I'm not a birder (yet), but some of my favorite trips have involved seeing birds in the wild. Do you have any favorite destinations for birds or other wildlife?
Today I went to the Skagit Valley, an hour north of Seattle, to see the Snow Geese that winter there every year. It was thrilling to see flocks that must have numbered in the thousands: they would rise in unison and fly right over our heads, then come to light in a muddy field where many thousand of their fellow geese were busily pecking at the sparse grass. We also saw a dozen or so groups of Trumpeter Swans (huge!), and maybe 10 eagles (many of whom were flying around harassing the Snow Geese). It was fun to listen to the sounds of the geese and swans; they seem very social with one another.
The Skagit Valley is famous for its tulip and daffodil fields, but if you are ever in Seattle in January-March, you should consider a visit to the birds. Here's a link of photos from our local paper: The Seattle Times: Snow geese wintering in Skagit Valley