Away from home: Eagle watching

The Skagit River area is the nexus for North America’s largest eagle migration. While they are resident in western Washington year round, eagle numbers swell as migrants head south from Alaska and feed on salmon runs in the Skagit River. Our three hour trip on the Skagit River promised a front row seat on this exciting spectacle.

Okay. It wasn’t a great spectacle, though we saw a lot of eagles…perched, like this one, along the river’s edge. We learned a lot about the migration and eagles. The real peak is in December when the salmon run is greater (and I had jury duty) and eagles leave their perches for quick meals from the river.

The river was beautiful. The open drift boat had heaters. And occasionally it stopped raining. I’d do it again but I’ll just say this time it was challenging.

Away from home: Skagit River

One of the chief reasons we went on a winter birding trip to the Skagit Valley was to take a trip on the Skagit River to view migrating eagles. We knew weather in January was likely to be, well, weather in January. In Washington state that usually includes precipitation. And it did. We were glad it wasn’t snow. We arrived early and, uhm, enjoyed this view from the car.

Lest you think all was lost, the river was beautiful.

Away from home: Great blue herons

We have great blue herons in Sequim but I was tickled with several unobstructed views that I had on our recent visit to the Skagit Valley. This fellow was perched in a tree; by the time I caught him in my lens he’d taken off directly overhead.

This one gave me a rather pleasing vanity shot.

Oh, those feathers! Great blue herons are really beautiful birds, aren’t they?