Tagged: ebird

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the eighth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers the first of five sites in the environs of St. Helens – Scappoose Bay 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)

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

Columbia River Birding Areas

6) Scappoose Bay Marina (OBT):

Location/Directions: (45.82869, -122.8384) South of St. Helens, turn east onto Bennett St. and take Old Portland Rd North to the Scappoose Bay Marina. There is a day use fee required. Next to the rest rooms are a set of parking places that allow free 10 minute parking. I confess to stretching this to a half an hour.

Habitat and Birds: There is a small paved trail through a Cottonwood gallery woods. There are views of Scappoose Bay which can have all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks. A Red-necked Grebe has been seen here. Piliated Woodpeckers are regular and for some reason Stellar’s Jays love this place and to find a dozen or so is common in winter. The Cottonwoods hold White-breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, and the usual migrant and breeding passerines.

6) Scappoose Bay Marina (PL) – 82 species, 16 (5/25/14)

Greater White-fronted Goose Cackling Goose Canada Goose
Tundra Swan Wood Duck Gadwall
American Wigeon Mallard Northern Pintail
Hooded Merganser Common Merganser Ring-necked Pheasant
Pied-billed Grebe Double-crested Cormorant Great Blue Heron
Great Egret Osprey Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Sandhill Crane
Greater Yellowlegs Ring-billed Gull Western Gull
California Gull Glaucous-winged Gull Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove Mourning Dove Vaux’s Swift
Anna’s Hummingbird Rufous Hummingbird Belted Kingfisher
Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker American Kestrel Western Wood-Pewee
Pacific-slope Flycatcher Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow Common Raven Northern Rough-winged Swallow
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 Swainson’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush American Robin Varied Thrush
European Starling Cedar Waxwing Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat Yellow-rumped Warbler Townsend’s Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler Spotted Towhee Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco
Western Tanager Black-headed Grosbeak Red-winged Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird Brown-headed Cowbird Bullock’s Oriole
House Finch Purple Finch American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Field Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

Field Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the seventh installment of the “Field Guide”.  It is an account of one of the three sites found in proximity to the town of Scappoose – the Scappoose Bottoms.

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)

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

Columbia River Birding Areas

4) Scappoose Bottoms – Honeyman Rd (OBT):

Location/Directions: The loop starts at the Dike Rd intersection right next to the Crown Z trail, 1.7 miles from Hwy 30 where it is Columbia Avenue. Here is a map of the area with suggested stops.

Habitat and Birds: Honeyman is 7.5 miles long from Dike Rd (zero your odometer) to when it intersects with W Lane Rd. It is mainly agricultural land managed for cattle. The last 1.4 miles is up out of the bottoms and into a rural residential area. There are numerous places to pull off the road and all are worth the stop to scan the fields and scrub plantations for raptors, herons, egrets and ducks. Sparrows can be thick and a special stop should be made 1.4 – 1.5 miles past Dike Rd. There is a small pullout on the west side of the road just past the line of tall Cottonwoods. These trees and the field to the east can be very productive. Especially in winter for sparrows where you can easily pick up all regular wintering sparrows including White-throated. Scan all of the visible tree tops for raptors, eagles, and falcons. Continuing on the road north there are all manner of opportunities to pull over and search the road sides for sparrows, scan for raptors and ducks in the flooded fields and sloughs. Traffic is typically light so stopping on the road is usually safe. At 3.6 miles past Dike road there is another place to pull over on the west, just past the Ellis’ ponded slough. There are usually ducks on the pond in winter and the willow thickets to the south are productive in migration. The fields should be scanned for geese, ducks and waders. At 3.9 miles at the 90 degree property line curve is a great place to pull out. Scanning the fence posts and trees in this area usually produces a Rough-legged Hawk in the winter. Short eared owls have been reported here as well and Northern Shrikes have turned up now and then in winter. The Ellis’ manure sprinkler draws large concentrations of gulls, but it is usually pretty far from the road but not always. A Glaucous Gull was reported from this area. The rest of the road is about the same; ponds, sloughs, and road side kack. At mile 4.9 there is another little pull off on the north and across the road is a stand of Garry Oaks. Who knows what can turn up here? I keep hoping for Acorn Woodpeckers. Note needs to be made of the Cal Portland Wildlife Preserve which is just another 1000 ft up the road. I personally do not know what this place holds as permission is required to enter and the office is always closed on the weekends. Maybe one could call ahead of time. Rarities include: Ross’ Goose, White-tailed Kite, Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Franklin’s Gull, Glaucous Gull, Short-eared Owl, and Black Phoebe.

Scappoose Bottoms (eHS) – 136 species (5/12/14)

Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Ross’s Goose
Cackling Goose Canada Goose Trumpeter Swan
Tundra Swan Wood Duck Gadwall
Eurasian Wigeon American Wigeon Mallard
Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal Canvasback Redhead
Ring-necked Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser California Quail Ring-necked Pheasant
Pied-billed Grebe Double-crested Cormorant American Bittern
Great Blue Heron Great Egret Green Heron
Turkey Vulture Osprey White-tailed Kite
Golden Eagle Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk Northern Goshawk Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Virginia Rail
Sora American Coot Sandhill Crane
Killdeer Greater Yellowlegs Dunlin
Least Sandpiper Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe
Franklin’s Gull Mew Gull Ring-billed Gull
Western Gull California Gull Herring Gull
Thayer’s Gull Glaucous-winged Gull Glaucous Gull
Rock Pigeon Band-tailed Pigeon Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove Great Horned Owl Short-eared Owl
Vaux’s Swift Anna’s Hummingbird Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker Pileated Woodpecker American Kestrel
Merlin Peregrine Falcon Western Wood-Pewee
Willow Flycatcher Black Phoebe Say’s Phoebe
Northern Shrike Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow Common Raven Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow Violet-green Swallow Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow Black-capped Chickadee Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit Red-breasted Nuthatch White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper Pacific Wren Marsh Wren
Bewick’s Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush American Robin Varied Thrush
European Starling American Pipit Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler Common Yellowthroat Yellow-rumped Warbler
Spotted Towhee Savannah Sparrow Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco
Black-headed Grosbeak Lazuli Bunting Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark Brewer’s Blackbird Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock’s Oriole House Finch Purple Finch
Pine Siskin Lesser Goldfinch American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

 

Field Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the sixth installment of the “Field Guide”.  It is an account of one of the three sites found in proximity to the town of Scappoose – the Crown Zellerbach Trail.

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)

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

Columbia River Birding Areas

3) Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (OBT):

Location/Directions: (45.75407, -122.85001) A large parking area is another 0.7 miles from the WTP along Columbia Ave.  Parking is on the east side of the road. The trail can also be accessed from the west end off of W. Lane Rd., or in the middle at the end of Miller Rd which is a road off of Columbia.  Here is an interpretive map.

Habitat and Birds: From the Columbia Ave parking area the trail goes both east to the Multnomah Channel and west past some wetlands. The flooded fields and ponds hold Ducks, Geese and Swans; Polygynum bogs host American Bittern, Virginia Rails, and Sora; raptors cruise the fields and use the trees for roosting, Red-shouldered and Rough-legged Hawks in winter, and Northern Harrier, Red-tails, Bald Eagles and nesting Osprey all occur here. There are good Woodpecker habitats along the trail and Piliated are common. At the east end, overlooking the Channel, a Great Blue Heron rookery has been established on Sauvie Island (2012-2014), the Osprey have a platform, and Purple Martins use the old dock pylons as nesting sites. At the far west end around West Lane Rd there is a stand of Douglas Fir that will have a touch of variety for your list. A Brambling was seen along the trail in 2011. Overall this is a very productive couple of miles of trail.  Rarities include: Golden Eagle, Townsend’s Solitaire, Black Phoebe, Whimbrel and American Tree Sparrow.

3) Crown Zellerbach Trail – East End (eHS) – 145 species (5/12/14)

Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Cackling Goose
Canada Goose Tundra Swan Wood Duck
Gadwall Eurasian Wigeon American Wigeon
Mallard Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Canvasback
Ring-necked Duck Lesser Scaup Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser Common Merganser
California Quail Ring-necked Pheasant Pied-billed Grebe
Western Grebe Double-crested Cormorant American White Pelican
American Bittern Great Blue Heron Great Egret
Green Heron Turkey Vulture Osprey
Golden Eagle Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk Bald Eagle Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Virginia Rail
Sora American Coot Sandhill Crane
Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs
Whimbrel Dunlin Least Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull Western Gull California Gull
Herring Gull Glaucous-winged Gull Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon Eurasian Collared-Dove Mourning Dove
Barn Owl Western Screech-owl Great Horned
Vaux’s Swift Anna’s Hummingbird Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker Northern Flicker Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel Merlin Peregrine Falcon
Olive-sided Flycatcher Western Wood-Pewee Willow Flycatcher
Black Phoebe Northern Shrike Warbling Vireo
Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay American Crow
Common Raven Northern Rough-winged Swallow Purple Martin
Tree Swallow Violet-green Swallow Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow Black-capped Chickadee Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Bushtit Red-breasted Nuthatch White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper House Wren Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren Bewick’s Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Townsend’s Solitaire Swainson’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush American Robin Varied Thrush
European Starling American Pipit Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler Common Yellowthroat Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler Townsend’s Warbler Wilson’s Warbler
Spotted Towhee American Tree Sparrow Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco Western Tanager Black-headed Grosbeak
Lazuli Bunting Red-winged Blackbird Western Meadowlark
Brewer’s Blackbird Brown-headed Cowbird Bullock’s Oriole
House Finch Purple Finch Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch American Goldfinch Evening Grosbeak
House Sparrow

 

Field Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the fourth installment of the “Field Guide”.  It is an listing of the various birding sites on Sauvie Island that lay within Columbia County.

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)

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

Columbia River Birding Areas

1) Sauvie Island (OBT):

(Map of S.I. Sites Listed) Undoubtedly, Sauvie Island is the crown jewel of Columbia County. Anybody looking to build a substantial County list will want to allocate a large portion of their time birding on Sauvie Island. Only the north end of the Island is within Columbia County, but it is, arguably, the most productive. Most of it is in the ODFW Wildlife Management Area but there are a few parcels of private land. There are three terrestrial access points: Sauvie Island Rd on the west, Oak Island Rd. in the middle, and Reeder Rd on the east. Some, but not all areas require an ODFW Parking Permit. These areas are well marked.   Permits can be purchased at ODFW License Agents (pdf), at ODFW offices that sell licenses and online. Some of the establishments on the Island are ODFW License Agents. Permits are good for any ODFW managed areas in the state, such as Summer Lake in Lake County. Some of the areas on the Island are closed to the general public from Oct 1 through April 30. To access these areas during closure you will need a valid hunting license and a hunting permit. However, you don’t have to have a gun, a retriever and a set of decoys to access these areas.

Note: If you’re a county ticking, ABA rule abiding lister you may want to closely check just where the county line is. I’m not sure that any of the bodies of water that have free flow with Sturgeon Lake in this area are designated as lying in Columbia County. It’s possible they are in Multnomah County and that Columbia County starts at the shoreline. It depends on which map you consult. For the purposes of this guide it is assumed that the County line cuts a straight line across Sturgeon Lake.

Sauvie Island – Steelman Rd

Location/Directions: (45.73494, -122.84218) Starts at the end of Sauvie Island Rd where it turns to gravel. Closed Oct 1st to April 30th

Habitat and Birds: There are little lakes and a view of the Multnomah Channel. This provides varied habitats on the drive out to The Wash: Ash Swales, Gallery Cottonwoods and open fields. Shorebirds can be found on some of the shallow lake edges during migration. The area is good for migrant and breeding passerines and raptors.

 

Sauvie Island – The Wash

Location/Directions: (45.74068, -122.80376) Closed Oct 1st to April 30th Off of Steelman Rd look for the sign to the Wash. Drive this road to the end and park at the Gilbert River public fishing dock. A foot trail heading west out of the parking area leads to the Wash which is where the Gilbert River empties into Sturgeon Lake.

Habitat and Birds: Shorebirds in migration on the exposed mud edges of the lake, Pelicans, ducks, and gulls out on the lake. The Ash swales are good for migrant and breeding passerines. The puddle lake along the access road can be good for shorebirds and waders as well. The ash swales in the area are good for migrant and breeding passerines.

 

Sauvie Island – Oak Island Nature Trail (OBT)

Location/Directions: (45.714076, -122.820780) Closed Oct 1st to April 30th. Parking Permit required. Accessed from the end of Oak Island Rd.  Follow the gravel road after the pavement ends and stay parallel to the dike. There is a parking area at the trail head. Columbia County starts somewhere north of the first Oak grove you pass through.

Habitat and Birds: This is a 3 mile loop trail with views of Sturgeon Lake. There is great migrant and breeding passerine habitat in remnant Oak Savanna. Bullock’s Orioles nest here every year. There are a couple of places where Sturgeon Lake can be scanned. There are nice willow thickets along the edge of Sturgeon Lake. The north section of the trail overlooks a broad expanse of open country. There are also large tracts of wildlife managed grasslands that harbor nesting Savannah Sparrows and possible Vesper Sparrow habitat. There is a large lake, Wagon Wheel Hole, which can have water fowl on it depending on the time of the year. Rarities include Bonapart’s, Franklin’s and Sabine’s Gulls on Sturgeon Lake.

 

Sauvie Island – Willow Bar

Location/Directions: (45.72900, -122.77256) Open year round, Parking Permit required. After just passing the County Line (marked) there is a gravel road that heads east off of Reeder Rd. You can opt to park at the entrance or drive the length of the road to a parking area at the Columbia River’s edge. When open, driving is permitted along a jeep track that heads north up the beach.

Habitat and Birds: Cottonwood gallery woods and a trail along the beach to the north. The woodland trail up off of the beach is the most productive after scanning the river. The river view can have all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season. The area is good for woodpeckers and sparrows. A secluded pond can hold Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks and waders. There are lots of fly-over birds crossing the Columbia to and from Ridgefield NWR – Swans and Snow Geese are regular in winter. The best way to cover the area is to park at the entrance next to Reeder Rd and walk the short road to the river, walk the jeep track to the north scanning the river, then move inland to the woodland trail and walk back to the road. Also, just across the street from the entrance there is a hunter’s path cut through the blackberries that affords a scope view of Gay Lake. Here you can find the same birds as listed below at the Observation Platform.

 

Sauvie Island –Observation Platform

Location/Directions: (45.73253, -122.77386) Open year round, Parking Permit required. The platform is well marked and just a little north of Willow Bar. It has a large parking area on the west side of Reeder Rd. It has a portable restroom facility here as well.

Habitat and Birds: Wetland/seasonal overlook of Gay Lake. This spot is mainly good for Ducks, Geese, and raptors. Winter hunt days can drastically reduce the return in effort here. Up to 5000 Snow Geese can be seen at times. There is a decent chance for Rudy Ducks, Canvasbacks and more rarely, Redheads as well as the regular pantheon including Tundra, and the occasional Trumpeter Swan. Dusky Canada Geese favor this area as well. The occasional American Bittern can be seen moving through the marsh. Soras and Virginia Rails can be heard (rarely seen) as spring approaches. There are lots of raptors in the tree tops with an occasional Peregrine Falcon. Shorebirds can also be found on the lake edges in migration.

 

Sauvie Island – Racetrack Lake

Location/Directions: (45.74485, -122.78428) Closed Oct 1st to April 30th. Walk in access only either from the Stuzer Unit parking area (Parking Permit required) or from the end of Rentenaar Rd.

Habitat and Birds: This area is basically a seasonal wetland sump surrounded by scattered wood lots on the higher ground. Productivity greatly depends on water levels which are affected both by rainfall and sluice gate management. Shore birds in migration are the main attraction here. It can have large concentrations of Great Egrets at times.

 

Sauvie Island – Rentenaar Rd

Location/Directions: (45.75769, -122.77083) Open year round to the top of the dike. The road begins approximately 2.0 miles from County line. Look for the white hunter check station. The road runs west from Reeder Rd.

Habitat and Birds: This road is mostly lined with blackberry kack. There is a new scrape lake. There are a couple of small woodlots and a marsh. This is a Sparrow haven in winter. Near the end of the road there are seasonal lakes that will have large concentrations of water fowl. Winter hunt days can drastically reduce the return in effort here. Wetlands and seasonal lake edges harbor migrant shore birds. It’s always worth the effort to spend some time on the top of the dike to scan the open fields, tree tops, and arms of Sturgeon Lake that lie beyond. Rarities include Bobolink, Clay-colored, Swamp and Harris’s Sparrows, Say’s Pheobe.

 

Sauvie Island – Rentenaar Point

Location/Directions: (45.75144, -122.79789) Closed Oct 1st to April 30th.Walk-in access only on a set of informal foot treads and cow trails.

Habitat and Birds: Views of Sturgeon Lake at the point and associated birds. You’ll find shorebirds in migration on the lake edges. The area is good for migrant and breeding passerines as well in the Ash swales and willow thickets on the walk out to the point.

 

Sauvie Island – Walton Beach

Location/Directions: (45.77227, -122.77338) Open year round, Parking Permit required. Access is about 0.7 miles north of Rentenaar Rd. There are multiple access points with stairs leading up over the dike. There are portable restroom facilities here as well.

Habitat and Birds: Along the north end of the open strand is the only place in the county that I’ve seen Horned Larks. The river view can have all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season… 2014 update: the dike has been brutally cleared of brush and most pockets of habitat have been removed or disturbed by cat tracks.

 

Sauvie Island – Collin’s Beach

Location/Directions: (45.78850, -122.78681) Open year round, Parking Permit required. There are multiple access points with trails leading through the woodlands bordering the beach. Parking areas start just after Reeder road turns to gravel. There are portable restroom facilities here as well.

Habitat and Birds: Cottonwood gallery and willow thickets, open beach with a river view that can have all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season. Great Horned Owls have nested in the Cottonwoods; Bald Eagles use them as perches, and are pretty good for woodpeckers and migrant and breeding passerines.

Sauvie Island – Gilbert Boat Ramp

Location/Directions: (45.79172, -122.79861) Access road is at the north end of the parking area for Collins Beach. Access road heads west. There is a pit toilet facility here as well.

Habitat and Birds: Channel views with Cormorants, Common Mergansers and Pied-billed Grebes, The view of McNary Lake can have ducks, but not many. There is a small system of fishing trails through the Ash swales and are pretty good for migrant and breeding passerines.

Sauvie Island – Warrior Rock Trail

Location/Directions: (45.80878, -122.79778) Open year round, Parking Permit required. Parking area is at the end of Reeder Rd. Trail head starts on the beach. It’s a 3 mile hike to the lighthouse. 2014 Update: there is work being done on the trail and it is a muddy mess. Best tactic is to walk as far down the beach as you can and then climb the bank to access the trail.

Habitat and Birds: Cottonwood gallery, Ash swales and river views. There are a few secluded lakes that can have ducks, shorebirds and waders along the edges. The trail is good for Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatch, and migrant and breeding passerines. The river view can have all manner of river birds, loons, grebes, gulls and ducks in season, rarely a Red-breasted Merganser.

Site Specific Bird Lists:

Where available eBird Hotspot (eHS) data were used to generate these lists. Following the hyper link will take you to that list. Where that data is unavailable I used my own personal patch data (PL). Therefore both data sets should be expected to be an incomplete accounting of the birds possible. Lists are up to date as of 12 May 2014.

1) Sauvie Island (eHS) – 161 species

A note on this Sauvie Island Check List: the list below is from the eBird Hotspot Sauvie Island (Columbia Co.). There are 161 species included. However, there are ten total Hotspots for Sauvie Island in Columbia County and one of them, Rentenaar Rd alone, has 171 species. This is undoubtedly due to the uneven use of eBird by the observers. So, below are links to the other nine eBird Hotspots for Sauvie Island in Columbia County, listed in descending specie count order.

Sauvie Island–Rentenaar Rd.

Sauvie Island–Reeder Rd. Observation Shelter

Sauvie Island–Oak Island (Columbia Co.)

Sauvie Island–Sturgeon Lake (NE side)

Sauvie Island–Willow Bar (Columbia Co.)

Sauvie Island–The Narrows

Sauvie Island–Steelman Lake

Sauvie Island–The Wash

Sauvie Island –Racetrack Lake

Greater White-fronted Goose Snow Goose Cackling Goose
Canada Goose Trumpeter Swan Tundra Swan
Wood Duck Gadwall Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon Mallard Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal
Canvasback Redhead Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser Ruddy Duck California Quail
Ring-necked Pheasant Wild Turkey Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon Pied-billed Grebe Horned Grebe
Western Grebe Double-crested Cormorant American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron Great Egret Green Heron
Turkey Vulture Osprey Golden Eagle
Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk Cooper’s Hawk
Bald Eagle Red-shouldered Hawk Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk Virginia Rail Sora
American Coot Sandhill Crane Black-bellied Plover
Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs Dunlin Least Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe
Red-necked Phalarope Bonaparte’s Gull Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull Western Gull California Gull
Herring Gull Thayer’s Gull Glaucous-winged Gull
Rock Pigeon Band-tailed Pigeon Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove Great Horned Owl Vaux’s Swift
Anna’s Hummingbird Rufous Hummingbird Belted Kingfisher
Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker Pileated Woodpecker American Kestrel
Merlin Peregrine Falcon Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood-Pewee Willow Flycatcher Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Black Phoebe Say’s Phoebe Northern Shrike
Warbling Vireo Steller’s Jay Western Scrub-Jay
American Crow Common Raven Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin Tree Swallow Violet-green Swallow
Bank Swallow Barn Swallow Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee Chestnut-backed Chickadee Bushtit
Red-breasted Nuthatch White-breasted Nuthatch Brown Creeper
House Wren Pacific Wren Marsh Wren
Bewick’s Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird Swainson’s Thrush Hermit Thrush
American Robin Varied Thrush European Starling
American Pipit Cedar Waxwing Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat Yellow Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler Wilson’s Warbler Spotted Towhee
Savannah Sparrow Fox Sparrow Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow Swamp Sparrow White-throated Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco Western Tanager Black-headed Grosbeak
Bobolink Red-winged Blackbird Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird Brewer’s Blackbird Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock’s Oriole House Finch Purple Finch
Pine Siskin Lesser Goldfinch American Goldfinch
Evening Grosbeak House Sparrow

 

Columbia County Early September

A weekend along the Columbia and the roads less birded.  Saturday on the Crown Z trail and Scappoose Water Works.  Sunday on Sauvie Island, visiting Oak Island and Steelman Rd.

An out of place Brewer’s Sparrow along the Oak Island access road, a Red Shouldered Hawk, FOS Golden-crowned Sparrow, an exposed American Bittern, and calling Virginia Rails on the Crown Z trail were my highlights.

Level IV: 3a Portland/Vancouver Basin
Sauvie Island eBird Report
Crown Z Report
Scappoose WW Report

Mining eBird Data – Comparing Specie Count Records

Back in January we looked at the specie counts by county from available eBird records.  How does that data compare to other available records?

I’m not sure there is an “official” data set for this information but the best i could come up with comes from the East Cascades Audubon Society (ECAS).  Drilling into their Birding Sites page one will find access to County Checklists.  It is from these checklists that a data set was created.  Thankfully there are only 36 counties in Oregon because stripping data from a .pdf is notoriously difficult. (note to editors: a .csv file would make this data more accessible to data junkies.  Heck, even a .xls(x) file would be preferable.)

The official record keeper for Oregon is the Oregon Field Ornithologists, now Oregon Birding Association.  They do not keep records at the County level that i am aware of, and none of their data is accessible in any meaningful way for our purposes, again, all .pdf files.

The comparison between ECAS records and eBird records (as of January 2013) is presented below.  There are three choropleths; one for ECAS records, one for eBird records and one for the difference between the two,  and one bar graph with all three metrics.  The choropleths use a purple – blue – green scale, low to high, from a scale of 180 (eBird min.) to 410 (ECAS high).  The choropleths were generated using ggplot2 in  ‘R’ and the color scheme is from Color Brewer.  I threw in a fourth map with the County names.

Summary Statistics:

ECAS Records:

  • Min = 249
  • Mean = 318
  • Max = 410

eBird Records

  • Min = 182
  • Mean = 254
  • Max = 349

ECAS – eBird (delta)

  • Min = 17
  • Mean = 64
  • Max = 105

Of course this leads one to speculate on the causes for the discrepancies.

The most obvious is the time frame embedded in the two data sets.  I assume the ECAS records are based on historical records.  Although i don’t see California Condor listed in any of the County records so i’m not sure how far back they go, and no attributing reference is made to the source of the data set that i could find.  eBird is a relatively new data set.  Some effort has been made to enter historic records into eBird but im not sure if Oregon has been part of that effort.  Some existing eBird users have entered their data from the past, but i’m pretty sure that is not universal among users with Oregon data, i know that i haven’t done it.  So there’s that.

The other thing to ponder is the variation in the delta statistic.  I suspect some of the same factors considered back in January are in play:

    1. Number of eBirders in the County
    2. eBirder interest in specific locations within a County
    3. Accessibility of the County
    4. Proximity of the County to large population centers
    5. Interest within a County by “hyper-active” eBirders
    6. Amount of eBird recorded observation time spent vs ECAS
    7. others?

So here’s the data representations: