March is a great time to head to the Skagit Flats. One of my favorite subjects is the tens of thousands of snow geese that have migrated from Siberia and the North Slope down to the rich fields of the Skagit River Valley. There are also thousands of trumpeter and tundra swans. An interesting note, over the decades that I’ve been going to photograph in Skagit Valley, the population of trumpeter swans has mushroomed. Climate change has affected the spring melt in Alaska at earlier times in the spring which opens up more lakes. A couple of trumpeter swans need a lake to themselves, with no other swans, to raise their brood. More lakes means more swans. Skagit Valley’s tilled fields offer a feast to these migrating birds, and you can see thousands of geese just a few feet away. In the late afternoon on a clear day it is magical as the birds light off the ground and swirl in the air all the while Mt. Baker, a volcanic mountain in the Cascades that boasts an elevation over 10,000 feet, looms in the background. As the sun sets, everything goes pink. It is one of my favorite places to go in Washington State, and March is the perfect time to go.
Get information from the Skagit Audubon Society: http://www.fidalgo.net/~audubon/Locate.htm