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Posts Tagged ‘skagit’

Eagle Watcher Volunteers at Milepost 100 on Highway 20, January 2012.
This could be you!

Are you interested in volunteering as an Eagle Watcher for the 2012-2013 season?
I still need 12 volunteers to fill out this season’s roster and one of them could be you! Prospective volunteers should be available for trainings on December 1 and 15. (Returning volunteers attend on the 15th only.) The program runs for six weekends (December 22-January 27), during which time volunteers are expected to sign up for 3 shifts on the river. If you enjoy talking to people, birding, and spending time outdoors in winter weather, this opportunity is for you. Get your application here and return it to the Mt Baker Ranger District by Monday, November 19th, 2012. For more information call the Mt Baker Ranger District at 360-856-5700

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Do you like to see bald eagles? Well, you are in luck because there are plenty in the area right now.

Traveling up the Skagit River valley on Highway 20 on Monday December 26, I saw 39 eagles at the big bend in the river near milepost 101. That was with the naked eye, out the car window, while the car was moving! (My husband was driving, don’t worry) We did not have time to stop and look, since we were meeting friends to float the upper Skagit. The rain held off, it was a beautiful trip, and we saw probably about 40 birds between Goodell and Copper Creek.

Eaglewatcher volunteer Don has been getting out quite a bit lately. Here is the North Fork Nooksack River yesterday:

North Fork Nooksack December 26, 2011

Don saw over 100 eagles on the Nooksack – not bad! Look at how low all the birds are in this picture! The chum must be plentiful right now.
 
It will be interesting to see where the eagles end up after the heavy rains which are forecast this week begin moving the fish carcasses around.

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Courtesy of Dave T.

Eagle at Rockport

Whitehorse Peak near Darrington

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Fabulous First Weekend

El Dorado from Milepost 100

 

What a perfect weekend to be out on the Upper Skagit. Despite a dreary and/or cold looking forecast, we found the weather to be pleasant and the eagles plentiful.

Rockport was a hot spot!! Right across from the 530 bridge at Howard Miller, eagles spent the whole day pulling salmon carcasses out of the water and eating. What a show in the scope! Not many visitors were around to see it – hopefully we will get more humans next Sunday.

cheap little camera + spotting scope = impressive pictures

The birds in the previous pictures are visible toward the bottom of this shot I took from the bridge.

Other highlights of the weekend included gulls kettling together with the eagles and a peregrine falcon sighting. There are still coho in Clark Creek and steelhead in the river (maybe.) Lots of anglers out in the Skagit – I heard folks were catching Dolly Vardens. The rafting companies were taking out boatloads of happy people, bundled up with binoculars in hand.

Come on up! The time is prime for eagle watching on the Skagit.

See you on the river.

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We had another great time on the upper Skagit last weekend. Weather was stellar, and we met many interesting people from all over the USA.

Rockport State Park began their deep forest tours (Saturdays through the end of the month) and kids activities and had over 200 participants. Skagit Fisheries offered free tours at the Hatchery which have been wildly popular.   There were a few eagles scattered here and there, but the great numbers seem to have moved on in search of better feeding grounds. The chum run barely materialized this year. Had it been a good run (like the Columbia was rumored to have this year) the eagles would still be here munching.  As of last Tuesday (the 5th), the Nooksack was still pretty good (165 eagles counted with many fish carcasses).  The heavy rains earlier this week could have changed all that, as the rivers are running VERY high and could wash out any food remaining.

Today’s eagle count was small, but better than last week. Bob and I saw 37 eagles between Rockport and Sedro-Woolley today. Jim at the Nature Conservancy counted 58 from Rockport to Marblemount.

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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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I couldn’t resist taking a drive up the Skagit yesterday to take some pictures for you. I have never seen so many eagles. Hopefully they will still be around next weekend when we are out there. At this point I expect we WILL have eagle watching sites set up on January 3rd and 4th.
Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger image.

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