It was a beautiful and action-packed weekend up at the Skagit River Interpretive Center. There was snow on the trail and beautiful sunshine. In addition to bald eagles (whose numbers are lower this year than year’s past) we saw lots of wildlife. A real treat was seeing a harbor seal in the Skagit River at the confluence with the Sauk River. This is a good sign, since harbor seals only travel great distances inland into fresh water when there are salmon to eat. The winter chum salmon run brings the bald eagles, so we hope that eagle numbers will continue to climb as the salmon work their way upstream.
The afternoon walk was treated to some excellent views of a Northern Pygmy Owl. Joe Ordonez, Education Coordinator, trained our spotting scope on the owl and everyone in the group was able to see the owl clearly. Later, a Great blue heron landed in the wetland section of the trail. Some in the group spotted an American kestrel sitting on top of an old, dead snag feeding on a small songbird.
Nature walks continue on weekends through the end of January. The Mt. Vernon school district will take the day off on Monday, January 31st, so we will open up that day as well. All our walks are scheduled for 11:00am and 1:30pm. As always, there is no need to sign up in advance. Be sure to bring shoes for the conditions, which may include areas of mud, or snow or puddles.