Our first day in the Skagit River Valley in Washington State has been a hit! Not only did we see 27 different species of birds, six of them were raptors and we photographed all six of the raptor species that we saw: Bald Eagle, American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, and at the end of the day in the glow of the setting sun, our target species, the Short-eared Owl. We eventually counted at least six individual Short-eared Owls flying, hunting over the marshy farm fields, and tangling with the Northern Harriers. What a fun day! And what a contrast to our visit here last year when it rained constantly, the skies were gray and dismal, and birds were few and far between. I photographed more birds on our first day here than on our entire visit last year.