Tofino Shorebird Festival

Tofino

May 4, 2018 to May 6, 2018

Every year from late April through May, flocks of sandpipers, plovers, Whimbrels, and many other shorebirds pass through the Tofino area. Thousands stop here to feed and rest as they make their impressive journey from South and Central America northward to their Arctic breeding grounds.

The protected forests, expansive mudflats, long sandy beaches, and rocky shorelines of the region create the right combination of habitats to draw over 40 species of shorebirds to the area, including the largest migratory concentrations of Whimbrels anywhere in British Columbia, and impressive flocks of Western Sandpipers, Dunlin and more. The threatened Red Knot is also a regular visitor each spring, as well as Rock Sandpiper in winter. In past years, local bird expert Adrian Dorst listed at least 30 species of shorebirds during spring migration!
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The Tofino Shorebird Festival celebrates this impressive annual migration with a series of educational birding activities and events. We draw on local and visiting experts to participate in the festival, offering birding and photography workshops, boat trips, guest lectures and much more! This is a great opportunity to experience the largest wildlife migration in the region, learn about these impressive birds, and understand why Tofino is one of the very best places in western Canada for bird watching.

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Schedule of Events:
FRIDAY MAY 4th

Opening Night Talk
with Dr. Mark Mallory
6:00 pm, at Jamie's Rainforest Inn
By Donation ($10 suggested)

What are the greatest threats to coastal environments? Can we predict the indirect effects humans could have on these habitats and the wildlife they support? Dr. Mark Mallory, Canada Research Chair in Coastal Wetland Ecosystems, is trying to answer these and other questions—and help protect and preserve coastal areas in the process.


SATURDAY MAY 5th
Birder's Breakfast
wih Chef Ian Riddick
7:30am - 9:00am, at Long Beach Lodge Great Room
Menu Prices
Take advantage of all Tofino has to offer by starting your day with breakfast at the spectacular Long Beach Lodge Resort. Back by popular demand, Chef Riddick has prepared a special “birders breakfast” for this year’s Shorebird Festival – fuel up for a big day of events while enjoying the crashing waves of Cox Bay and the sanderlings feeding on the beach.


Offshore Birding
Pelagic boat trips with Ocean Outfitters
7:30am - 4:30pm
$220 per person
This trip will be an all day excursion to some of the offshore banks and canyons in search of albatrosses, shearwaters, storm-petrels and other pelagic birds. Exact route to be determined based on local weather, fishing activity, and up-to-date recon of where birds seem to be concentrating. Our goal is to bird out to, and then along, the shelf edge near one of the large offshore canyons about 35 miles off the coast.

Previous years have turned up some amazing birds and marine mammals and this is a one-of-a-kind experience and a unique opportunity to explore the pelagic waters off of Vancouver Island. Early May is the transition when wintering species begin to move out and summer migrants arrive. Highlights of past trips include: Sabine’s gull, Arctic tern, short-tailed, sooty, and flesh-footed shearwater, fork-tailed storm petrel, large flocks of both red and red-necked phalaropes, and several species of albatrosses. This is a trip specifically designed around finding seabirds, led by seabird scientists, and is not a pleasure cruise.

Space is limited to 12 people, and seats are first-come, first-serve. Cost is $220 per person. Book through Ocean Outfitters at 1-877-906-2326 or ocean@oceanoutfitters.bc.ca. The trip is weather dependent. In the event of cancellation, there will be a 100% refund. No refund for no-shows.

Shorebird Print Making Workshop
with contemporary artist Dan Law
9:00am - 1:00pm, at Long Beach Lodge Resort
This is a drop-in event­. Come when you wish, stay as long as you like!
$10 per wood cut, free for kids.

Join artist Dan Law for a shorebird inspired print making workshop! Dan will provide two, 15-minute instructional sessions (at 9am and 11am) for those interested in learning the art of print making. Otherwise, materials and guidance will be provided throughout the session.

Shorebird Interpretation Hike
with Parks Canada
9:30am - 12:00pm, Grice Bay
FREE!

Join experienced Parks Canada guides for a birding hike around Grice Bay. Binoculars recommended.

Guided Shorebird Beach Walk
with Parks Canada
12:30pm - 4:00pm, Location TBD.
FREE!

Join experienced Parks Canada guides for a birding hike. Binoculars recommended.

Shorebirding by Dugout Canoe
with T'ashii Paddle School
2:00pm - 6:00pm
$89 per person

T’ashii Paddle School is partnering with Raincoast Education Society for this once a year special tour in a traditional dugout cedar canoe!
One of the most unique experiences in Tofino, join a Nuu-chah nulth guide for a traditional paddle in a handcrafted cedar canoe up Lemmens Inlet to the Arakun Islands and mudflat area to explore the mudflats at high tide – a perfect way to get up close to shorebirds foraging during their annual migration north. This is a traditional form of transportation that has been used on the west coast of Vancouver Island for thousands of years, making it a special way to learn about local indigenous history and rich culture. A bird guide will also accompany the trip to enhance your experience and knowledge of birds in the area.

Space is limited to 8 people, and seats are first-come, first-serve. Please book online, or by calling T'ashii Paddle School at 250-266-3787.

Cleland Island Boat Trip
with Jamie's Whaling Station
2:30pm - 5:00pm
$79 per person

Join us aboard the M.V. Chinook Princess to explore the inlets for shorebirds and head offshore to the Cleland Island Ecological Reserve, one of the premier sites in Clayoquot Sound for seabirds. Past trips have enjoyed great looks at Marbled Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Black Oystercatchers, Tufted Puffins, and a variety of other species. Whales, seals, sea lions and sea otters can also be seen in this area. This three-hour trip will be lead by an experienced guide who can help with spotting and identification.

The 50' M.V. Chinook Princess holds 33 passengers and is equipped with a washroom, snack bar, inside heated seating, and outdoor viewing decks. Please book through Jamie’s Whaling Station at 1-800-667-9913 or online.

Evening Presentation
with RES, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Parks Canada
6:00pm - 8:30pm, at Jamie's Rainforest Inn
By Donation ($10 suggested)

RES, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Parks Canada are partnering together to gain a better understanding of bird migration through Clayoquot Sound. In this presentation, they will describe a new and exciting joint research project aimed at tracking individual shorebirds to learn more about how they use habitat in and around Tofino.


SUNDAY MAY 6th
Birder's Breakfast
wih Chef Ian Riddick
7:30am - 9:00am, at Long Beach Lodge Great Room
Menu Prices

Take advantage of all Tofino has to offer by starting your day with breakfast at the spectacular Long Beach Lodge Resort. Back by popular demand, Chef Riddick has prepared a special “birders breakfast” for this year’s Shorebird Festival – fuel up for a big day of events while enjoying the crashing waves of Cox Bay and the sanderlings feeding on the beach.

Offshore Birding
Pelagic boat trips with Ocean Outfitters
7:30am - 4:30pm
$220 per person
This trip will be an all day excursion to some of the offshore banks and canyons in search of albatrosses, shearwaters, storm-petrels and other pelagic birds. Exact route to be determined based on local weather, fishing activity, and up-to-date recon of where birds seem to be concentrating. Our goal is to bird out to, and then along, the shelf edge near one of the large offshore canyons about 35 miles off the coast.

Previous years have turned up some amazing birds and marine mammals and this is a one-of-a-kind experience and a unique opportunity to explore the pelagic waters off of Vancouver Island. Early May is the transition when wintering species begin to move out and summer migrants arrive. Highlights of past trips include Sabine’s gull, Arctic tern, short-tailed, sooty, and flesh-footed shearwater, fork-tailed storm petrel, large flocks of both red and red-necked phalaropes, and several species of albatrosses. This is a trip specifically designed around finding seabirds, led by seabird scientists, and is not a pleasure cruise.

Space is limited to 12 people, and seats are first-come, first-serve. Cost is $220 per person. Book through Ocean Outfitters at 1-877-906-2326 or ocean@oceanoutfitters.bc.ca. The trip is weather dependent. In the event of cancellation, there will be a 100% refund. No refund for no-shows.

Shorebirding Beach Hike
with Long Beach Nature Tours
8:30 -12:30
$30 per person

Join an experienced guide for an interpretive birding hike along the shoreline.
$30 per person. Book through Long Beach Nature Tours at 1.250.725.3320 or info@longbeachnaturetours.com.

Cleland Island Boat Trip
with Jamie's Whaling Station
8:30am - 11:00am
$79 per person

Join us aboard the M.V. Chinook Princess to explore the inlets for shorebirds and head offshore to the Cleland Island Ecological Reserve, one of the premier sites in Clayoquot Sound for seabirds. Past trips have enjoyed great looks at Marbled Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Black Oystercatchers, Tufted Puffins, and a variety of other species. Whales, seals, sea lions and sea otters can also be seen in this area. This three-hour trip will be lead by an experienced guide who can help with spotting and identification.

The 50' M.V. Chinook Princess holds 33 passengers and is equipped with a washroom, snack bar, inside heated seating, and outdoor viewing decks. Please book through Jamie’s Whaling Station at 1-800-667-9913 or online.

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