Washington state’s Skagit Valley is a well-known winter home for swans and geese. I hadn’t planned to videotape those feathered snowbirds. Until my parents called the other day.
My mom told me there were tens of thousands of swans in several fields along Pioneer Highway between Stanwood and Conway.
“They’re right up to the edge of the road,” I was told.
Winter’s fading, the temperature is rising and those birds will soon be gone.
Maybe it’s already too late, I thought.
But the excited dispatches from my parents got my motor running.
Camera-in-hand, I set-out to find swans on Wednesday and Thursday; for about two hours each morning.
On Wednesday, I traveled south from Conway to Stanwood. I saw very few birds, and simply kept on driving to Camano Island. I didn’t expect to find swans there, either, but a quiet park called the English Boom only requires a hint of sunshine to produce a spectacular daybreak.
The English Boom did not disappoint. The first few scenes in the video here were shot at that location.
20-minutes later, I first drove south to the opposite side of this narrow stretch of the island. It proved to be a great decision as the new day also revealed Mount Rainier.
Then, it was back to Conway. Along the way, I did stop to enjoy the site of a few swans in a green field. Three eagles in a large tree also made for a pleasant site.
Soon, I was back at the water’s edge, but now across Skagit Bay from the English Boom. This turned out to be a great location. An even closer look at an eagle in a tree. A nest, too.
A local man pointed to a spot many miles to the east, beyond Interstate-5. A massive cloud of white. A bit later, I drove in that direction, but never found the flock.
That night, the weatherman said the daytime high had reached a record-tying 63-degrees.
Day two delivered. Not tens of thousands, or even hundreds of swans. Just a few here and there. But they were enough for me. Close enough to get some decent video.
While day two also began with sunshine, fog rolled-in by about 10am. It hardly dampened my enthusiasm. Clearly, the decision to chase swans had been a good one.