Archive for December, 2009

Gorgeous First Weekend

Milepost 100 Saturday the 26th

Thanks everyone for a great first weekend. The weather really was stellar and so was the company. A fair number of eagles and lots of people out and about. It sounds like the Nooksack is the eagle hotspot right now – see the comments on the Nooksack post below.

I’m headed to Mexico for a little over a week so I won’t be out on the river next weekend, nor will I be doing the count the next two weeks. check skagiteagle.org or call Mt Baker Ranger District for the counts – Sarah and Kitty will have Rockport to Woolley covered for the survey and Matt will be helping everyone in the Eagle Watcher progam next weekend.

Sardis has a raptor show at the Rockport Bald Eagle IC next Saturday. Check it out if you can get in, space will be limited!

See you on the 9th.


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Newhalem to Marblemount: 36

Rockport to Marblemount: 136

Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 128

Total: 300

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More action on the North Fork

Sunday on the Nooksack

Eagle Watcher volunteer Don forwarded some more photos from the Nooksack Sunday. Says Don:


I visited the North Fork of the Nooksack River yesterday and there were many more eagles than the last time I was there. I saw at least 125, 50+ in the vicinity of Kendall fish hatchery and 75+ mostly around the Mosquito Lake road bridge and up the N Fk rd. Many were drying their wings. I had not seen this in such numbers before for some reason.


Eagles dry their wings by perching with the wings slightly open. See subadults in branches toward top of picture.

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This might have been my highest count in the two years I have participated in the survey (Rockport to Sedro-Woolley.) Unfortunately, it appears the Nature Conservancy was unable to get a count from Marblemount to Rockport so we have a mystery. Everyone is a go for this week’s count so stay tuned.

Newhalem to Marblemount: 16

Marblemount to Rockport: N/A

Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 161

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On Saturday my family and I took a trip up the Nooksack Valley to find our Christmas tree. Since we saw so many eagles just from the highway (especially around Zenderville) we decided to stop at the Kendall Fish Hatchery on the way home and see what the river access and eagle viewing is like there.

As we pulled into the parking lot I could already see six eagles before we even got out of the car.  We scrambled to the top of a rock berm and I glassed the river view. 41 eagles just from that one spot! The boy enjoyed playing with the ice as we enjoyed the relaxing riverside scene.

The visitor center was closed so we headed back to the car to get warm.  We took a quick detour to the Mosquito Lake Road bridge and saw a few more eagles through the car windows. Lastly we took a cruise down Truck Road past the Deming Eagle Park (no eagles in evidence) and home.

My excited young eagle counter came up with a total family sighting for the day of  64 birds – a great day on the river.

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An unexpected treat

Andrea and I came upon this sight during the survey on Wednesday:

Elk herd on the Skagit

I counted over 50 elk in the herd.

Skagit elk

A little ways down the beach to the left was an eagle eating salmon.

It was worth braving the frigid temperatures.

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Eagle Census December 9, 2009

The chum are here! We observed plenty of feeding yesterday.

Newhalem to Marblemount: 14

Marblemount to Rockport: 118

Rockport to Sedro-Woolley: 77

Total: 209

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