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This weekend in San Diego nature: tips for birding in rain and indoor activities

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This weekend, February 29-March 2, 2014, heavy rain and wind is forecasted as well as snow in the mountains. This rain is expected to start on Friday morning and last until at least Saturday night. Rain may also be likely for Sunday, off and on. There are many nature-related events happening this weekend that might be canceled, but many will go on despite the rain. Here are some suggestions on how to deal with the rain if you are going to outdoor events as well as a couple of indoor events to get out of the rain.

San Diego Bird Festival and related activities: Most birding events at the San Diego Bird Festival will go on as planned. Activities deemed unsafe due to the weather will be shortened, canceled or postponed. Activities most at risk to be canceled are pelagic trips and those that require a lot of traveling through the mountains. If your event is canceled, you will be contacted by email or phone. All indoor events will go on as scheduled.

If you are planning to go on one of the field trips, bring a rain poncho or rain gear and not umbrellas. Not only are umbrellas ineffective during this type of weather, the birds don’t seem to like them. Rain ponchos can be purchased at discount retailers for little money. Plastic bags can help protect cameras and scopes.

In addition to the bird festival, there will be a birding walk at the Tijuana River Estuarine Research Reserve on Sunday, March 2nd at 3 p.m. if it doesn't rain. Call their visitor’s center to confirm at (619) 575-3613 for more details. Mission Trails Regional Park will also have their usual walks on Saturday, March 1st and Sunday March 2nd from their visitor’s center as long as there is no rain. Call their visitor’s center at (619)668-3281 to confirm the event.

For indoor activities, try a few events at the Mission Trails Regional Park visitor’s center. There will be a new art exhibit starting on Saturday, March 1st featuring three award-winning photographers: Dana Levine, Eileen Mandell and Dana Parnes. The visitor’s center is open 7 days a week from 9 to 5 p.m. Or, you can join Nora’s Art Class for Children on Saturday, March 1st at 2 p.m. in the visitor’s center. Your child will learn to draw a gray fox using pastels and paper. Cost of the class is $20, but a $10 discount will be given for those who sign up for an entire month. Call (619)575-3613 for more information.

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