In spring, animal lovers have great opportunities to watch in their natural habitats elk, alpacas, birds, whales, and other sea creatures. Make your ‘things to do in Skagit county’ list with our ideas to do before dinner at The Oyster Bar.
Feed alpacas on South Fork Farms
The farm belongs to the local family Gary and Ruth Wiegand.
Being Skagit County natives, the farmers are a third-generation family that has owned the farm for almost two centuries.
The farmers have been raising alpacas for 17 years.
With a wide range of family activities, the farm is a great place to relax and interact with alpacas, a great source of positive emotions.
Except for interacting with the alpacas, visitors can learn a lot about raising natural walnuts, another specialization of the farm, and walk around enjoying the landscapes by the Skagit River.
And, of course, you will find there a lot of beautiful settings for capturing original images.
To arrange the time for your visit, contact the hosts in advance.
Watch elk in Skagit Valley
Known as the elk field, Skagit Land Trust’s property on State Route 20 close to Concrete shelters over 50 Nooksack elk.
Grazing animals can be spotted across Skagit Valley all year round because they do not undertake long-distance migration. Their favorite places are local rivers and watersheds.
In winter, they prefer the pastures about three miles west of the town, in Hurn Field Property. During the summer months, the elk herd locates about 15 miles north in the Baker River.
In cold months, when food availability is limited, elk regularly cross State Route 20.
The easiest way to access the Hurn Field Conservation Area via a scenic pullout of Highway 20.
Enjoy bird diversity around Padilla Bay
Bald Eagle, Barred Owl, Great Blue Heron, Trumpeter Swan, Cedar Waxwing are just some of the birds you can see in the area.
Spring is a great time to learn about birds by sound as well as sight.
In April, they showcase aerial performances.
The early migratory and local birds loudly claim a territory, defend their space, and look for a mate.
How to quickly organize a pleasant bird walk? Join guided birdwatching tours by Skagit Guided Adventures or create your own itinerary. You can use two sources based on suggestions of experienced birders and hikers.
With 25 parks in Skagit County, it is easy to pick interesting birding spots.
The most famous are Fidalgo and Samish Islands and the Skagit and Samish Flats.
It may be hard to find an incredible and speedy songbird American Pipit on a short visit.
But you will likely spot several graceful Trumpeter Swans, one of the heaviest flying birds.
Take a whale watching tour
San Juan Island to your list of things to do in Skagit County. It is one of the best places in the world to see orca whales in the wild.
From mid-April to the beginning of October, the orcas concentrate there because of the abundance of salmon. This fish makes up 95% of their diet.
The orca or killer whale is the largest of the dolphins. Individual populations may specialize in different kinds of prey.
Some are content with fish, and others hunt marine mammals, seals, or other dolphin species.
You can book whale-watching tours from Anacortes, La Conner, or Seattle.
Alternatively, you can get to the island yourself choosing the best option: by car, by ferry, or by plane.
Explore sea creatures in Padilla Bay Aquariums
Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is an educational center in Bay View.
They carry out educational and research projects on different environmental topics related to the area.
Known for breathtaking views, the place also has scenic trails.
Aquariums are definitely the main highlights of the Reserve, which is now closed.
And although most of their virtual aquarium tours are online, they attract many people because they feature a different animal every week.
Organized by experts – aquarist Mark Olson and Padilla Bay educator Madi McKay, such events are fascinating experiences.
With such knowledgeable guides, even online encounters with octopuses and crabs are very insightful.
Additionally, to expand your knowledge about local marine species, you can join the Water Weeks Aquarium Tour in May. It is free; you only need to register.
Continue watching wildlife on the OysterBar terrace and get more practical suggestions from locals. Call us in advance to reserve a place: 360-766-6185