I am not one to normally feel directionally challenged, but we crossed and crisscrossed the upper end of the Skagit Valley so many times, I couldn’t tell you exactly where we were at. While the forecasted heavy rains held off, the wind was stiff meaning that the raptors were mostly down low. I can’t recall specifically which one our pal Mike wanted us to see, but it was well near the end of the day before we did.
Mike’s a bird watcher. He knows where to go, he knows what he’s looking at, he knows other bird watchers hanging out in the delicious bakeries in Edison. He has a scope. Me? I am a bird looker. Vic? Well, he’s a bird looker too. What’s the difference? Only one of patience and experience for us, as both Vic and I could easily see ourselves out spending days behind binoculars watching birds to bird things.
The Skagit Valley is known as winter grounds for many of the birds that spend the summer in the Arctic: swans and snow geese being the most conspicuous, and yep, we watched those for a while. We also saw flocks of different ducks like pintails, mallards, and wigeons. Mike also kept the eye out for many of the raptors that feed of these ducks and we saw many types of hawks and the Bald Eagles (many of which also leave in the Spring to follow the fish runs further north).
We hoping to go out again in May for another day of birding and perhaps later this year, will finally get a trip out of Westport to look at the pelagic birds. I love that word “pelagic”.