On the Waterfront

Published on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 by Jan Hrutfiord

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On the Waterfront

By Jan Hrutfiord

The Wings Over the Water festival was held at the Blaine Marine Park and harbor and downtown Blaine last Saturday, with information on the ducks and geese that winter in Drayton Harbor, as well as bird watching areas and games for the kids. It was a beautiful day, with many visitors participating in the activities. Blaine is fortunate to have such a large population of birds that come here every winter to rest up before heading back north to their summer breeding grounds. 

There are many water birds that live here year around. Our harbor is home to large loons, Canada geese, grebes, and cormorants as well as several types of gulls. In the winter and spring months we have large flocks of mallards and pintail ducks, that you can see on the tide flats at the mouth of Cain Creek. It is easy to see many types of sea birds from Marine Drive, and as you go out to the end of the dock, you will find different varieties of birds along the way.

Take a pair of binoculars, and a good bird book to help with identifying the different birds. The bird book that I prefer is Birds of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Nancy Baron and John Acorn. It is easy to use, is well organized, and features local birds. As you look at bird books you may find another that you prefer. I find having several different bird books gives me and my family easy access to the information needed.

The commercial fishing fleet is pretty much waiting for openings in Alaska right now. Crab fishing is finished in our waters for this season, there is no bottom fishing in Puget Sound anymore, and salmon will be starting in the north and working down the coast, coming to our area in mid-summer. The local salmon boats will be going north soon. 

The Blessing of the Fleet will be held on Sunday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m., in the Boating Center at Blaine Harbor. Everyone is invited to come to this ceremony, which has been held in the Blaine Harbor for over 25 years. Participants include local fishermen, the Sea Scouts, Blaine High School music department, local clergy, and various government officials.

Dessert and coffee will be provided after the program. The ferry Plover will take the memorial wreath out of the harbor, and there will be room for some visitors to ride along to help put the wreath on the waters of Semiahmoo Bay. I hope to see you there!