Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the eighteenth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers a site that is found in the Coast Range of Columbia County a transect road: Pittsburg Rd.

 

This guide will be published in a series of installments:

Overview of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)

Habitats of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)

Birds of Columbia County – Overview (5/9/14 post)

Birding Sites of Columbia County – Individual installments, and associated Bird Lists of the Sites in Columbia County:

Introduction (5/12/14 post)

 

Columbia River Sites – South to North

Sauvie Island (5/12/14 post)

Scappoose WTP and Kessi Pond (5/14/14 post)

Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (5/15/14 post)

Scappoose Bottoms (5/19/14 post)

Scappoose Bay (5/29/14 post)

St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill Park (5/30/14 post)

Gray Cliffs Waterfront Park and Dalton Lake (6/1/14 post)

Dalton Lake Trail, Columbia City, Dyno Nobel, Nicolai Wetlands, Gobel Marina (6/17/14 post)

Trojan Park, Carr Slough, Prescott Beach, Laurel Beach CP (6/22/14 post)

Rainier Waterfront, Dibblee Point, Rainier Dike Rd (6/24/14 post)

Erickson Dike Rd, John’s Slough (6/25/14 post)

Marshland Drainage District (6/27/14 post)

 

Coast Range Birding Sites

Pisgah Home Rd, Crown Zellerbach Trail (West), Bonnie Falls (7/1/14 post)

Gunners Lakes (7/3/14 post)

Pittsburg Road (7/23/14 post)

 

Here is a map of all the locations mentioned in this guide.

(A link to a downloadable copy of this guide is found in the first installment of this series)

Pittsburg Rd:

Location/Directions: (45.9009, -123.1408) 15.8 miles from Scappoose, and 0.1 mile from Hwy 47 on the Scappoose – Vernonia Hwy. From this point to Canaan Rd is 13.2 miles, all on gravel roads that vary in condition depending on logging activity.

Habitat and Birds: All but the last mile or so of the road is heavily managed Coast Range Douglas Fir forest in varying stages of harvest. The best strategy is to just get out at promising looking areas. Any place is subject to radical change from year to year. Sooty and Ruffed Grouse, Mountain Quail (rare), Gray Jays, Hermit Warblers, Hutton’s Vireos, Band-tailed Pigeons and Western Bluebirds are the highlights. Possibilities include Northern Goshawk, and Saw-whet, and Northern Pygmy Owls. From the junction with Canaan Rd it is 10.7 miles along Pittsburg Rd into St. Helens and 9.6 miles into Deer Island along Canaan Rd.

Pittsburg Rd (PL) – 70 species, 10 (5/12/14)

Cackling Goose Canada Goose Mallard
Mountain Quail Ruffed Grouse Sooty Grouse
Turkey Vulture Sharp-shinned Hawk Northern Goshawk
Red-tailed Hawk Sandhill Crane Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove Mourning Dove Anna’s Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird Red-breasted Sapsucker Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker American Kestrel Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood-Pewee Willow Flycatcher Hammond’s Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher Hutton’s Vireo Warbling Vireo
Gray Jay Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow Common Raven Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow Black-capped Chickadee Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch Brown Creeper House Wren
Pacific Wren Bewick’s Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Western Bluebird Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin Varied Thrush European Starling
Cedar Waxwing Orange-crowned Warbler MacGillivray’s Warbler
Common Yellowthroat Yellow-rumped Warbler Black-throated Gray
Townsend’s Warbler Hermit Warbler Wilson’s Warbler
Spotted Towhee Fox Sparrow Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco
Western Tanager Black-headed Grosbeak Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird Purple Finch Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch Evening Grosbeak

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the seventeenth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers a site that is found in the Coast Range of Columbia County: Gunners Lakes Area.

This guide will be published in a series of installments:

Overview of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Habitats of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)

Birds of Columbia County – Overview (5/9/14 post)

Birding Sites of Columbia County – Individual installments, and associated Bird Lists of the Sites in Columbia County:
Introduction (5/12/14 post)

Columbia River Sites – South to North
Sauvie Island (5/12/14 post)
Scappoose WTP and Kessi Pond (5/14/14 post)
Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (5/15/14 post)
Scappoose Bottoms (5/19/14 post)
Scappoose Bay (5/29/14 post)
St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill Park (5/30/14 post)
Gray Cliffs Waterfront Park and Dalton Lake (6/1/14 post)
Dalton Lake Trail, Columbia City, Dyno Nobel, Nicolai Wetlands, Gobel Marina (6/17/14 post)
Trojan Park, Carr Slough, Prescott Beach, Laurel Beach CP (6/22/14 post)
Rainier Waterfront, Dibblee Point, Rainier Dike Rd (6/24/14 post)
Erickson Dike Rd, John’s Slough (6/25/14 post)
Marshland Drainage District (6/27/14 post)

Coast Range Birding Sites
Pisgah Home Rd, Crown Zellerbach Trail (West), Bonnie Falls (7/1/14 post)
Gunners Lakes (7/3/14 post)

(A link to a downloadable copy of this guide is found in the first installment of this series)

Here is a map of all the locations mentioned in this guide.

Gunners Lakes:
Location/Directions: (45.80568, -123.0585) Take the Scappoose – Vernonia Hwy 9.4 miles west from Hwy 30. Turn left onto Pisgah Lookout Rd (not signed). This is pretty much at the top of the pass. On the south side of the Hwy there is a big school bus turn around and parking for the Crown Z trail if one is so inclined to walk the trail. The lakes are about 2.0 miles from the Scappoose – Vernonia Hwy. At this point the road splits – stay to the right to access the lakes.

Habitat and Birds: This whole area can be explored. The lakes can have Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, and other ducks possible. The wooded shore lines are great for Woodpeckers, and migrant and breeding songbirds. High elevation birds like Hermit Warblers, Evening Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills and Band-tailed Pigeons have all been recorded in this area. I’m sure Grouse are in the area, I just haven’t encountered them yet. As a bonus I’ve seen Elk on a couple of occasions. May 2014 Update: there is some heavy thinning operations taking place and the road in has been seriously degraded. They have dumped lots of 6 inch minus on the road sot it is pretty rough going. My Prius made it to the lakes but it was dicey in plenty of places and very slow going.

Gunners Lakes (PL) – 36 species, 4 (5/3/14)

Mallard Lesser Scaup Hooded Merganser
Band-tailed Pigeon Mourning Dove Rufous Hummingbird
Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker Warbling Vireo Gray Jay
Steller’s Jay Common Raven Tree Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Red-breasted Nuthatch Brown Creeper
Pacific Wren Swainson’s Thrush Hermit Thrush
American Robin Varied Thrush Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat Black-throated Gray Warbler Hermit Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler Song Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco Western Tanager Black-headed Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird Red Crossbill Evening Grosbeak

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the sixteenth installment of the “Site Guide”. It is the first of the sites that are found in the Coast Range of Columbia County.
This guide will be published in a series of installments:

Overview of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Habitats of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Birds of Columbia County – Overview (5/9/14 post)
Birding Sites of Columbia County – Individual installments, and associated Bird Lists of the Sites in Columbia County:
Introduction (5/12/14 post)

Columbia River Sites – South to North
Sauvie Island (5/12/14 post)
Scappoose WTP and Kessi Pond (5/14/14 post)
Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (5/15/14 post)
Scappoose Bottoms (5/19/14 post)
Scappoose Bay (5/29/14 post)
St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill Park (5/30/14 post)
Gray Cliffs Waterfront Park and Dalton Lake (6/1/14 post)
Dalton Lake Trail, Columbia City, Dyno Nobel, Nicolai Wetlands, Gobel Marina (6/17/14 post)
Trojan Park, Carr Slough, Prescott Beach, Laurel Beach CP (6/22/14 post)
Rainier Waterfront, Dibblee Point, Rainier Dike Rd (6/24/14 post)
Erickson Dike Rd, John’s Slough (6/25/14 post)
Marshland Drainage District (6/27/14 post)

Coast Range Birding Sites
Pisgah Home Rd, Crown Zellerbach Trail (West), Bonnie Falls (7/1/14 post)

(A link to a downloadable copy of this guide is found in the first installment of this series)
Here is a map of all the locations mentioned in this guide.

Pisgah Home Rd (PL) – 45 species, 3 (6/27/14)
Location/Directions: (45.790581, -122.911799) Along the Scappoose/Vernonia Hwy, 2.5 miles from Hwy 30 take a left on Siercks Rd. Just over a half a mile from S/V Hwy take a left onto Pisgah Home Rd and drive to the top of the hill where it meets Holladay Rd. Continue a short way past this and park opposite Grouse Lane where the pavement ends. Pisgah Home continues as a gravel road/jeep track. Longview Fiber has two gated access points in the area; one along Pisgah Home Rd on the north side of the road (about 1.5 miles up the road) and one a little ways down Holladay. Both are worth a short hike as well.

Habitat and Birds: The trip up starts at Scappoose Creek but is already forested. Just at the start, on the right, there is an old quarry that Belted Kingfishers burrow nest in the face of the cut, at the top where the soil is. (2013,2014) The elevation gain on the trip up is usually enough to bring in some elevational species like Ravens, Red Crossbills, Hairy Woodpeckers, Hermit Warblers, Evening Grosbeaks and Band-tailed Pigeons. At the top there is a regenerating clearcut down slope and an open farmed hill upslope. I usually walk down the gravel road a mile or two through mixed stage coast range forest. High clearance vehilcle could probably drive down the road. Mountain Quail and a Townsend’s Solitaire have been reported from this area.

Pisgah Home Rd.(PL) – 48 species, 4 (6/28/14)

Cackling Goose Turkey Vulture Red-tailed Hawk
Band-tailed Pigeon Mourning Dove Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher Hairy Woodpecker Northern Flicker
Western Wood-Pewee Willow Flycatcher Hammond’s Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo Steller’s Jay American Crow
Common Raven Violet-green Swallow Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee Chestnut-backed Chickadee Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper House Wren Pacific Wren
Bewick’s Wren Ruby-crowned Kinglet Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin European Starling Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler MacGillivray’s Warbler Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-rumped Warbler Black-throated Gray Warbler Hermit Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler Spotted Towhee Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak Brown-headed Cowbird Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin American Goldfinch Evening Grosbeak

 

Bonnie Falls:
Location/Directions: (45.80429, -122.93734) 4.1 miles west of Hwy 30 along the Scappoose – Vernonia Hwy. There is a pull off on the south side of the road. There is not much here, but County listers will want to make the stop for the American Dippers that have been seen here (2011 – 2013). Woodland birds are also possible. A small patch list has been generated.

 

Crown Zellerbach Trail – West, Hale Rd. Access:
Location/Directions: (45.82573, -122.95819) About 6.2 miles west of Hwy 30 along the Scappoose – Vernonia Hwy. There is a parking area on Hale Rd. next to the trail, but do not block the yellow gate. Trail heads in both directions but only the section to the east has been explored at this time.

Habitat and Birds: Woodland and riparian birds along an easy paved path with some elevational influence. This is the second place that I know of where American Dipper has been found in the County. This is a very productive short stretch of the trail.

Crown Zellerbach Trail – West, Hale Rd. Access (PL) – 15 species, 1 (5/10/14)
Current list is from one half an hour stop.

Belted Kingfisher Hairy Woodpecker Steller’s Jay
American Crow Violet-green Swallow Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee American Dipper Pacific Wren
Swainson’s Thrush American Robin European Starling
Black-throated Gray Warbler Wilson’s Warbler Song Sparrow
Black-headed Grosbeak

 

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the fifteenth installment of the “Site Guide”.  It covers the last of the sites which border the Columbia River and encompasses the Marshland Drainage District west of Clatskanie.

This guide will be published in a series of installments:

Overview of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Habitats of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Birds of Columbia County – Overview (5/9/14 post)

Birding Sites of Columbia County – Individual installments, and associated Bird Lists of the Sites in Columbia County:
Introduction (5/12/14 post)

Columbia River Sites – South to North
Sauvie Island (5/12/14 post)
Scappoose WTP and Kessi Pond (5/14/14 post)
Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (5/15/14 post)
Scappoose Bottoms (5/19/14 post)
Scappoose Bay (5/29/14 post)
St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill Park (5/30/14 post)
Gray Cliffs Waterfront Park and Dalton Lake (6/1/14 post)
Dalton Lake Trail, Columbia City, Dyno Nobel, Nicolai Wetlands, Gobel Marina (6/17/14 post)
Trojan Park, Carr Slough, Prescott Beach, Laurel Beach CP (6/22/14 post)
Rainier Waterfront, Dibblee Point, Rainier Dike Rd (6/24/14 post)
Erickson Dike Rd, John’s Slough (6/25/14 post)
Marshland Drainage District (6/27/14 post)

(A link to a downloadable copy of this guide is found in the first installment of this series)

Here is a map of all the locations mentioned in this guide.
Columbia River Birding Areas

24) Marshland Drainage District: If Sauvie Island is the Crown Jewel of Columbia County then this overlooked patch is a diamond in the rough. Here is a map with suggested stops. This bottomland is unique in that it is surrounded by the coast range Willapa Hills except on the north where it borders the Columbia River. I believe this configuration draws in some higher elevation birds like Ravens and Band-tailed Pigeons.

Marshland — Bergman’s Hole
Location/Directions: (46.12722, -123.2417) 2.0 miles west of Hwy 47 in Clatskanie on Hwy 30 turn north onto Pt. Adams Road. Drive 0.5 miles to pull off at Bergman’s Hole.

Habitat and Birds: Passerines are found in the alders and cottonwoods that line the sloughs. You’ll find ducks and waders on the slough and sparrows along the road.

Marshland – River Front Road.
Location/Directions: Continuing on Point Adams Rd in 0.9 miles it becomes River Front Rd. This follows the Columbia River Channel south of Wallace Island for 2.5 miles where Midland Dist. Rd connects. At 2.6 miles Webb Dist Rd connects. At 3.3 miles is the entrance to Jones Beach. At 4.1 miles it ends at Woodson Rd. 0.8 miles along Woodson Rd the Webb Dist Rd comes back in. This is 1.0 mile from Hwy 30.

Habitat and Birds: The River view will have Loons, grebes and rafts of ducks in winter; Bonaparte’s Gulls have been seen once and Caspian Terns frequently in season. There can be lots of Bald Eagles perched in the trees along the river. To the south is pasture land and cottonwood plantations. A scan of the plantations and the perching pylons can turn up raptors, possibly a Rough-legged Hawk.

Marshland – Jones Beach
Location/Directions: (46.13868, -123.29864)

Habitat and Birds: There is an expansive river view here bordered by a Cottonwood gallery forest. There is excellent sparrow kack along the road. American Pipits can occasionally turn up along the beach. Great Horned Owls have nested in the large cottonwoods on the south side of the road.

Marshland – Webb District Wetlands
Location/Directions: (46.12589, -123.30239) 0.6 miles from the Woodson Rd. junction is a place to park next to the pump station. Webb Dist Rd is 2.2 miles long from River Front Rd to the Woodson Rd junction.

Habitat and Birds: Savannah Sparrows can be thick along the southern section of the road. There is good duck habitat in the winter on the wetlands. It is very reliable for Rudy Duck. Check for raptors in the tree tops. Wintering Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and Red-tails cruise the area. Watch out for odd birds as a local rancher raises all manners of fowl.

Marshland – Woodson Rd
Location/Directions: 1.8 miles long from Hwy 30 to River Front Rd.

Habitat and Birds: The flooded fields and sloughs harbor ducks and possible Horned Grebes. Open country raptors like Rough-legged Hawk in winter cruise the pasture land.

Marshland – Midland Dist. Rd
Location/Directions: Midland Rd. is 3.2 miles long from Bergman Hole to River Front Rd.

Habitat and Birds: There is a good variety of habitat with the flooded fields and the slough holding water fowl and plenty of brushy kack for passerines. Scanning for raptors can be productive.

Marshland Drainage District (PL) – 115 species, 14, (5/31/14)

Greater White-fronted Goose Cackling Goose Canada Goose
Tundra Swan Wood Duck Gadwall
Eurasian Wigeon American Wigeon Mallard
Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal Canvasback Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup Bufflehead
Hooded Merganser Common Merganser Ruddy Duck
California Quail Ring-necked Pheasant Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe Western Grebe Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern Great Blue Heron Great Egret
Turkey Vulture Osprey Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk Bald Eagle Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk Virginia Rail American Coot
Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs
Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe Bonaparte’s Gull
Ring-billed Gull California Gull Herring Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull Caspian Tern Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove Mourning Dove Great Horned Owl
Rufous Hummingbird Belted Kingfisher Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker Northern Flicker American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon Western Wood-Pewee Willow Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher Warbling Vireo Steller’s Jay
Western Scrub-Jay American Crow Common Raven
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Purple Martin Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow Barn Swallow Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee White-breasted Nuthatch Brown Creeper
Pacific Wren Marsh Wren Bewick’s Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin Varied Thrush European Starling
American Pipit Cedar Waxwing Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat Yellow Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler Wilson’s Warbler Spotted Towhee
Savannah Sparrow Fox Sparrow Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow White-throated Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Black-headed Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting Red-winged Blackbird Western Meadowlark
Brewer’s Blackbird Brown-headed Cowbird Bullock’s Oriole
House Finch Purple Finch American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the fourteenth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers a couple of spots in the Clatskanie area.
This guide will be published in a series of installments:

Overview of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Habitats of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Birds of Columbia County – Overview (5/9/14 post)
Birding Sites of Columbia County – Individual installments, and associated Bird Lists of the Sites in Columbia County:
Introduction (5/12/14 post)

Columbia River Sites – South to North
Sauvie Island (5/12/14 post)
Scappoose WTP and Kessi Pond (5/14/14 post)
Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (5/15/14 post)
Scappoose Bottoms (5/19/14 post)
Scappoose Bay (5/29/14 post)
St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill Park (5/30/14 post)
Gray Cliffs Waterfront Park and Dalton Lake (6/1/14 post)
Dalton Lake Trail, Columbia City, Dyno Nobel, Nicolai Wetlands, Gobel Marina (6/17/14 post)
Trojan Park, Carr Slough, Prescott Beach, Laurel Beach CP (6/22/14 post)
Rainier Waterfront, Dibblee Point, Rainier Dike Rd (6/24/14 post)
Erickson Dike Rd, John’s Slough (6/25/14 post)

(A link to a downloadable copy of this guide is found in the first installment of this series)

Here is a map of all the locations mentioned in this guide.

Columbia River Birding Areas

22) Erickson Dike Rd. (OBT):
Location/Directions: (46.12046, -123.19938) From the center of Clatskanie turn north onto Nehalem. Drive to the end of the road (a few blocks) and it becomes 5th. Go west on 5th which becomes Beaver Falls Rd. At 0.8 miles from Hwy 30 take a left turn onto Depot Rd. Staying to the right, go 0.5 miles and turn left onto Erikson Dike Rd.

Habitat and Birds: This is a drive along a dike that follows the channeled Clatskanie River. The rest is agricultural, cottonwood plantations, and one decent gallery type woodlot. Ducks and divers, sparrows, and open country raptors are to be expected.

Erickson Dike Rd. (PL) – 33 species, 3, (5/14/14)

Cackling Goose Canada Goose Mallard
Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup Bufflehead
Hooded Merganser Pied-billed Grebe Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron Great Egret Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk Killdeer Wilson’s Snipe
Rock Pigeon Mourning Dove Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker Merlin Steller’s Jay
Western Scrub-Jay American Crow Black-capped Chickadee
Pacific Wren Ruby-crowned Kinglet Hermit Thrush
American Robin European Starling Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow White-throated Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird Brewer’s Blackbird House Sparrow

 

23) John Slough:
Location/Directions: (46.15992, -123.14743) – From center of Clatskanie turn north onto Nehalem (stop signal). Drive to the end of the road (a few blocks) and it becomes 5th. Go west on 5th which becomes Beaver Falls Rd. and eventually Quincy Mayger Rd. 5.5 miles from Hwy. 30 turn north onto Kallunki Rd.
Habitat and Birds: This slough is tidal and birds change with the tide. The area also has a channel view of the Columbia that can be scanned for all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season. No patch list has been generated.

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the thirteenth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers the area in the Rainier area.
This guide will be published in a series of installments:

Overview of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Habitats of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Birds of Columbia County – Overview (5/9/14 post)
Birding Sites of Columbia County – Individual installments, and associated Bird Lists of the Sites in Columbia County:
Introduction (5/12/14 post)

Columbia River Sites – South to North
Sauvie Island (5/12/14 post)
Scappoose WTP and Kessi Pond (5/14/14 post)
Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (5/15/14 post)
Scappoose Bottoms (5/19/14 post)
Scappoose Bay (5/29/14 post)
St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill Park (5/30/14 post)
Gray Cliffs Waterfront Park and Dalton Lake (6/1/14 post)
Dalton Lake Trail, Columbia City, Dyno Nobel, Nicolai Wetlands, Gobel Marina (6/17/14 post)
Trojan Park, Carr Slough, Prescott Beach, Laurel Beach CP (6/22/14 post)
Rainier Waterfront, Dibblee Point, Rainier Dike Rd (6/24/14 post)

(A link to a downloadable copy of this guide is found in the first installment of this series)

Columbia River Birding Areas

19) Rainer Waterfront:
Location/Directions: (46.09025, -122.93352) This is a small downtown park. Turn North off of Hwy 30 onto 3rd St and go one block to the park.

Habitat and Birds: The river view can produce Ducks, Gulls, and Grebes. If you get lucky the docks will have roosting gulls in the winter that can be easily picked through. If not, there are still a ton of gulls around but usually on the wing or way out in the channel. This is the best chance of finding a Thayer’s gull in the county, especially if the gulls are roosting on the docks. The Waterfront road to the south of the commercial district can have decent passerines around the buildings and residences.

Rainier Waterfront (PL) – 48 species, 9 (5/14/14)

Cackling Goose Canada Goose American Wigeon
Mallard Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup
Common Merganser Western Grebe Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron Bald Eagle Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot Killdeer Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull Western Gull California Gull
Herring Gull Thayer’s Gull Glaucous-winged Gull
Rock Pigeon Eurasian Collared-Dove Northern Flicker
Western Scrub-Jay American Crow Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow Black-capped Chickadee Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin Varied Thrush European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler Spotted Towhee Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird House Finch House Sparrow

20) Dibblee Point:
Location/Directions: (46.10775, -122.98419) Access off of Rainier Dike Rd, 1 mile past the L&C Bridge, turn right over the RR Tracks.
Habitat and Birds: There are river views and a Cottonwood gallery forest. There are rafts of ducks on the river, with gulls, loons and grebes in winter. The Cottonwoods have typical gallery birds. It’s a good place for woodpeckers as well. No patch list has been generated.

21) Rainier Dike Rd:
Location/Directions: (46.09972, -122.96686) Starting from under the Lewis and Clark Interstate Bridge, it is 3.6 miles to the end of the road. – Access from Hwy 30, west of Rainier city center. Look for Mill St or Rock Crest St. to access the Dike Rd.

Habitat and Birds: This area has agricultural fields along the road which flood in winter and make for great duck and goose habitat. Scan the tree tops for raptors. A slough in the middle holds some diving ducks in winter. The roadside kacks harbor sparrows. Short-eared owls have been reported here. There is parking at the end of the road and a dike trail can be walked.

Rainier Dike Rd (PL) – 44 species, 3 (5/14/14)

Snow Goose Cackling Goose Canada Goose
Gadwall American Wigeon Mallard
Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser California Quail Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Great Egret Heron Northern Harrier
Cooper’s Hawk Bald Eagle Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot Killdeer Eurasian Collared-Dove
Belted Kingfisher Northern Flicker American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow Black-capped Chickadee White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper Pacific Wren Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet American Robin European Starling
Spotted Towhee Fox Sparrow Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird House Sparrow

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the twelfth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers the area between Trojan Park and Laurel Beach County Park.

This guide will be published in a series of installments:
Overview of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Habitats of Columbia County (5/9/14 post)
Birds of Columbia County – Overview (5/9/14 post)
Birding Sites of Columbia County – Individual installments, and associated Bird Lists of the Sites in Columbia County:
Introduction (5/12/14 post)

Columbia River Sites – South to North
Sauvie Island (5/12/14 post)
Scappoose WTP and Kessi Pond (5/14/14 post)
Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (5/15/14 post)
Scappoose Bottoms (5/19/14 post)
Scappoose Bay (5/29/14 post)
St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill Park (5/30/14 post)
Gray Cliffs Waterfront Park and Dalton Lake (6/1/14 post)
Dalton Lake Trail, Columbia City, Dyno Nobel, Nicolai Wetlands, Gobel Marina (6/17/14 post)
Trojan Park, Carr Slough, Prescott Beach, Laurel Beach CP (6/22/14 post)

(A link to a downloadable copy of this guide is found in the first installment of this series)

Columbia River Birding Areas

15) Trojan Park (OBT):
Location/Directions: (46.03591, -122.89386) Entrance to the park is 1.5 miles north of Gobel off of Hwy 30 (old Trojan Nuclear Plant site).

Habitat and Birds: There are a few ponds and a cottonwood gallery forest with walking trails for woodland birds. Ponds hold ducks and the occasional Horned Grebe. Bald Eagles nest in the area. You can also walk north along a paved trail that will take you to a blind and over look of the Carr Slough wetlands.

Trojan Park: (PL) – 38 species, 5 (5/14/14)

Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Cackling Goose
Canada Goose Wood Duck Gadwall
American Wigeon Mallard Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck Bufflehead Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser Pied-billed Grebe Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron Osprey Bald Eagle
American Coot Killdeer Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow Common Raven Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee Pacific Wren Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin Varied Thrush European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco Red-winged Blackbird

 

16) Carr Slough – Graham Rd (OBT).
Location/Directions: (46.04791, -122.89784) 0.9 miles north of Trojan Park turn east onto Graham Rd. There is a small parking area just as you start on Graham Rd. on the south side. Graham Rd. is 0.4 miles long to the RR tracks.

Habitat and Birds: This is excellent duck habitat in the winter. It is a major wintering ground for Tundra Swan – Trumpeters can be mixed in as well. Scan tree tops for the local Bald Eagles. Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons can be thick at times, congregations of Hooded Merganser can get north of 50 birds, the roadside kack is productive year round for passerines swallows are numerous in the spring and Purple Martins have been recorded here.

Carr Slough (Graham Rd) (eHS) – 105 species, (5/14/14)

Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Cackling Goose
Canada Goose Trumpeter Swan Tundra Swan
Wood Duck Gadwall Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon Mallard Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal
Canvasback Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup Bufflehead Common Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye Hooded Merganser Common Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe Horned Grebe Western Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant American White Pelican Great Blue Heron
Great Egret Turkey Vulture Osprey
Bald Eagle Red-shouldered Hawk Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot Sandhill Crane Killdeer
Greater Yellowlegs Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe
Ring-billed Gull California Gull Herring Gull
Thayer’s Gull Glaucous-winged Gull Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove Vaux’s Swift Anna’s Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker Northern Flicker American Kestrel
Western Wood-Pewee Willow Flycatcher Steller’s Jay
Western Scrub-Jay American Crow Common Raven
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Purple Martin Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow Barn Swallow Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee Chestnut-backed Chickadee Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch Brown Creeper Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren Bewick’s Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Swainson’s Thrush Hermit Thrush
American Robin Varied Thrush European Starling
Cedar Waxwing Orange-crowned Warbler Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler Black-throated Gray
Wilson’s Warbler Spotted Towhee Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Western Tanager
Red-winged Blackbird Brewer’s Blackbird House Finch
Purple Finch Pine Siskin American Goldfinch

 

17) Prescott Beach County Park (OBT):
Location/Directions: (46.05076, -122.88797) On Graham Rd. 0.6 miles from Hwy 30 is the entrance to the park. Day use fee is required.

Habitat and Birds: The river view can have all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season. There is decent passerine habitat in pockets. No patch list has been generated.

18) Laurel Beach County Park:
Location/Directions: (46.07097, -122.899504) – This park is poorly mapped on Google Maps. Access is from Laurel Wood Rd. Turn north onto Laurel Wood Rd. stay left at the fork and go about 0.1 miles to the park entrance road – there is a sign for the park. Follow the gravel road down to the parking area.

Habitat and Birds: Rafts of ducks can be found in winter as there is a bit of a sheltered cove. Both Scaup and Common Goldeneye are regular. Some woodland birds can be found in the parking area. This is the easiest place for Goldeneye in the county with Barrow’s possible as a report of one comes from this vantage point.

Laurel Beach County Park (PL) – 27 species, 6 (5/14/14)

Canada Goose Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye Common Merganser Western Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant Herring Gull Downy Woodpecker
Steller’s Jay American Crow Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Bushtit Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pacific Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin Varied Thrush European Starling
Spotted Towhee Song Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco
Pine Siskin