Archive for December, 2017

New Years Weekend Events

View from Highway 530 bridge in Rockport on Saturday, December 30.

Publishing from the field again today. Eagles have been in motion here at Howard Miller Park in Rockport, and not staying perched close by for good scoping. The river has risen a bit since yesterday, probably why eagles are not feeding at this spot at the moment. Fantastic eagle action at the Hatchery today. If you are thinking of coming to the Skagit Valley tomorrow, that is a must stop location. Upriver communities lost power last night and it is still out. Many homes and businesses are firing up their backup generators. The eagle visitor center was closed today due to the power outage. Hopefully it will be restored by tomorrow in time for Dr. Steven Glenn’s talk about local winter birding, scheduled for 1pm. Eagle watcher stations will be open from 10-3 tomorrow. Dress warm! The weather is forecast to be sunny with temperatures in the 30s. Wind chill will cool things down quite a bit, with a feel more in the teens and twenties.

Friday’s eagle count number is 86 from Rockport to Marblemount.

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Eagle Watch-2

Two bald eagles perched near Hwy 530 bridge in Rockport on December 17, 2017 (photo by Steve Payne)

Hello eagle fans! After a soggy weekend last weekend, we are looking forward to some sunshine and beautiful fresh snow on the mountain peaks. So far, the past two weekends, the volunteers and I have enjoyed great numbers of eagles (5-10 at a time) at all three viewing sites. With water levels in the Skagit River relatively low, carcasses of spawned out coho have been exposed, and the eagles are taking full advantage.


Adult bald eagle eating a salmon carcass in Rockport Washington, below Highway 530 bridge Deecember 10, 2017 (Photo by Bob Schneider)

During the Thanksgiving floods, coho that were returning to Marblemount fish hatchery ended up spreading out over a large area, rather than strictly swimming to the trap. Many young eagles are camped out up there at the buffet, making sightings virtually guaranteed for hatchery visitors. During Friday’s eagle count, a subadult eagle landed on this fish carcass right in front of us and started eating, allowing me to take this quick cell phone video. Wow!

The DOT has completed repairs on Highway 20 near Cascadian farm (MP 101), so there are no longer delays.

The Skagit Bald Eagle Interpretive Center (inside Howard Miller Park) will be offering a guided walk at 11:00am Saturday. Guest speaker programs will resume next weekend.

Rockport State Park Discovery Center is open 11-4 on weekends. Have you visited this fun center yet? There are many things to see and touch and create – it’s a great place for adults and kids. State Park rangers are also offering guided walks – check it out!

As far as eagle watcher stations, we will be out at all three sites Saturday (hope to see you!) but taking the day off Sunday for Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays! -Tanya

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Eagle Watching Season is On!

Ranger Tanya, posting live from milepost 100 on the upper Skagit. What a beautiful day. Eagles are out and active – feeding perching, flying.

The Hatchery is lively as well. Plenty of eagles and other bird friends, coho spawning, etc. By January the salmon run will be over so now is a good time to go.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast is great as well, so come on up, take in the views, maybe call up a boat guide service and take and eagle float. Get it while the getting is good!

Eagle watch volunteers will be out every weekend through January 21 (we are taking Christmas Eve off.)

Did our usual road and walking -based eagle count from Marblemount to Rockport yesterday and counted 74 bald eagles. Last week Skagit Guide Service counted 40, so numbers are up.

See you on the river!

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