Field Trips

In order to optimize the birding experience for participants, carpooling will be used for all field trips. As with previous conferences, field trips are limited to 12 individuals in three autos —so register early! Also, please consider carpooling from your home to the conference. Target species listed for each trip are representative species or species that are unusual enough to warrant broad interest. Many locations are eBird hotspots. Participants are encouraged to explore on eBird for a comprehensive potential species list. Please note that some trips may be physically demanding and will include challenging hikes so be sure to read the trip description prior to registration. Two unique categories are listed for each trip whether the trip is eBird Enabled and if playback will be used. On trips marked as eBird Enabled (E), the leader will record species at each location visited and will share the lists with those interested. Keep in mind that those trips that are not e-Bird enabled may have a participant who will be e-birding each location. WOS has received comments regarding playback. Therefore, leaders were asked to indicate: “no playback used,” “playback used” or the more common “playback may be used.” This final option means that the leader may use playback if the situation is deemed appropriate for a target species.

All field trips will depart from a location to be announced at a later date. Field trips may require that vehicles have a Discover Pass or other passes. Please note that if you register for the Boundary Bay and Reifel Refuge trip you are REQUIRED to bring your Passport or Enhanced Drivers License or you will not be able to depart with the group. Also note the additional fee of $40.00 for this trip. If you have any FRS radios, please bring them. You will need radios with sub-channels, as 11/22 is the birder channel. Note: stated mileage amounts are approximate; exact mileage will vary depending on the exact route taken. The mileages given are round trip to and from the Semiahmoo Resort.

Full-day trips leave from the Semiahmoo Resort at 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy, Blaine, WA . at either 6:00 AM or 6:45 AM so be sure to check the trip descriptions. (sunrise: ~6:15 AM PDT) Full day trips are expected to return around 4:00 PM. Half-day trips leave at 6:45 AM and are expected to return around noon. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your field trip departure time.

Your trip leader will have a sign with your field trip name. Make sure that you check in with the trip leader when you arrive at the field trip departure area.
It is the responsibility of the participants to reimburse their driver. Remind the driver to set the odometer before departure. WOS recommends that drivers be reimbursed by a rate of 0.25 per mile divided by the number of passengers in the car (not including the driver). For example if a trip is 100 miles in length and three passengers are in the car, each person would contribute $8.33 for mileage reimbursement to the driver.



On the Way Trips
On the way trips are designed to optimize your birding experience by taking advantage of routes that can be birded while taking you in the general direction of your destination (to Blaine on Thursday and on the way home on Monday). We would like to encourage participants to carpool both coming to and leaving from the conference! Communicate with the trip leader regarding exact meeting time and location.

From Vancouver, WA to Blaine

This Going To trip will begin in Vancouver, WA and travel north via Hwy 101 for some birding along the way, ending up at Semiahmoo Resort in time to pick up registration packets for the conference.

GT01 – Thursday – Randy Hill– no E – playback may be used

From Spokane, WA to Blaine

This Going To trip will begin in Spokane, WA and travel west for some birding along the way, ending up at Semiahmoo Resort in time to pick up registration packets for the conference.

GT02 – Thursday – Kim Thorburn– no E – No Playback.


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Half Day Trips
All of the following trips will be leaving from the parking lot of the Semiahmoo Resort. All half day trips depart at 6:45 AM.

Semiahmoo/Drayton Harbor

Close trip for shorebirds and returning waterfowl. This will mainly be a beach based trip.
Distance: 40 miles driving
County visited: Whatcom

Fr01 – Friday – ***CANCELLED***
Sa01 – Saturday – Diane Yorgason-Quinn & Faye Hands– E – Playback used
Su01 – Sunday – Brian Bell – E – Playback may be used

Padden Creek to Bellingham Bay

This trip starts at Padden Creek Lagoon and works its way north to Bellingham Bay. The focus will be on shorebirds and returning waterfowl.
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 80 miles driving, Beaches, trails – easy walking

Fr02 – Friday – Bob Myhr – no E – Playback may be used
Sa02 – Saturday – Bob Myhr – no E – Playback may be used

Tennant Lake/Ferndale Flats

Visit not to be missed Tennant Lake with varied habitats for year round birding. An observation Tower and a boardwalk through marsh allow for a possibility of Green Heron and other skulkers.
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 65 miles driving, Trails in parks, roadside stops

Fr03 – Friday – Pam Borso – E – Playback may be used
Su03 – Sunday – Pam Borso – E – Playback may be used

Scudder Pond/Whatcom Falls Park

Varied habitats – with woods and wetland areas. Virginia Rail is known to nest here in the Spring.
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 80 miles driving, walking trails in parks

Fr04 – Friday – ***CANCELLED***
Sa04 – Saturday – ***CANCELLED***
Su04 – Sunday – Bruce LaBar – E – Playback used


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Full Day Trips
All of the following trips will be leaving from the parking lot of the Semiahmoo Resort. *IMPORTANT* Please note the departure time in the trip description as they do vary

Semiahmoo Spit/Drayton Harbor/Birch Bay

We will look for shorebirds and returning waterfowl on Semaihmoo Spit, and work our way around Drayton Harbor and Birch Bay. Black Oystercatcher will be an expected bird. This trip departs at 6:45am.
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 80 miles driving, roadside stops, walking beaches & parks

Fr06 – Friday – Bruce LaBar– E – playback may be used
Sa06 – Saturday – Wayne Weber – E – Playback TBD
Su06 – Sunday – Ken Salzman

Scudder Pond/Whatcom Falls Park/Whatcom Creek

A full day to enjoy the varied habitats of these spots. Forested areas as well as wetlands will be visited. Virginia Rail is known to nest here in the Spring. This trip departs at 6:45am.
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 100 miles driving, walking trails in parks

Fr07 – Friday – ***CANCELLED***
Sa07 – Saturday – Ann Nightingale – E – Playback TBD
Su07 – Sunday – Dan Waggoner – E – Playback may be used

Heather Meadows/Bagley Lakes

This scenic and easy hike (2 miles round trip) includes Heather Meadows and Lower and Upper Bagley Lakes. This has a mixture of habitats – forested, streams/lakes, and meadows. Sought after birds are Sooty Grouse, Gray Jay and Clark’s Nutcracker. This trip departs at 6:00am.
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 150 miles driving, 2 mile hike on an easy trail

Fr10 – Friday – Michael Hobbs – E TBD – Playback TBD
Sa10 – Saturday – Kevin Black

Yellow Aster Butte

With breathtaking scenery – and trail – this 7.2-mile roundtrip gains nearly 2550 feet of elevation in just under a mile and a half. Views into Canada and the south-facing slopes of the High Divide abound. Birds expected along this trail are Gray Jay, Red Crossbill, Pine Siskin. Golden Eagle and Gray-crowned Rosy-finch have been seen here. Targer birds are White-tailed Ptarmigan and Three-toed Woodpecker. This trip departs at 6:00am
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 150 miles driving, strenuous 7.2 mile round trip hike

Sa09 – Saturday – Ed Swan – E – Playback used

Table Mountain/Artist Point

This is a scenic trail with many overlooks. Although it is only 2.6-mile roundtrip, it is a challenging hike with a steep and narrow trail. Species expected are Gray Jay, Red Crossbill, Pine Siskin and Hermit Thrush. Gray-crowned Rosy-finch have been seen here. This trip departs at 6:00am
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 150 miles driving, *Challenging steep and narrow trail – 2.6 mile hike*

Su08 – Sunday – Chris Brewer – E – Playback TBD

Boundary Bay and Reifel Refuge

This will be a bus trip across the border to enjoy Boundary Bay and Reifel Refuge. We hope to see migrating shorebirds and passerines as well as some lovely habitat. Early arriving waterfowl are expected. This trip departs at 6:00am
*IMPORTANT* This trip will cost $40.00 and requires a US Passport or an Enhanced Washington Drivers License.
County visited: Whatcom and Surrey and Delta in British Columbia
Distance: 130 miles, walking will be on flat and well maintained trails

Fr11 – Friday – Wayne Weber & Paul Woodcock – E – Playback TBD

Skagit/Samish Flats

Although this is a sought-after destination in the winter months, it is also a good site in early autumn for migrating shorebirds and passerines. Visit the Game Range and Samish Island without your down parkas. This trip departs at 6:45am
Counties visited: Whatcom, Skagit
Distance: 150 driving, roadside stops and trails

FR12 – Friday – Ed Swan
Sa12 – Saturday – Ken Brown & Ed Pullen – E – Playback may be used
Su12 – Sunday – Shep Thorp – E – Playback used

Upper Skagit Valley

Begin the North Cascades Highway route, traveling from Sedro-Woolley to Marblemount, which covers varying habitats, including stops at Rasar State Park, Sauk Mountain Road and more. Birds to look for are woodpeckers, flycatchers and possibly Lazuli Bunting and Ruffed Grouse.
This trip departs at 6:45am
Counties visited: Whatcom, Skagit
Distance: 200 miles driving, roadside stops and some trails

Fr13 – Friday – Jim Danzenbaker – E – no Playback
Sa13 – Saturday – Cindy McCormick – E – no Playback
Su13 – Sunday – Ann Nightingale – E – Playback TBD

Semiahmoo/Lummi Flats

This trip begins at Semiahmoo Spit and works its way to Birch Bay, visiting Lake Terrell as well. Then over to Sandy Point and a visit to Lummi Flats. With this wide range of habitats, a wide range of species can be expected as well. This trip departs at 6:45am
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 85 miles driving, roadside stops and some trails

Fr14 – Friday – Brian Bell – no E – Playback may be used
Sa14 – Saturday – Dan Waggoner – E – Playback may be used
Su14 – Sunday – Paul Woodcock – E – Playback TBD

Whatcom Land Trust Properties

This 54 acres of mature forest, forested wetlands and marine shoreline was made available in 2007 by a grant from Whatcom Land Trust. It is adjacent to tide flats acquired by the state to protect marine species. Expect forest, as well as shorebirds and waterfowl. This trip departs at 6:45am
County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 25 miles driving, walking beach and woodland trails

Fr15 – Friday – Shep Thorp – E – Playback used
Sa15 – Saturday – Jim Danzenbaker – E – no Playback
Su15 – Sunday – Bob Flores – no E – no Playback


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Bins and Brews
Bellingham is home to a number of local breweries, and it is only polite to visit a few while we are in this lovely part of our state! This will be a full day trip, starting with birding in the Bellingham area. Then onto lunch at Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen, birding at Maritime Heritage Park, and then visiting Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro, and finishing up at Kulshan Brewery. Bring money for lunch and any souvenirs from the breweries!

County visited: Whatcom
Distance: 80 miles driving, walking trails, creeks, and estuaries, stopping at breweries

Sa05 – Saturday- Bob Flores


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On the Way Home Trip
The following trip will be leaving from the parking lot of Semiahmoo Resort. Alert your leader if you depart early from the field trip before the posted final destination. Be sure to touch bases with the leader if there are specific birds that you are interested in seeing on the way home as some routes may vary based on participant requests. Communicate with the trip leader regarding exact meeting time.

Semiahmoo to Spokane

This going home trip will start at Semiahmoo Resort and head east, birding along the way as we head home to the Spokane area.

GH02 – Monday – Kim Thorburn – no E – no Playback


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eBird Workshop with Tom Bancroft

This eBird workshop will include a presentation and in-class demonstration, followed by a chance to practice outdoors on teh Semiahmoo Resort grounds. As many of you know, eBird is a very useful tool to track the birds you see at different locations across the world and develop personal lists. You can also use eBird to plan birding trips by finding birding hotspots near your travel destination. You hopefully will leave this workshop feeling confident and excited to begin using eBird for your birding enjoyment. The cost is $10 per person and would be a great add-on to a half day trip


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