NEW | Field Trips Sunday, February 6, 2022

Sound Waters University is excited to offer field trips on Sunday, February 6, 2022 in Washington State. Field trips are only available to the virtual event registrants and are offered as an add-on option when registering. Space is limited to 15 people per trip, sign up and payment is required during the registration process.

Winter Reminders: Be prepared. We may encounter wet, windy, and cold conditions. Locations do not provide indoor shelters or bathrooms. Appropriate clothing and footwear are essential. Food and water will not be provided. Please bring whatever you require.

**COVID POLICY: In order to participate in Sound Waters University field trips, masking will be required at all times by all participants. Certain field trips will require additional precautions. See each description for further details.

The Winter Birds of Dugualla Bay and Lake (Dugualla Preserve)
9:00-11:00 AM

Guide: Jay Adams

Jay Adams has been an avid birder since 1975. Birding has taken him across the US, Alaska and Mexico. He regularly leads independent birding trips, which are enlivened by his keen understanding of bird identification, behavior, habitat and conservation. Jay has presented classes at Sound Waters University and at the annual Sound Water Stewards Volunteer Training Course. His presentations have included Marine Birds and the Ecological Effect of Artificial Light at Night. He is the president of the Whidbey Camano Land Trust and the compiler for the annual Oak Harbor Christmas Bird Count. He has served on the Boards of Directors of Whidbey Audubon and Sound Water Stewards. Jay says, "There is nothing I enjoy more than helping other birders learn more about birds and birding."

The Field Trip: Calling all early birds! February mornings at Dugualla Lake and Bay can draw a wide variety of waterfowl that lures winter birders to Dugualla Bay Preserve. Ducks should be most numerous, but grebes and other waterbirds could be encountered. The view of the natural wonders from the Dike Road, which is located between Skagit Bay and the saltwater estuary on the east side and Dugualla Lake and freshwater wetlands on the west, will appeal to all. The field trip will include a discussion about the Whidbey Camano Land Trust's recent project that restored the estuary and wetlands. No significant hiking is involved. Please bring your own scopes and binoculars if you have them. We will have viewing scopes to share.

Meet up: Drive North from Oak Harbor on Highway 20. Turn East (right) on Frostad Rd 1.6 miles north of Ault Field Road (Whidbey Navy Airfield), proceed .8 miles and turn left on Dike Rd. The parking area is located at the pullout on the dike. Limited additional parking is available on the road shoulder beyond the pullout. Important: We are located at Dugualla Bay Preserve, not at Dugualla State Park, which is located to the south.

*COVID POLICY: In order to participate in Sound Waters University field trips, masking will be required at all times by all participants. I agree to abide by the specific Covid policies in place for the field trips that I sign up for.


The Western Bluffs, Beaches and Waves of Whidbey Island
1:00-4:00 PM

Guide: PaulBen McElwain

PaulBen McElwain came to Seattle in the mid-sixties for studies at the University of Washington in Physical Oceanography, Geology (geomorphic hydrology) and Geography (computer cartography). Having grown up in the outdoors of the Southeast, he found his true home here in the Pacific Northeast (that's right, come see why). A resident of Whidbey Island since the mid-eighties, PaulBen has spent a good amount of time on the local beaches, puzzling out their shapes, processes and changes. A member of Sound Water Stewards since 2017, PaulBen delights in sharing his curiosity, insights and enthusiasm for the bluffs and beaches of Whidbey Island.

The Field Trip: Nothing is constant but change! Come explore Libbey Beach Park just north of Partridge Point on Western Whidbey Island. Study how tectonic, glacial and shoreline processes shape our western Whidbey Island nearshore bluffs and beaches. See firsthand how our famous "feeder bluffs" erode and play a vital role in the life of the sea. PaulBen's magical interpretation of nature promises a unique encounter with tide pools, glacial erratics and the beach in winter.

Meet up: 2750 Libbey Rd., Coupeville. We will meet at the Libbey Beach Park parking lot at the west end of W. Libbey Rd, which meets HWY 20 about 5 miles North of Coupeville. Directions: Turn off Highway 20 West on Libbey Road and follow Libbey Road 1 mile to road end.

*COVID POLICY: In order to participate in Sound Waters University field trips, masking will be required at all times by all participants. I agree to abide by the specific Covid policies in place for the field trips that I sign up for.


Iverson Preserve on Camano Island: Exploration and Inspiration
1:00-3:00 PM

Guide: Tina Dinzl-Pederson

Tina Dinzl-Pederson recently retired as the Interpretive Specialist at Cama Beach Historical State Park. She has an extensive background as a naturalist and interpreter who thrives on providing meaningful educational experiences to others. Tina is a modern-day Renaissance woman. Whether as a naturalist, a photographer, a writer, an artist or a geocache expert, at every opportunity she shares her talents with others to broaden their lens on the natural world around them.

The Field Trip: A two hour walk along flat trails exploring wetlands, native plants and tidal marsh. Look out at the Stillaguamish estuary in Port Susan Bay for wintering marine birds. Discuss the healing of a habitat and restoration to a healthier system by nearby projects: Leque Island, Port Susan Bay Preserve and Zis-a-ba. This interpretive tour weaves observations found in the natural world with the science and spirituality behind them. Employing knowledge and experience that comes from a life-long effort to spend quality time outside, Tina masterfully defines what is visible and what is invisible within the temperate forest habitat and the marine ecosystem. Her passion educates, illuminates, and inspires her audience. This is not a passive experience. Tina is famous for immersing her audience with just enough information to allow for self-discoveries.

Meet up: Parks & Trails Iverson Preserve (islandcountywa.gov) Directions: From Terry's Corner drive 1 mile on East Camano Drive to Russell road. Turn left on Russell, to Sunrise Blvd. Turn right on Sunrise then left to Iverson Road. Follow Iverson past the plat of Long Beach to the cul-de-sac. Meet at the kiosk by trailhead.

*COVID POLICY: In order to participate in Sound Waters University field trips, masking will be required at all times by all participants. I agree to abide by the specific Covid policies in place for the field trips that I sign up for.


Skagit Flats Winter Birding Caravan
9:30-11:30 AM

Guide: Jeff Osmundson

Jeff Osmundson has been following his passion for birds and environmental stewardship for over twenty years. Birding has led him on voyages of discovery around the United States and Latin America with his wife, Colleen. Jeff's career included 30 years with the US Forest Service as a practicing forester and land appraiser. He is president of Skagit Audubon and leads birding trips in every season. He invites birders of all levels of experience.

The Field Trip: The Skagit Flats are renowned for wintertime viewing of geese, tundra swans and shore birds. We will explore the wetlands, fields and tidelands around Conway and Fir Island on our quest. Jeff will have colleagues standing by to expand our viewing and identification opportunities. There will be several viewing scopes available but bring your own binoculars and scopes if you have them. Our caravan will move in your own vehicles as we find the birds, wherever they may be.

Meet up: Meet at the ball field parking lot behind the Conway Fire Station, 21020 Greenfield St, Conway, WA. Directions: From Interstate 5 take exit 221, WA-534, W/Pioneer Hwy. Continue on Pioneer Highway to the traffic circle and take the second exit to Fir Island Rd. Turn left onto Greenfield St.

*COVID POLICY: In order to participate in Sound Waters University field trips, masking will be required at all times by all participants. Skagit Audubon requires Covid-19 vaccines for this field trip.