Clarks grebe leaving a nest in search of food. Photographer David Hamilton is also leading a pontoon trip for the Grebe Festival. Photo by David Hamilton

Plumas Audubon’s Grebe Festival field trip registration now open

“Children on a Log” shows the Olsen Barn Meadow with a view of Lake Almanor, breeding place for Sandhill cranes, Canada geese and many other birds. Photo submitted

Plumas Audubon’s third annual Grebe Festival is coming to Lake Almanor in Chester on the weekend of Aug. 24 to 26.

Teresa Arrate, development director of the Plumas Audubon Society, is also the coordinator for this year’s festival.

Enjoy a pontoon boat ride or kayak trip to see nesting grebes, or hike a wooded path with an expert to see the area’s bird life. These are just some of the kinds of outings being offered for participants to learn about nature, enjoy the outdoors and help Plumas Audubon meet its fundraising goals.

The central meeting place for the Grebe Festival is inside the Almanor Recreation Center, located next door to the ARPD headquarters building at 101 Meadowbrook Loop, adjacent to the Truman-Collins Sports Complex.

There is no cost to enter the ARC. Here you will find the opportunity to register for festival trips and workshops, children’s activities, bird information, vendors and someone to answer your questions on the festivities. Be sure to arrive early to register if you haven’t done so online.

Another free event offered during the Grebe Festival will be “Scoping from Shore” to view birds galore along Chester’s famous causeway. Plumas Audubon volunteers will provide binoculars and scopes to scan the landscape and point out the myriad of bird life found along the causeway.

Look for the shade canopy and signs along the causeway on Highway 36. This event is scheduled each day of the festival, from 10 a.m. until noon.

Anja Blaufuss proudly displays a dragonfly at last year’s Grebe Festival field trip. A dragonfly workshop and field trip is offered Sunday, Aug. 26, as part of the festival. Photo by Kirsten Blaufuss

Saturday night will offer a social hour and mixer for the public from 5 to 6:45 p.m., with acoustic music, a silent auction and locally brewed Waganupa beer.

After the silent auction results are announced, a ticket-only speakers event with four local professionals highlighting conservation efforts in the upper Feather River Region will begin at 7 p.m.

Ryan Burnett will speak about the “Birds of Lake Almanor” and share his bird studies for Point Blue Conservation Science.

Lorena Gorbet from the Maidu Summit Consortium will speak about the return of the Maidu ancestral land Tásmam Koyóm to its original stewards.

Colin Dillingham will give a talk on the endemic Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog as part of his work with the Plumas National Forest.

Darla DeRuiter will share what the Friends of Plumas Wilderness is doing to conserve the wild lands of the Northern Sierra and southern Cascades.

These are just some of the many activities that are being offered as part of the third annual Grebe Festival. Plumas Audubon invites one and all to join in and enjoy the area’s lakes, forests, birds, mountains and beautiful scenery.

For a schedule of all the field trips and events and to register, visit plumasaudubon.org/grebe-festival.

Important information regarding field trips

Check the trip details for information on meeting place and time and refer to festival maps and directions.

It is best to arrive 30 minutes prior to scheduled trip to ensure everyone is checked in and all trips leave on time.

Anyone arriving after the field trip leader has left will not be able to participate in the event and will not be eligible for a refund.

All field trips have a limited number of participants. Walk-in registration for some trips may be available on the weekend of the Festival. Walk-in registrants MUST register at the Grebe Festival headquarters inside the Almanor Recreation Center.

Sophie Kissin, last year’s Grebe Festival coordinator for Plumas Audubon Society, stands by the silent auction table inside the festival’s headquarters at the Almanor Recreation Center in Chester. Photo by Stacy Fisher

Most trips will be conducted rain or shine. Only unsafe weather will cancel the boat trips (high winds, thunderstorms, etc.)

Bring the following on your trip: layered clothing and clothing appropriate to weather conditions, comfortable shoes suitable for walking on uneven ground, binoculars and field guide (if you have them; some will be provided for children’s events), camera, snacks, water, sun protection, hat and a light jacket.

Tips and etiquette

Be courteous, pay attention to the leader, stay with the group, walk quietly and slowly, turn off electronic devices, do not disrupt the plants and animals that live where you are exploring and always stay at least 300 feet away from nesting grebes.

Turn up your senses. Look all around the sky and horizon including the tops of trees and the ground for traces of wildlife. Remove litter and leave natural items where they belong.

Many planned trips will meet at Grebe Festival headquarters (Almanor Recreation Center), but not all field trips start there.

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