Posted by: Kath Usitalo | April 6, 2011

The Early Bird Gets The Wine & Cheese

Handmade bird ornament from Roscommon

Everyone knows that the early bird catches the worm, but at the Leelanau Peninsula BirdFest it’ll also get a wine and cheese reception.

My guess is that this first annual event will have birders and other environmentally aware folks flocking to Michigan’s “Little Finger” region June 1-5 for what’s called “A Unique Birding Festival with a Conservation Theme.”

You can sign up for individual events, but why peck at the program when the full $75 registration fee includes 3 keynote presentations and 6 field trips, wine and cheese receptions, and Saturday evening’s Great Lakes Fish Boil. Not to mention a goody bag with birding maps, guides, a book and “bird-friendly coffee” from a local roaster.

At extra cost you can go on 3 special field trips—you know that Sunday morning’s Birding by Tallship will sell out. The $55 excursion aboard a two masted schooner will take you within binocular-viewing distance of Bellows Island where gulls, Caspian Terns and Double Crested Cormorants nest.

There are also free activities including a F.U.N. (Families United in Nature) Field Trip to Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore on Saturday that is designed to introduce new birders to the joys of this and other outdoor activities.

BirdFest headquarters is Fountain Point Resort, a summertime retreat on Lake Leelanau since 1889 that looks like a nice place to nest.

I’m going out on a limb here, but I suggest early registration if you want a spot at BirdFest, and some of that wine and cheese.

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