Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the ninth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers the second and third of five sites in the environs of St. Helens – St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill 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)

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

Columbia River Birding Areas

7) St. Helens WTP:

Location/Directions: (45.856638, -122.799887) In St Helens turn west on to Columbia Blvd off of Hwy 30 and go 1.3 miles to St. Helens St (Old Portland Rd), turn right and go .4 miles to 7th St., turn left and follow 7th for 0.25 miles, past the Armory to Plymouth St. Then turn left down to the St. Helens WTP and Knob Hill Park.

Habitat and Birds: The main attraction is the water works ponds for ducks and gulls in winter. Mew Gulls can number in the 100’s in winter. The edges of the empounded water can have an irregular shore bird in the rip rap… Rarities include Heerman’s’ Gull, and Surf Scoter.

8) Knob Hill Park:

Location/Directions: (45.856638, -122.799887) Adjacent to the St. Helens WTP

Habitat and Birds: This is a small scrub Oak grove with a walking loop trail. Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatch, migrant and breeding passerines can be expected here. A couple of vantage points allows for a scan of the Columbia which can have all manner of river birds; loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season. Frequently Bald Eagles can be seen soaring past or perched in the area trees. Purple Martins nest in the pylons at the river’s edge.

7 & 8) St. Helens WTP & Knob Hill Park (PL) – 67 species, 11 (5/25/14)

Cackling Goose Canada Goose Tundra Swan
Wood Duck Gadwall Mallard
Northern Shoveler Green-winged Teal Lesser Scaup
Surf Scoter Bufflehead Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser Western Grebe Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron Osprey Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper
Wilson’s Snipe Heermann’s Gull Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull Western Gull California Gull
Herring Gull Glaucous-winged Gull Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove Mourning Dove Anna’s Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow Common Raven Purple Martin
Tree Swallow Violet-green Swallow Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee Bushtit White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper Pacific Wren Bewick’s Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet American Robin
Varied Thrush European Starling Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat Yellow-rumped Warbler Townsend’s Warbler
Spotted Towhee Song Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco Black-headed Grosbeak Red-winged Blackbird
House Sparrow
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