Wings Over Willapa Fest Brings Birding, Hiking, and Art to Washington’s South Coast

Published on 20/09/22 at 00:05
By the staff of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Long Beach, Washington) – Four days of beautiful birds and even more beautiful scenery, a Washington Coast Festival is a remarkable blend of nature, hiking, birding, art, learning and fun for all ages. (Above: Black Oystercatcher, courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

The Wings Over Willapa Festival takes place September 22-25, and it has it all. Taking place all over the Long Beach Peninsula, from Ilwaco to Leadbetter Point, and even all the way to Long Island. Its mission is to connect people with birds, art, and a celebration of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge on the South Coast of Washington, aimed at a wide audience of varying ages and abilities.

Experts will lead birding walks, classes will be given on topics such as birdwatching for beginners to bird-friendly landscaping, and there are even special pottery classes. Some of the highlights include a Long Island guided tour of an ancient grove, a special Saturday Nature Play Day for kids, and a hands-on introduction to wildlife tracking.

A special online auction has already started, where you can make unique nature-themed purchases.


Peregrine Falcon

On Friday, the Wings Over Willapa festival’s keynote speaker takes the stage: expert birder Noah Strycker is an entertaining and knowledgeable author and speaker. In 2015, he set a record for the World’s Biggest Year of Birdwatching, seeing 6,042 species in a single year. You’ll also find light snacks and beverages at the cash bar only, all taking place at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco.

Festival registration is $5, but many events have separate fees, often $10 to $35. Strycker’s pledge is $35, for example. Nature Play Day activities and movies are free. See website for registration instructions.


Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, courtesy photo

Kicking off the annual Wings Over Willapa festival on Thursday, September 22 is the social event called Taking Flight. This happens at the Salt Hotel and Pub from 5:30pm to 8:00pm, allowing attendees to mingle and meet some of the local artists who will have their works on display.

Hiking programs include the Cloud Forest Hike through Cape Disappointment, Shorebird Identification at Ocean Beach, the Leadbetter Adventure at Oysterville Beach Approach, and a variety of tours and hikes through the refuge which include Cutthroat Creek. There is the wave, tide and current walk in the Seaview area, wildlife tracking at Leadbetter Point and the Loomis Lake beach walk will take you through this area.

You can also attend free presentations on the peregrine falcon and bird counts conducted on the Washington coast. Arts and crafts classes are held at some local galleries and the North Jetty Brewery.

The online auction runs until September 24 and includes a popular airplane ride, a nature-themed quilt, beautiful paintings, fine art photography, local handcrafted pottery and woodcarvings. complex.

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Long Beach area, courtesy photos


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