Archive | December, 2016

Going on a Swan Hunt

31 Dec

We have talked about doing this for years, but this is the first time we have actually done it… going up to the Skagit for a day trip to see if we can find the flocks of Snow Geese and smaller groups of Swan that overwinter in the Skagit around Mount Vernon, La Conner etc, kinda the same general area as the tulip fields. The geese and swans hang out in the fields foriaging on the winter stubble left by the farmers, and in turn giving the farmers a little extra fertilizer for their efforts. Swan apparently prefer old corn fields, the geese aren’t as picky and are much more numerous. 

We left home in the dark, around 7:00 am.

Fristy cold morning, lol…
And of course, first thing we had to do was get gas, lol. Luckily the Kirkland Costco at least had the gas open. We had to backtrack a bit through Rose Hill to get there… but better than running out on the way!

The drive through Everett was in and out of the fog as the sun came up. 

Where the fog lifted or was just a little more open,  Santorum morning!

Then we saw the first Swan in a field just south of the Stillaguamish River, lol… no pic, but was hard to miss that big white bird with the long neck, a pair of them in an open field right there along the freeway.

I set the Google Mals to get us to the Padilla Bay information center, and it had us get off at the Conway exit, the same one we usually use to get to La Conner and the Tulip Fields in the spring. Not a mile outside of town, we saw more white birds in the field, a few here and there… then this!

Through the binoculars, you can see he black feet and beams, and the absence of the black primaries… definitely geese! I counted around 250, with more coming in as we sat on Dry Slough Road, a side road off the main Fir Island Road we were traveling on. 

Better, as we sat here enjoying the view, a small group of about 5 Trumpeters came in low, right in front of the car! 

Once they landed we could hear the distinctive trumpeting call, very different to the honking cackle of the others, and they were a bit bigger, beefier, lol, and looked like they had been for rigging in pond water or something, their thicker necks kinda dingy rather that white. Too cool!

Well, the hour and a half drive up sure paid off! Now if we can find some Snow Geese and the day will be perfect!