We had an enjoyable and eventful time upriver this past weekend. There were a total of 24 human and 4 dog volunteers.
The snow made things interesting. The interpretive center staff invited us to set up on their porch at Howard Miller Park – there was really no other place to be. Pat Buller gave a great program on Sunday which several eagle watchers were able to attend. Later, Harry Ota had the challenge of leading a walk for some folks not prepared for snow. Trust me, it was not easy to try to stay on the pavement!
On Saturday we had an all rookie crew at the Hatchery and they created a marvelous setup (see below.) I can tell there was at least one professional educator involved there. I can’t remember the exact number but I think they had around 60 visitors. The Karens, Matt and Bill saw more eagles than people on Sunday, probably due to another huge storm warning. We shut down a bit early and were all out before the snow hit.
Milepost 100 was challenging to say the least. Folks had to brave an icy parking lot and climb over a huge snow berm to access the site. Thanks to an anonymous passerby Satuday morning who donated a bag of de-icer, we improved the parking lot. Then some vigorous shoveling by volunteers cleared a better path over to the viewpoint.
The weather was calm and dry and the eagles were numerous, and very active. We observed several skirmishes over the limited fish supply.
Unfortunately there was also a tragedy on Sunday. From what I heard, two birds locking talons near MP 101 (the big bend with the jersey barriers) intersected a powerline. One bird was killed instantly and one injured. Jerry Schuster and Virgina Malmquist took the injured eagle to Sarvey in Arlington. Stay tuned and I will post the whole story when I get more information. Interestingly, the eagles seem to have knocked out power in Marblemount for a short time. At the time of the accident, Karen McKinney was giving a tour of the hatchery. Suddenly the lights went out and an alarm started sounding while the backup generators started up.
I got a weather update from Rockport today. They received another 8-10 inches of snow overnight, along with broken branches and powerlines. It’s raining now and things should be open again by next weekend.
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