Field Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Field Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the seventh installment of the “Field Guide”.  It is an account of one of the three sites found in proximity to the town of Scappoose – the Scappoose Bottoms.

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)

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

Columbia River Birding Areas

4) Scappoose Bottoms – Honeyman Rd (OBT):

Location/Directions: The loop starts at the Dike Rd intersection right next to the Crown Z trail, 1.7 miles from Hwy 30 where it is Columbia Avenue. Here is a map of the area with suggested stops.

Habitat and Birds: Honeyman is 7.5 miles long from Dike Rd (zero your odometer) to when it intersects with W Lane Rd. It is mainly agricultural land managed for cattle. The last 1.4 miles is up out of the bottoms and into a rural residential area. There are numerous places to pull off the road and all are worth the stop to scan the fields and scrub plantations for raptors, herons, egrets and ducks. Sparrows can be thick and a special stop should be made 1.4 – 1.5 miles past Dike Rd. There is a small pullout on the west side of the road just past the line of tall Cottonwoods. These trees and the field to the east can be very productive. Especially in winter for sparrows where you can easily pick up all regular wintering sparrows including White-throated. Scan all of the visible tree tops for raptors, eagles, and falcons. Continuing on the road north there are all manner of opportunities to pull over and search the road sides for sparrows, scan for raptors and ducks in the flooded fields and sloughs. Traffic is typically light so stopping on the road is usually safe. At 3.6 miles past Dike road there is another place to pull over on the west, just past the Ellis’ ponded slough. There are usually ducks on the pond in winter and the willow thickets to the south are productive in migration. The fields should be scanned for geese, ducks and waders. At 3.9 miles at the 90 degree property line curve is a great place to pull out. Scanning the fence posts and trees in this area usually produces a Rough-legged Hawk in the winter. Short eared owls have been reported here as well and Northern Shrikes have turned up now and then in winter. The Ellis’ manure sprinkler draws large concentrations of gulls, but it is usually pretty far from the road but not always. A Glaucous Gull was reported from this area. The rest of the road is about the same; ponds, sloughs, and road side kack. At mile 4.9 there is another little pull off on the north and across the road is a stand of Garry Oaks. Who knows what can turn up here? I keep hoping for Acorn Woodpeckers. Note needs to be made of the Cal Portland Wildlife Preserve which is just another 1000 ft up the road. I personally do not know what this place holds as permission is required to enter and the office is always closed on the weekends. Maybe one could call ahead of time. Rarities include: Ross’ Goose, White-tailed Kite, Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Franklin’s Gull, Glaucous Gull, Short-eared Owl, and Black Phoebe.

Scappoose Bottoms (eHS) – 136 species (5/12/14)

Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Ross’s 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 Redhead
Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser California Quail Ring-necked Pheasant
Pied-billed Grebe Double-crested Cormorant American Bittern
Great Blue Heron Great Egret Green Heron
Turkey Vulture Osprey White-tailed Kite
Golden Eagle Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk Northern Goshawk Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Virginia Rail
Sora American Coot Sandhill Crane
Killdeer Greater Yellowlegs Dunlin
Least Sandpiper Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe
Franklin’s Gull Mew Gull Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull California Gull Herring Gull
Thayer’s Gull Glaucous-winged Gull Glaucous Gull
Rock Pigeon Band-tailed Pigeon Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove Great Horned Owl Short-eared Owl
Vaux’s Swift Anna’s Hummingbird Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker Pileated Woodpecker American Kestrel
Merlin Peregrine Falcon Western Wood-Pewee
Willow Flycatcher Black Phoebe Say’s Phoebe
Northern Shrike Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow Common Raven Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow Violet-green Swallow Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow Black-capped Chickadee Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit Red-breasted Nuthatch White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper Pacific Wren Marsh Wren
Bewick’s Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush American Robin Varied Thrush
European Starling American Pipit Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler Common Yellowthroat Yellow-rumped 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
Pine Siskin Lesser Goldfinch American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


One comment

  1. Pingback: Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon) | field studies from portland