A pair of migrating trumpeter swans fly gracefully through the blue skies of a crisp winter day in the Skagit Valley. Photo ©Jerry Eisner
La Conner: See Who's Flocking Here This Winter
By Audrey Fraggalosch
Looking for a fun outdoor experience to brighten your winter days? One of Washington’s most spectacular events is the arrival of migrating birds to the Skagit Valley. Here you can see the largest winter gathering of Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans in North America. These magnificent birds annually migrate southward by the tens of thousands from nesting grounds in Siberia and Alaska.
The Skagit Valley is one of their major wintering grounds (December to March) and the avian numbers are jaw-dropping…+50,000 migrating snow geese, 7,000 trumpeter swans and 3,000 tundra swans. Imagine watching an aerial ballet with hundreds of swans dipping and soaring together like a shimmering wave of white light…this is winter birding at its best.
Hundreds of other bird species also find vital feeding grounds and winter habitat in the Skagit’s open fields and wetlands. From the Upper Skagit River to the Skagit Flats to Fidalgo Bay, you can explore 20 different birding sites and see a wide diversity of species, including spectacular birds of prey and flocks of waterfowl and shorebirds. Don’t miss the large population of wintering bald eagles that gather along the Skagit River to feed on spawning salmon. BirdsofWinter.org has detailed information on what birds you will see where and directions on how to get to the Skagit’s many different birding locations. So grab your camera and binoculars and be prepared for an awe-inspiring experience.
Snow geese gather in the snow covered fields of Skagit County. Photo ©Nancy Crowell
Explore La Conner
Plan your winter birding adventure with La Conner as your home base. This charming waterfront town is not only located close to great birding spots, but is a relaxing and romantic getaway too. Enjoy exploring the quaint, walkable town, covering an area of about one square mile. Folks are friendly. Discover dozens of locally owned restaurants, cafes and shops - there are several new shops and restaurants that have recently opened in La Conner. For more information on planning a visit go to LoveLaConner.com
“Being on the waterfront, we have a gorgeous view of wildlife and the Rainbow Bridge from the boardwalk. You can walk the entire length of town along the Swinomish Channel,” said Heather Carter, Executive Director of La Conner Chamber of Commerce.
Stroll the boardwalk along the Swinomish Channel. Photo ©La Conner Chamber of Commerce
LaConner's Rainbow Bridge. Photo ©Cedarbrook Studio
Tulip & Daffodil Time Is Just Around The Corner!
Hope to see you in the spring to celebrate the millions of daffodils and tulips bursting into bloom! As with all things governed by Mother Nature, the flowers bloom according to their own schedule, with April being the usual peak blooming month. As part of the Tulip Festival Activities, there is a designated driving tour since there is no single 'site' to enter. The fields of tulips and daffodils are scattered throughout the Skagit Valley.
Go to tulipfestival.org for more information, maps and updates on the 2022 Tulip Festival.