Skagit River Eagles
The Skagit River in Washington State is famous for a large annual migration of bald eagles. After the leaves have fallen and the salmon have spawned, these magnificent birds come to harvest the bounty of left over salmon carcasses that line the banks of the river. The “birders” follow in force as this opportunity only presents itself once a year.
Danny Cook of Wooldridge Boats decided to take a rare day off from fishing and take some friends “eagling” as they call it. Really, any chance to be on the river is excuse enough of course. Check out some of the pictures that Tracy was so gracious enough to give us from that day, along with a short story she wrote describing the outing.
November 23 was going to be a great day—we had waited a long time for this trip. It was cold and clear and we were going to see the eagles on the Skagit River! Five of us left Duvall around 8:30 in the morning after loading Danny Cook’s steelhead boat full of cold weather gear, cameras, food and beverages. After a stop in Smokey Point, we soon arrived at the Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport. We all boarded Danny’s boat and set off up the river in search of the magnificent bald eagle.
It didn’t take long to see the first few; in fact, we had counted over 30 eagles—juveniles and adults--within the first 10 minutes of our trip up river. They were in the trees watching us speed up the rapids. They were flying high above our heads, catching the thermals as the day grew a bit warmer. We also encountered great blue herons, cormorants, common mergansers and other seasonal waterfowl. With Danny’s help we spotted a lone American Dipper, the only swimming songbird in these parts. We floated back down the river, waving to other steelheaders and boats, some with fisher-dogs onboard. Danny threw his line out and caught a small Dolly Varden. We all checked out this spotted beauty before it was released back into the Skagit.
By the end of the trip back down the river, we counted over 50 eagles. The day couldn’t have been more perfect; we had lots of laughs and took lots of pictures.
From left to right are Tracey, Linda, Liz and Wanda standing in front of Danny's Alaskan XL at Howard Miller Steelhead Park.
Liz releasing a Dolly Varden back into the Skagit River.
Thanks for checking out our latest What's Happening.
Added on 01/02/2014by Wooldridge Boats