Outdoors

On the road

Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival

WHAT: This time of year, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds stop to rest and feed in the mudflats of the Grays Harbor estuary during their northbound migration. The festival is a celebration of these winged migrants.

WHEN: Friday-May 3.

WHERE: Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, Airport Way off state Route 109, Hoquiam. Festival headquarters is at Hoquiam High School, 501 W Emerson Ave.

EVENTS: The schedule includes marine educator Alan Rammer as the keynote speaker Friday night; guided field trips, lectures; vendors; Nature Fun Fair for families and a dinner Saturday night.

LONG-DISTANCE TRAVELERS: According to a news release, some of these migrants come from as far south as Argentina. These Arctic-bound shorebirds are among the world’s greatest migrants. Some birds travel over 15,000 miles round-trip. Some of the birds that might be seen are killdeer, greater yellowlegs, western sandpipers, sanderlings and dunlins.

LOW TIDES: The best times for viewing shorebirds are around the high tide, when the birds are concentrated close to shore. On Friday, the best viewing will be 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday, 11:20 a.m.-3:20 p.m. Saturday, and noon-4 p.m. May 3. During those times, volunteers with scopes will be stationed along the refuge’s Sandpiper Trail.

SHUTTLES: Buses will run between the festival headquarters and Sandpiper Trail from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and May 3. There is a suggested $1 donation requested per rider.

COST: There is a fee for attending some of the events, while others are free.

INFORMATION: shorebirdfestival.com.

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