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
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