Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Eagle Watching In The Skagit River December 2022

 I woke up very excited on the morning of December 22, 2022, because we were going to drive to Marblemount, WA, and float down the Skagit River in a small boat looking for Bald Eagles. It was about a two-hour drive to Concrete, where we then rode in a van with the guide to get to the boat. The boat that was waiting for us was called the “Raptor”. As soon as we got into the flow of the Skagit, I spotted five herons on the far bank all looking for fish in the freezing waters of the river. I snapped a couple of shots of the herons, but they were all blurry because of the heat waves coming from the heaters by my feet. After the first set of rapids right after the herons, we noticed seven Common Mergansers swimming near the bank of the Skagit. Above us, I heard the screech of a hunting Bald Eagle and soon saw it dive toward the terrified Mergansers. I was hoping to get a really good action shot of the eagle diving toward the mergansers, but the eagle never got close to a merganser. After that exciting encounter, I didn't see many other eagles or other birds, until we got to a small run-off river teeming with fish. There were at least thirty eagles in a single tree, with several more trees filled with eagles. The trees were filled with mostly Juveniles, with a few adults mixed in. After getting some good shots of the eagles, we continued past the river towards the boat launch where we would head back to our car. In a tree with orange leaves on it, I saw a large adult Bald Eagle obscured by branches. As we floated behind the eagle, I snapped as many shots as possible while the adult eagle was not obscured by branches. That was the last Eagle we saw for that trip, but it made me want to go again and capture some shots of more Bald Eagles hunting on the Skagit River.

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