One of the most reliable local places that i know of to actually SEE American Bittern is the Crown Zellerbach Trail in Scappoose in the spring. It is not uncommon to see one to three individuals haunting the Polygonum bogs along the trail.
Below is an insane amount of pictures taken of Bitterns this spring. Geesh, when they just stand there it’s hard to stop snapping pictures!
I made the Columbia/Honeyman loop a couple of times this month; once in the pouring rain so i just hung out out at the Crown Z trail head instead of walking down the trail, and once in a glorious November break in the weather. The trail, despite the foot traffic, is one of my favorite strolls in the county. It rivals Rentenaar Rd for winter sparrows and is probably birded far less. Not to mention i’m just nine birds short of the patch century mark now that i added eight new species this month: Tundra Swan flyover, Northern Shrike, Buffleheads, Brown Creeper, Western Gull, Pacific Wren, Varied Thrush and a flyover Double-crested Cormorant.
Out in the bottom lands i added another two species: a Common Goldeneye in the Ellis Channel, and a covey of California Quail, bringing that patch up to 108. The Rough-legged Hawk was hunting the north end of the Ellis’s ranch as usual, but at scope distance so only marginal pictures were obtained. And, with the low light, the shutter speed was too slow for blur-free flight shots.
Level IV: (3a) Portland/Vancouver Basin