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A beautiful photo taken along the Skagit in December 2014.  Jason Ransom, National Park Service

An eagle along the Skagit in December 2014. Photo by: Jason Ransom, National Park Service

This weekend marks the last weekend of the Skagit River Eagle Festival. Be sure to come up and visit us! Below is a list of all the fun happenings. See you out there!

Saturday Only Events

 EAGLE FESTIVAL WEEKEND AT CHALLENGER RIDGE
Saturday, January 24, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Challenger Ridge Vineyard & Cellars
43095 Challenger Road, Concrete
Raptor Presentation by Sarvey Wildlife Care Center at 2:00 p.m.
Challenger Ridge is a family and dog friendly venue with a cozy tasting room,
picnic area, and wonderful walking trails. Snacks & soft drinks, and $5 wine tasting.
Free admission and free camping Saturday only.
 
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP:andy porter
HOW TO COMPOSE STUNNING IMAGES
Saturday, January 24, 10 a.m. – Noon
Concrete Theatre,
45920 Main Street, Concrete
Photographer Andy Porter (www.northwesternimages.com) will discuss subject placement,
the Rule of Thirds, use of leading lines, framing, reflections and much more. Free.
LITTLE EAGLET STORY TIME
Saturday, January 24, 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Upper Skagit Library
45770B Main Street, Concrete
Families with young children are invited to learn about eagles and
other wildlife through stories, songs and a simple craft. Free.
 
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: FOCUSING ON BIRDS
Saturday, January 24, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Concrete Theatre
45920 Main Street, Concrete
Learn to locate and photograph the migratory birds of the Skagit Valley
with instructor Karen Ulvestad www.karenulvestad.com.
 
WINTER JAZZ @ 5b’s Bakery
Saturday, January 24, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
45597 Main Street, Concrete
Come in out of the cold and enjoy a festive jazz ensemble put on by our local talent.
Hint: it will sound even better with one of 5b’s amazing cinnamon rolls!
 
WILDLIFE HAYRIDE & CAMPFIRE
Ovenell’s Heritage Inn & Double O Ranch
Saturday, January 24, 3 p.m.
46276 Concrete Sauk Valley Road, Concrete
An educational hayride through 250 acres of timber, pasture, and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) project. See eagles, deer, elk, and more. Learn about our conservation projects, selective timber harvesting, and see how wildlife habitat is enhanced by our ranching practices. Enjoy coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies by the fire. Children’s wildlife footprints matching game and ranch history display.  Activity is weather dependent. 

Saturday & Sunday Events

SKAGIT RIVER BALD EAGLE INTERPRETIVE CENTER
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Howard Miller Steelhead Park
52809 Rockport Park Road, Rockport
Learn about eagles, watershed issues, and local, natural and cultural history through guided hikes, presentations, and the Nature Store.
Saturday:  Naturalist Hike at 11:00 a.m. led by Erica Keene, Forestry Technician, Mt. Baker Ranger District. “Glaciers of the North Cascades” presentation at 1:00 p.m. by Jon Riedel, Geologist, North Cascades National Park. 
Sunday:  Naturalist Hike at 11:00 a.m. led by Erica Keene, Forestry Technician, Mt. Baker Ranger District. “Explorations of the Skagit Watershed” presentation at 1:00 p.m. by Pat Buller, Photographer, Blogger, Artist. 
 
EAGLE WATCHER STATIONS
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Eagle Watcher volunteers can answer your questions about bald eagles, salmon, and the Skagit watershed. They’ll have binoculars and spotting scopes available for your use. Viewing stations are at Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport, Sutter Creek at Milepost 100, and Marblemount Fish Hatchery.
 
DEEP FOREST TOURS & DISCOVERY CENTERDeep Forest Tours
Deep Forest Walks begin at 10:00, 11;00, 12:00 & 1:00
Center open 10:00-2:00
Rockport State Park
51095 State Route 20, Rockport
This forest tour will take you deep into the 670 acres of old-growth forest of Rockport State Park at the foot of Sauk Mountain. Tours are 30-60 minutes. Let kids explore in the Discovery Center with crafts and interactive wildlife displays, books, and games while you warm up by the fire and enjoy popcorn and a beverage. Discover Pass or $10 Day Use fee is required to access the park. Tour & Discovery Center is free.
 
MARBLEMOUNT HATCHERY TOURS
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Marblemount Fish Hatchery
8319 Fish Hatchery Road, Marblemount
Learn how eagles relate to the life cycle of the Pacific Salmon. Visitors gain knowledge of all phases of the salmon life cycle without disturbing salmon in the wild. In addition to fish, visitors can view eagles, hawks, blue herons, ducks, and dippers. 
 
 
The view from Martin Road.

The view from Martin Road.

Eagle numbers are beginning to dwindle this week. Thick fog was an obstacle on this week’s count and likely affected numbers. This is the last eagle count of the year, but not the last weekend to come and see them! Be sure to come visit us at one of our three locations: Howard Miller Steelhead Park, Milepost 100 or Marblemount Fish Hatchery. Our booth is open from 10:00-3:00 Saturdays and Sundays through January 31st.  See you out there!

Eagle Count:

Sedro Woolley to Rockport: 66

Rockport to Marblemount: 68

Marblemount to Newhalem: 25

River Ranger Erica Keene found 42 eagles at this single spot along the South Skagit Highway.

US Forest Service River Ranger Erica Keene found 42 eagles at this single spot along the South Skagit Highway.

Newhalem to Marblemount: 38

Marblemount to Rockport: 78

Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 117

Total: 233

Snow covered Sauk Mountain above the Skagit River between Concrete and Rockport.

Snow covered Sauk Mountain above the Skagit River between Concrete and Rockport.

Newhalem to Marblemount:72

Marblemount to Rockport: 54

Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 89

Total: 215

Newhalem to Marblemount: 40

Marblemount to Rockport: 122

Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 99

Total: 261

The chum are in! Skagit River, December 18, 2014

The chum are in! Skagit River, December 18, 2014

Number of bald eagles counted:

Newhalem to Marblemount: 46
Marblemount to Rockport: 77
Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 126

Total: 249

IMG_0953 Newhalem to Marblemount: 37

Marblemount to Rockport: 107

Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 50

Total: 194

It was a rainy, windy day but the eagles are out and plentiful! The eagle count got off to a great start with 194 spotted this Wednesday. The river is high due to the flood event which left us expecting to see less eagles this week. We were pleasantly surprised at the turnout. The chum run is predicted to be larger than last year, which has us hoping for higher Eagle numbers this year. Join us this weekend on Highway 20 to take a look! The Forest Service will have booths set up at Howard Miller Steelhead Park, Milepost 100 and Marblemount Fish Hatchery. Stay tuned to see what next week brings…

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