Pacific Northwest Trip: Skagit Valley Birding *FULL*
*This is a self-catered tour. Lodging (book ahead), all meals, transportation, and park entrance fees are your responsibility.
Have you experienced the sights and sounds of tens of thousands of Snow Geese settling into their daily feeding grounds? The rich environment of Skagit Valley includes a variety of habitats including open water, shoreline, tidal mudflats and marshes, forested uplands, and agricultural land. These habitats provide excellent opportunities to see over-wintering geese, swans and ducks, as well as a variety of raptors such as Gyrfalcon, Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle, and Short-eared Owl.
We’ll meet at our Portland departure location at 7:00 a.m. We’ll bird our way north with possible stops at Langus Riverfront Park near Everett, Tulalip Bay and the east shore of Port Susan Bay, seeking a variety of songbirds and waterbirds. The stops will depend on what is being seen. After sunset, we will split up, take care of our food needs and check into the hotels that we booked for ourselves.
The next day, we’ll set out early for Samish Flats, where we’ll seek out a variety of winter raptors, including the elusive Gyrfalcon, Northern Shrike, and Short-eared Owl. Today, we’ll also visit Samish Island and Padilla Bay, looking for a variety of winter waterfowl including Red-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck. Prepare for lunch in the cars. In the afternoon we will be birding a variety of forested uplands and shorelines at Washington Park, Bowman Bay, and Deception Pass before returning to our respective home bases.
After breakfast on our last day, we set our course for more Skagit Flats, including the productive Fir Island Road units, where large flocks of Trumpeter Swans and Snow Geese are possible. We will also pay the Skagit Wildlife Area a visit; this is always one of the best stops of the trip. On the way back we will be stopping at the spectacular Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge en route for more shorebirds and forest birds aiming to arrive back in Portland no later than 6:30 p.m.
Note: A Discover Pass is required for this trip (state parks and Fish & Wildlife accesses)
*This is a self-guided tour. Lodging (book ahead of time), meals, transportation, and park entrance fees are your responsibility. Stefan will send out details about where the group will meet-up, and then guide you through the wonders of winter birding in Skagit Valley.