[Tweeters] Saturday on the Water in Skagit County

jimbetz at jimbetz.com jimbetz at jimbetz.com
Mon Jun 27 10:00:06 PDT 2022


We were also on the water out of Anacortes Saturday. Our trip
took us North up Bellingham Channel and around Cypress and back to
Skyline Marina. And even got to go ashore at Tide Point!

We did not see any puffins or auklets - but we did see a nesting
pair of Oystercatchers in the driftwood at Tide Point. And they had at
least one chick that was peeping pretty much constantly even though
the adults were close by. The adults were very protective of the
chick and were challenging the walkers. Loudly.
At this same location we saw several Red-winged Blackbirds at the
small pond Nick Fahey made right behind the high tide line - and
there was evidence that otters were making their way back and forth
from the salt water to the pond. Didn't see the otters just their

We saw lots of gulls - probably hundreds - and many cormorants and
shearwaters and guillemots. There are several large guillemot
nests dug into Yellow Bluff on Guemes (Kelly Point) but even though
we stopped and drifted for at least 15 minutes we didn't see any
The gulls were often congregated where the tide rips were. I'm
guessing that there were small fish such as smelt that get near
enough to the surface to be caught by the gulls.
"If there is a piece of drift in the water - there's a gull
sitting on it." Also on most of the channel markers and buoys.

Did not see any activity at the eagles nest at the Northeast tip of
Burrows - no surprise this time of year. We did swing close to that
point. Have you ever seen how fast the water moves around that point!

Learned something yesterday - Cypress Island is the Western most
part of Skagit County. So if the county line is mid-channel of
Rosario Strait (Tide Point is the narrowest part) then we spent the
entire afternoon in Skagit County ... on the water. Most of Cypress
is DNR and protected - so it is an amazing place for wildlife -
including birds.

Oh yes, we split the Saffron Mussels and a salad at the Rockfish
Grill before we took to the water. Yum!

It was, as you said, gorgeous weather and a fine day to be on the
water ... even if we didn't get to see any puffins or auklets.

- Jim in Burlington

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