I’m posting the most exciting news first: Some lucky visitors to the Upper Skagit during the 2009 Eagle Festival got a rare treat – a subadult Golden Eagle hanging around the Marblemount Fish Hatchery. Congratulations Judy Blount and Kathy Smith for making the first ID. Andrea Warner took these lovely pictures and showed them to Bud Anderson of the Falcon Research Group who guesses she is a female due to her large size. Besides perching and flying she spent plenty of time on the snow taking her turn at a carcass. Visitation at the Hatchery was about 200 people each day (including the official Eagle Fest Tour Bus!) so plenty of interested birders (–this definitely includes me and the EW volunteers–) got a chance to practice identifying this eagle who is more likely to be seen east of the Cascade Crest.
There were subadult bald eagles of various ages and an occasional adult bald eagle to compare and contrast – all right there before our scopes. And if we happened to get bored with that we could watch the crows bully the eagles, walk down the trail to see dippers, look in the ponds for goldeneye and mallards, or check the raceways for trout and steelhead. What a weekend!