Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)
This is the eleventh installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers the area between the north end of St Helens and north to the Gobel Marina.
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)
(A link to a downloadable copy of this guide is found in the first installment of this series)
Columbia River Birding Areas
10) Dalton Lake Trail (OBT):
Location/Directions: (45.87444, -122.8123) At the north end of St Helens there is a stop light intersection. Deer Island Rd goes to the east and Liberty Hill Dr to the west. Take Deer Island Rd and just after crossing the RR tacks turn left onto Oregon St. Drive a short distance to a parking area directly across from the Humane Society animal shelter. A paved trail heads north paralleling Hwy 30 for a while.
Habitat and Birds: There is a wooded trail that leads down to an impoundment lake. Expect woodland birds, migrants, and the lake can have ducks and grebes. There is a view of the river which can be scanned for all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season. I’ve only been here once so I don’t have a good feel for the possible birds but would not expect it to be much different than many locations with the same habitat. It gets a touch of Douglas Fir understory that could add a bit of color. A Clark’s Grebe has been reported from here. No patch list has been generated.
11) Columbia City Water Front:
Location/Directions: (45.890475, -122.806322) In Columbia City off of Hwy 30 take First St. to the east, drive a few blocks to the end and park at the little city park here that overlooks the river.
Habitat and Birds: this is just a tiny city park. The river view can have all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season. An adjacent park area holds residential type passerines. I’ve only been here a couple of times so I don’t have a good feel for the possible birds but would not expect it to be much different than many locations with the same habitat. It’s really just another place to scan the Columbia. No patch list has been generated.
12) Dyno Nobel Dike Rd:
Location/Directions: (45.91545, -122.82756) 1.7 miles north of the stop light on Hwy 30 in Columbia City.
Habitat and Birds: This is a new patch. The land is privately held and requires permission to access. A permit can be obtained at the Dyno Nobel office across the street. This is a pretty nice little patch of Columbia River bottomland. There is a slough that runs under the dike that had wood ducks on it in May. There is a track road that runs along the top of the dike but is not part of the Dyno Nobel property and gated, but there is a graveled road that parallels the cooling water outlet that goes down to the river. There is also a jeep track that goes into a large stand of Cottonwood and also goes out to the river. A couple of hours here turned up over thirty species.
12) Dyno Nobel Dike Rd: (PL) – 33 species, 1 (5/25/14)
|Wood Duck||Double-crested Cormorant||Great Blue Heron|
|Osprey||Bald Eagle||Belted Kingfisher|
|Red-breasted Sapsucker||Downy Woodpecker||Northern Flicker|
|Western Wood-Pewee||Willow Flycatcher||Steller’s Jay|
|Western Scrub-Jay||American Crow||Tree Swallow|
|Black-capped Chickadee||Brown Creeper||House Wren|
|Bewick’s Wren||Swainson’s Thrush||American Robin|
|European Starling||Cedar Waxwing||Orange-crowned Warbler|
|Common Yellowthroat||Yellow Warbler||Wilson’s Warbler|
|Spotted Towhee||Song Sparrow||Black-headed Grosbeak|
|Brown-headed Cowbird||Bullock’s Oriole||American Goldfinch|
13) Nicolai Wetlands:
Location/Directions: (45.99232, -122.87465) There is a pull-off along Hwy 30 which overlooks this wetland – 1.7 miles south of Gobel and 4.3 miles north of Deer Island.
Habitat and Birds: Viewing conditions are limited and difficult as it right on Hwy 30. A small patch list has been generated from only a handful of short stops. The wetlands have geese, swans, and ducks in winter; waders all year, and passerines in the trees along the Hwy. This area could be very productive if the birding wasn’t such a challenge.
13) Nicolai Wetlands (PL) – 22 species, 2 (5/14/14)
|Cackling Goose||Canada Goose||Trumpeter Swan|
|Tundra Swan||Gadwall||American Wigeon|
|Hooded Merganser||Double-crested Cormorant||Great Blue Heron|
|Great Egret||Bald Eagle||Belted Kingfisher|
|Northern Flicker||Western Scrub-Jay||American Crow|
|Black-capped Chickadee||Ruby-crowned Kinglet||Spotted Towhee|
14) Gobel Marina (OBT):
Location/Directions: (46.01596, -122.87413) Turn off of Hwy 30 into the marina area at the only cross road in town. 15 minutes free parking.
Habitat and Birds: This is a good area to scope the sheltered bay. The river can have all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season. Purple Martins nest in the area. I’m not familiar with the area and no patch list has been generated.