Category: clatsop, or

December in the Field

I traveled the Portland Basin (IV3a), Coastal Lowlands (IV1a), and the Columbia Plateau (IV10c&e).

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Mid-November in the Columbia River Drainage Districts of Clatsop County

The Brownsmead area of Clatsop County is a unique area in the county.  It is bordered by the Columbia River and Coastal Upland forests.  The ecoregion is mapped as Level IV: (1b) Coastal Uplands, but it only has small intrusions of that region’s bio-communities.  As with all drainage districts along the Columbia it is maintained by a series of dikes, drainage canals, and pump stations.  When the rains return in the fall there is quite a bit of shallow flooding of the land making habitat quite hospitable for waterfowl.

The attraction this day was the reported Cattle Egret, but the whole area can be easily covered in a half a day even if you dally with a walk along Fish Lane and Bug-hole road.  This leaves plenty of time to poke around on Svensen Island.

Notable sightings included the target bird, two Red-shouldered Hawks, Greater White-fronted Geese, a Eurasian Widgeon, a juvenile Northern Shrike and a Pileated Woodpecker.

Ecoregion: Level IV: (1b) Coastal Uplands

eBird Lists:
Brownsmead
Svensen Island

Early August trip up the Columbia River

Headed out kind of late and worked my way out to the coast.  Instead of my usual stops in Scappoose at the Water Works, and St. Helens at Scappoose Bay i drove straight to Carr Slough.

From there it was a bee line to Astoria.  The Sewage Ponds and associated inlet first and Fort Stevens for the high tide and ending at the Hammond Boat Basin.

Note to self: Trestle Bay is best 3-4 hours before high tide!  High tide is too late and the birds have moved on.  So i got there about 4 hours before high tide and the birds were way too far out for observation except for the bigger and boldly patterned birds.

I figured a trip back into Astoria and St. George for a quick lunch was in order and i’d come back at high tide.

By the time the tide is fully in all of the best mud flats are completely covered.  Disappointed, i went to the ponds behind the jetty.

The Hammond Boat Basin was the last stop for the day to check out the roost rocks on the arms of the harbor’s break water.

Ecoregions:

Level IV: (1f) Willapa Hills

Level IV: (1a) Coastal Lowlands

eBird Reports:

Carr Slough

Astoria Sewage Ponds

Fort Stevens

Hammond Boat Basin

Clatsop County – Late May

Spent a short stint cruising the Brownsmead Flats in Clatsop Co.  Family trip — not really a field exploration but i did pick up a few new species for the coast range, like the Blue-winged Teal.

The cow was just too cute — she was really kind of peaved that we were in the area.