Tagged: Gunners Lakes

Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)

This is the seventeenth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers a site that is found in the Coast Range of Columbia County: Gunners Lakes 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)
Erickson Dike Rd, John’s Slough (6/25/14 post)
Marshland Drainage District (6/27/14 post)

Coast Range Birding Sites
Pisgah Home Rd, Crown Zellerbach Trail (West), Bonnie Falls (7/1/14 post)
Gunners Lakes (7/3/14 post)

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

Here is a map of all the locations mentioned in this guide.

Gunners Lakes:
Location/Directions: (45.80568, -123.0585) Take the Scappoose – Vernonia Hwy 9.4 miles west from Hwy 30. Turn left onto Pisgah Lookout Rd (not signed). This is pretty much at the top of the pass. On the south side of the Hwy there is a big school bus turn around and parking for the Crown Z trail if one is so inclined to walk the trail. The lakes are about 2.0 miles from the Scappoose – Vernonia Hwy. At this point the road splits – stay to the right to access the lakes.

Habitat and Birds: This whole area can be explored. The lakes can have Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, and other ducks possible. The wooded shore lines are great for Woodpeckers, and migrant and breeding songbirds. High elevation birds like Hermit Warblers, Evening Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills and Band-tailed Pigeons have all been recorded in this area. I’m sure Grouse are in the area, I just haven’t encountered them yet. As a bonus I’ve seen Elk on a couple of occasions. May 2014 Update: there is some heavy thinning operations taking place and the road in has been seriously degraded. They have dumped lots of 6 inch minus on the road sot it is pretty rough going. My Prius made it to the lakes but it was dicey in plenty of places and very slow going.

Gunners Lakes (PL) – 36 species, 4 (5/3/14)

Mallard Lesser Scaup Hooded Merganser
Band-tailed Pigeon Mourning Dove Rufous Hummingbird
Red-breasted Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker Warbling Vireo Gray Jay
Steller’s Jay Common Raven Tree Swallow
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Red-breasted Nuthatch Brown Creeper
Pacific Wren Swainson’s Thrush Hermit Thrush
American Robin Varied Thrush Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat Black-throated Gray Warbler Hermit Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler Song Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco Western Tanager Black-headed Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird Red Crossbill Evening Grosbeak