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Skagit River Delta: Raptors and Wintering Birds

Program Number: 14376RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/28/2013 - 2/1/2013;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: La Conner, Washington
Price starting at: $967.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; Natural History
Meals: 12; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

Join an intimate exploration of North America’s premier raptor and wintering bird hotspots along the Pacific Flyway. Salmon runs on the Skagit River bring Bald Eagles by the hundreds and "five-falcon" days are possible this time of year including rare Gyr falcons. Expert guide leads daily field excursions.




Highlights

• Explore scenic coastal regions in search of ancient Murrelets, wintering Trumpeter and Tundra Swans and more.
• Experience a breathtaking, daylong birding excursion to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta and the Reifel Island Bird Sanctuary on British Columbia’s Fraser River.
• Visit the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for a special presentation.



Activity Particulars

Multiple short distance walks over varying terrain. Frequent getting in and out of 15-passenger vans. Daylong field trip across border to Reifel Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary requires passport (or participant can opt out of this one event).



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our Birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.



Coordinated by Skagit Valley College.




La Conner

Nestled amid verdant cedar and fir forests on the shores of Swinomish Channel, historic La Conner, founded in the late 19th century, offers abundant natural beauty, historic architecture, and a charming array of shops, restaurants and galleries.



Accommodations
Deluxe inn with private bath and fireplace.
Meals and Lodgings
   LaConner Country Inn
  LaConner 4 nights
 LaConner Country Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: Located in charming LaConner, WA, this quaint Inn features cozy, but spacious rooms, each with gas fireplace; flat screen TV and DVD player; mini refrigerator and private bath.
  Contact info: 107 South Second Street
LaConner, WA 98257 USA
phone: 360-466-3101
web: www.laconnerlodging.com
  Room amenities: Spacious rooms feature gas fireplace; flat screen TV and DVD player; mini refrigerator; quaint country-style furnishings,and private bath. In-room spa services available with a reservation.
  Facility amenities: Nell Thorn Restaurant and Pub, known for its progressive cuisine, focusing on Northwest & European styles. is located on the property. The Inn offers high speed wireless internet and free parking.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Please call Call 1-888-466-4113 for rates and reservations.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Please call Call 1-888-466-4113 for rates and reservations.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in at hotel 4 PM. Orientation at 5 PM - followed by dinner. You will be staying at LaConner Country Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Program concludes after lunch (approx 1pm). Late checkout may be arranged. You will be staying at LaConner Country Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. One program day is spent at Reifel Island Birding Sanctuary in Delta, BC Canada. Passports are required to participate in this day's events.
  Parking availability:
Free parking available at Inn.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  LaConner
  Nearest city or town:  LaConner
  Nearest highway: I-5
  Nearest airport:  Sea Tac Airport, Seattle
  From End of Program
  Location: LaConner
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

To LaConner, WA from Seattle

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Bellair Airporter Shuttle
phone: 866-235-5247
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Senior fare approx $35/OW or $55/RT
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 2.5 hours from SeaTac airport to LaConner 

   

This service runs 7 days a week throughout the year except on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Select route from SeaTac Airport to FarmHouse Inn. The FarmHouse Inn shuttle stop is approximately 5-7 miles from the LaConner Country Inn. Local taxi service arrangement can be made once you arrive at the shuttle stop. Approximate cost for taxi is $20.

 

FarmHouse Inn Shuttlebus Stop to LaConner Country Inn

 

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
A Better Cab Co.
phone: 360-755-9262

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5-7 miles

   

Upon arrival at the FarmHouse Inn shuttle bus stop, you may call cab service to arrange transport to the LaConner Country Inn, in LaConner. It is approximately 5-7 mile ride and approximate cost one-way is $20 and fare may be shared.

 
Driving Directions
  Bellingham From Bellingham, travel south on Interstate 5 to exit 230 at Burlington, turn right at end of off-ramp and follow Hwy. 20 about 10 miles and turn left on La Conner Whitney Rd. Follow this road about 5 miles into La Conner. As you enter La Conner on Morris St. watch for the Country Inn to your left on South 2nd. From Vancouver: about 90 miles or 1 hour and 10 minutes (approximately)
  Seattle From Seattle: travel north on Interstate 5 to exit 221 Conway, turn left at end of off-ramp and take first right (signs to Conway & La Conner). Follow the main road and signs to La Conner approx. 9 miles (road will become Best Rd.). After speed limit drops to 35 m.p.h., take a left on Chilberg Rd. This will bring you into La Conner. As you enter La Conner on Morris St. watch for the Country Inn to your left on South 2nd. From Seattle: about 60 miles, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (approximately).
Equipment Requirements: Bring binoculars and/or spotting scopes if you have them.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome and Orientation
(Monday, January 28)
   
 Afternoon: Check in at hotel 4 PM; Program Orientation at 5:00PM.
 Dinner: In Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm!
 Evening: Welcome and get acquainted program following dinner.
   
Accommodations: LaConner Country Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Presentation on "Migratory Waterbirds and Raptors of the Skagit/Samish Deltas"/Birding in the Field/Museum of Northwest Art
(Tuesday, January 29)
   
 Breakfast: In Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm!
 Morning: Presentation on raptors and migratory waterbirds, and habitats of the Skagit/Samish River Deltas and surrounding Salish Sea region. Depart for birding in field.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: Continue birding field trip to a variety of habitats (with emphasis on birds in the Skagit Delta and Fir Island). Mid-afternoon return to the hotel; followed by walking field trip the the Museum of Northwest Art.
 Dinner: In Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm!
 Evening: "Winter Raptors" presentation and discussion.
   
Accommodations: LaConner Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve/ Birding in the Field: Deception Pass Gorge Area
(Wednesday, January 30)
   
 Breakfast: In Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm!
 Morning: Field trip to Padilla Bay National Estuarine Reserve unique research facility. Birding in field to follow program.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: Birding in field continued (with emphasis on birds in the N. Skagit Delta, Samish Delta, and Samish Island). Return to hotel in late afternoon.
 Dinner: In Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm!
 Evening: Evening Lecture: "Merlin's of the Northwest" .
   
Accommodations: LaConner Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Day-long excursion to Reifel Island Bird Sanctuary on British Columbia's Fraser River.
(Thursday, January 31)
   
 Breakfast: In Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm!
 Morning: The George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is situated on 850 acres of managed wetlands, natural marshes and low dikes in the heart of the Fraser River Estuary. For the millions of birds seeking feeding and resting areas during their annual migrations along the Pacific Coast, the Sanctuary is ideally located. Over 268 species have now been recorded at the Sanctuary. Your morning will feature a presentation from a Sanctuary docent, highlighting the importance of the Sanctuary; bird identification; wildlife needs and habitats; etc. Afterwards, enjoy birding at the Sanctuary.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: Afternoon birding continues at the Sanctuary. Special features of the Sanctuary include a two-storey observation tower and several "bird blinds" or "hides" along the trails. Mid-afternoon departure back to the US and the LaConner Country Inn. We will continue to look for birds on our return trip as we follow the beautiful Chuckanut Drive back to the LaConner area.
 Dinner: In Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm!
 Evening: Free evening to rest / relax by the fireplace in your room or explore LaConner.
   
Accommodations: LaConner Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Birding in nearby habitats/Farewell Luncheon/ Independent departures
(Friday, February 1)
   
 Breakfast: In Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm!
 Morning: More Birding in Field to new and desirable habitats (with emphasis on Deception Pass Gorge, and Fidalgo Island).
 Lunch: Farewell luncheon in Conference Dining Room featuring healthy & delicious home-style meals served buffet-style. Meals are prepared by our private caterer and proudly served with enthusiasm! Late checkouts available as necessary.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  LaConner General information
For additional information, visit www.laconnerchamber.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Birder's Guide to Washington


Author: Hal Opperman


Description: A Birder's Guide to Washington details hundreds of birding routes and sites in the state and adjacent areas in British Columbia, together with year-round access instructions and birding advice. Over 220 maps pinpoint the most productive destinations in the field and offer regional overviews to help with trip planning. An annotated checklist of 478 species recorded in the state through 2002 gives information about status and habitat associations, while the seasonal abundance/regional occurrence bar graphs will assist birders in locating regularly occurring species. Authoritative lists of Washington's mammals, herps, butterflies, and dragonflies are provided.



Birding Washington


Author: Rob and Natalie McNair-Huff


Description: As the first stop in the continental U.S. for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway, Washington offers a wide range of birding opportunities and species, from the typical fall migrations of ducks and geese to the convergence of millions of shore birds in Grays Harbor each spring.



Birds of the Pacific Northwest Coast


Author: Nancy Baron and John Acorn


Description: More than 200 species of common birds are grouped and color-coded for quick identification. Beautiful illustrations accompany the insightful text on behavior, seasonal occurrence and local range of species.



Shorebirds of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Dennis Paulson


Description: A well-researched and superbly illustrated publication on the identification and general biology of shorebirds. The author has successfully developed a new model for guides to other groups of birds by skilfully blending technical and popular information with field and teaching experience. This guide will be extraordinarily useful to ornithologists, biologists, enforcement officials, environmentalists, and birdwatchers at all levels.





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