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Birding

The Skagit Valley is a bird watcher’s paradise in winter, when thousands of snow geese and swans visit. Farther east are an abundance of eagles.

In February 2012, Edison kicked off its first Edison Bird Festival, which organizers hope will become an annual event. The festival coincides with the Skagit Valley Hawk Census and includes guided birding trips, bird-inspired art shows and a chicken parade on Gilkey Avenue.

The Skagit Audubon Society’s list of recommended sites includes:

Samish Flats, Padilla Bay and Alice Bay
Best fall to spring. Many raptors, waterfowl and passerines.

Skagit Flats on Fir Island
Best fall to spring. It is a good place to see snow geese, trumpeter and tundra swans and raptors.

Skagit Bay-Skagit Wildlife Area
There are plenty of species to see in the Wylie Slough Area, the Jensen Access and the North Fork Access.

Washington Park outside Anacortes
Best fall through spring. This is a great spot for seabird watching.

Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve on Padilla Bay
(Make time for a tour of the exhibits and fish tanks at the Breazeale Interpretive Center, open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)