October is here again to soak the Cowichan in fall beauty. This time of year is special in the Valley because it marks the return of migratory waterfowl to their overwintering habitat in the Somenos Marsh and nearby natural areas. The Trumpeter Swan, the largest of North American waterfowl, was once brought to near extinction. WildWings Festival is a celebration of this beautiful bird’s annual return to Somenos, their resting place, from their northern breeding grounds.
This year’s festivities include a Launch Party at the Brew Pub on October 1st with live music, triva (with prizes) and the specially crafted WildWings I.P.A. On October 3rd the community is invited to the Somenos Marsh Boardwalk and Open Air Classroom for Celebrate Somenos Family Fun Day. There will be kid’s activities and talks and tours on birds, salmon, amphibians, photography and more! This event also includes a Somenos Garry oak ecosystem tour and birding in Cowichan Bay. This year’s WildWings Art Exhibition, put on in partnership with the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, will be held at Just Jake’s Restaurant and will feature local artists renditions of nature and wildlife. The opening night cocktail mixer (October 15th, 8-10pm) will act as the after-party for the Duncan Business Improvement Area Society’s Under the Umbrella Art Walk making for a fantastic night of culture in the heart of Duncan. Lastly, longtime weaver Maria Curtis will host a basket weaving workshop on the 18th where participants can learn to weave using local materials including invasive species harvested from the marsh (please pre-register).
For more information about this annual festival please contact the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Bailey, at email@example.com or 250-884-0749
Trumpeter Swans in the Somenos Marsh