Saturday, 11am - 11:30am
poster contest winners

Grays Harbor County students, grades 1-6, design Shorebird Festival Posters for competition. Winning posters are displayed and awards are given during the Shorebird Festival.

Birding Marketplace - Free
Saturday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, 9am - 4pm

Exhibitors and vendors of bird and nature items (such as bird feeding supplies, books, wildlife art, and crafts) will be present to sell their goods and answer your questions.



Robert Michael Pyle

Western Washington, especially its Maritime edge, is not well known for its butterflies--to put it mildly! In fact, many lepidopterists would rate our butterfly fauna as one of the poorest on the continent. However, the very fact of that reputation has led to neglect when it comes to the study of butterflies here. When we take a good look between showers, we find that a surprising number of interesting and beautiful species have adapted well to west-side habitats, and that the habitats themselves are much more varied (and richer) than is commonly assumed.
In this talk, Bob will explain just why we have fewer butterflies than elsewhere, and then explore the species that do occur here and the special places where they may be found. He’ll share some big surprises from his many years devoted to the investigation and study of west-side butterflies, as well as some specialties, rarities, and mysteries.

About the Speaker

Robert Michael Pyle is the author of The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies and The Butterflies of Cascadia, among his twenty books of prose and poetry. His awards include the John Burroughs Medal (Wintergreen), a Guggenheim Fellowship (Where Bigfoot Walks), and the National Outdoor Book Award (Sky Time in Gray’s River). Bob Pyle founded the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in 1971, and has recently been named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. He lives, writes, and studies natural history in Gray’s River (not Harbor!), SW Wash.


If you have questions about the Shorebird and Nature Festival,
call (360) 289-5048.

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Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival
P.O. Box 470
Montesano, WA 98563

Page last updated March 11, 2016