A Bufflehead duck in Roberts Bay near Sidney. (Suzane Huot photo/file)

Saanich Peninsula Bufflehead Festival gets bigger for 2017

Punctual sea duck has been attracting birders for years

What started out as a single day’s event to welcome the punctual Bufflehead duck back to the Saanich Peninsula during its annual migration, has become a three-day affair.

The involvement of Nature Canada and the Robert Bateman Centre and others in the event created by the Friends of Shoal Harbour Bird Sanctuary, is raising the profile of the small sea duck.

Research done locally into the migratory habits of the Bufflehead, show that on the 298th day of every year — or October 15 — the duck returns to Shoal Harbour in Sidney and North Saanich.

The event starts Oct. 13 with a public reception at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea in Sidney from 7 to 9 p.m.

On Oct. 14 there’s a Bufflehead welcoming ceremony at Roberts Bay (Ardwell Drive at Resthaven Drive) in Sidney from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

On Oct. 15, the Robert Bateman Centre in Victoria hosts a Family Bufflehead Festival (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Migrations Symposium (3 to 5 p.m.). That same day, there’s a boat tour planned from Victoria Harbour to Shoal Harbour from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For details, visit sanctuaryproject.ca.