Posts Tagged ‘owl’

Tis the season for food in Skagit valley. The Co-op’s produce section is bursting with fresh, beautiful vegetables and fruits, farmers’ markets have begun their seasons in the various towns and the fresh fish is coming in from Alaska. Spot prawns will be available in about a week. We finished a half flat of local strawberries in just 3 days – so sweet and ripe.
We’ve taken some nice walks in Island and Skagit counties. It has been a rainy spring and we often have trails mostly to ourselves as we walk in full rain gear with waterproof binoculars to hand.

Along the Cascade Trail

On a walk beside Padilla Bay we just about ran into a weasel who had just caught a mouse or vole. The poor thing wasn’t quite dead since we interrupted the hunt, but weasels are quite fearless and this one retreated only for moment (despite 2 humans and 2 dogs) then came back to finish the kill and carry it away. Practically under our feet! Didn’t need binocs, but looking through them provided an amazing clear, close-up view. Like watching a nature show.

Padilla Bay At lowest tide

Skagit River Valley “Upriver” near Lyman

Band-tailed pigeons were another interesting sight on another day. Physically similar in shape to the non-native Rock pigeon, but behavior and size had us guessing. They are big and this flock of about a dozen was silent and very wary in the deep woods upriver.

And yesterday we saw not one, but three Barred owls. All together, a family. We interrupted the parent who was feeding two young. They all flew a short distance in differing directions to settle high in tall trees. This forest area is about a mile’s walk from our RV park. The fairly quiet road we walked along passes through this wood on a steep course down to Similk Bay. The woods drop sharply off to one side of the road so near the top of the hill we’re walking beside the tops of those tall, old trees. The owls, therefore, were easily viewed. We waited for a while, watching. The three owls kept their eyes on us too. In one tree, the parent, clutching what appeared to be a large, dead rat in its talons, called occasionally. Our patience was rewarded when the three joined up on a branch still in clear view. The momma/papa began stripping pieces of flesh from the rat and feeding them to one youngster while the other made hissing noises until it’s turn came.

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