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Yarmouth Seaside Festival – October 6–8

Columbus Day weekend means it’s time for the Yarmouth Seaside Festival. This community event marks its 34th year with a jam-packed and fun-filled weekend, featuring a craft fair, 5K road race, canoe and kayak race, sand-sculpting contest, parade that winds along Route 28, and fireworks on Seagull Beach. Go online for a full schedule of events. yarmouthseasidefestival.com. 508-778-1008

Fall into Place

Take a slight detour off of Route 6A in Dennis to Scargo Tower, a 30-foot cobblestone tower on Scargo Hill Road. Take in a view of Scargo Lake, which has an unusual fish-like shape, or gaze out to Provincetown and Plymouth. dennishistsoc.org 508-385-2232.

Sampson’s Island, a long sandy stretch just outside Cotuit Bay, is just a short kayak or boat ride away from the rest of your weekend on the Mid Cape. Rent a kayak, pack a picnic lunch, and enjoy a day on the water. massaudubon.org 508-362-7475

Sampson’s Island is a staging area for birds migrating south. Ian Ives, director of Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary, spoke with us about some of the birds that are commonly seen migrating through Sampson’s Island and how to identify them.

Black-bellied plovers

The largest plover in North America, these shorebirds can be identified by their large black bills, light grey plumage on backs, white bellies, and distinctive black patches under their wings.

Solitary sandpiper

This shorebird’s back is a dark olive color scattered with small white spots. It has a white underbelly and its legs are greenish yellow in color.

Least terns

One of the smaller terns, this bird has grey and white plumage with a black eye stripe and black bill.

Greater yellowlegs

These medium-sized shorebirds have a grey-patterned plumage, a long neck, long black bill, and, of course, long yellow legs.

(It is important to note that the plumage of birds changes throughout the year. The descriptions listed are applied to non-breeding birds.)

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