Birders, as you may know, are an indomitable species of their own.
They’ll travel miles to walk all day in rainy weather. Witnessing the great migrations of snow geese and catching sight or photographing the hundreds of birds that make their home here, however temporary, is a thrill.
Our wet and windy winders are prime birding season. Snow geese, Western Screech-Owl, Vaux’s Swift, Spotted Sandpiper. It’s a long list.
Fall and spring are the best times of the year for the migratory shorebirds. Port Susan is one of only four locations in Puget Sound that regularly support more than 20,000 shorebirds in a season. Large flocks of wintering ducks use the sloughs and sheltered bays. Hedgerows and fields provide wintering habitat for sparrows, making it a fine place to spot unusual sparrows such as Harris’s, American Tree and more.
The rich farmlands, tideflats, estuaries and hedgerows of the Stillaguamish and Skagit Rivers provide the right environment. The snow geese are particularly plentiful, filling the fields with squawking blankets of white and gray.
Every year in February, the community holds the Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival, which includes speakers who share the wonder of the birds’ migration to Russia. Identifying birds, photographing, and understanding their habitats are among other topics shared.
Top it all off with a guided tour of the Nature Conservancy’s prized Port Susan Bay Preserve, bus tours of snow geese, swans and bald eagles, and self-guided tours throughout Stanwood and Camano Island birding areas.
Bring your binoculars and rain gear. This is the time of year to be in Port Susan.
Cover photo credit: Terry Skorheim