Site Guide to Birding Columbia County (Oregon)
This is the fifteenth installment of the “Site Guide”. It covers the last of the sites which border the Columbia River and encompasses the Marshland Drainage District west of Clatskanie.
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)
(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.
Columbia River Birding Areas
24) Marshland Drainage District: If Sauvie Island is the Crown Jewel of Columbia County then this overlooked patch is a diamond in the rough. Here is a map with suggested stops. This bottomland is unique in that it is surrounded by the coast range Willapa Hills except on the north where it borders the Columbia River. I believe this configuration draws in some higher elevation birds like Ravens and Band-tailed Pigeons.
Marshland — Bergman’s Hole
Location/Directions: (46.12722, -123.2417) 2.0 miles west of Hwy 47 in Clatskanie on Hwy 30 turn north onto Pt. Adams Road. Drive 0.5 miles to pull off at Bergman’s Hole.
Habitat and Birds: Passerines are found in the alders and cottonwoods that line the sloughs. You’ll find ducks and waders on the slough and sparrows along the road.
Marshland – River Front Road.
Location/Directions: Continuing on Point Adams Rd in 0.9 miles it becomes River Front Rd. This follows the Columbia River Channel south of Wallace Island for 2.5 miles where Midland Dist. Rd connects. At 2.6 miles Webb Dist Rd connects. At 3.3 miles is the entrance to Jones Beach. At 4.1 miles it ends at Woodson Rd. 0.8 miles along Woodson Rd the Webb Dist Rd comes back in. This is 1.0 mile from Hwy 30.
Habitat and Birds: The River view will have Loons, grebes and rafts of ducks in winter; Bonaparte’s Gulls have been seen once and Caspian Terns frequently in season. There can be lots of Bald Eagles perched in the trees along the river. To the south is pasture land and cottonwood plantations. A scan of the plantations and the perching pylons can turn up raptors, possibly a Rough-legged Hawk.
Marshland – Jones Beach
Location/Directions: (46.13868, -123.29864)
Habitat and Birds: There is an expansive river view here bordered by a Cottonwood gallery forest. There is excellent sparrow kack along the road. American Pipits can occasionally turn up along the beach. Great Horned Owls have nested in the large cottonwoods on the south side of the road.
Marshland – Webb District Wetlands
Location/Directions: (46.12589, -123.30239) 0.6 miles from the Woodson Rd. junction is a place to park next to the pump station. Webb Dist Rd is 2.2 miles long from River Front Rd to the Woodson Rd junction.
Habitat and Birds: Savannah Sparrows can be thick along the southern section of the road. There is good duck habitat in the winter on the wetlands. It is very reliable for Rudy Duck. Check for raptors in the tree tops. Wintering Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and Red-tails cruise the area. Watch out for odd birds as a local rancher raises all manners of fowl.
Marshland – Woodson Rd
Location/Directions: 1.8 miles long from Hwy 30 to River Front Rd.
Habitat and Birds: The flooded fields and sloughs harbor ducks and possible Horned Grebes. Open country raptors like Rough-legged Hawk in winter cruise the pasture land.
Marshland – Midland Dist. Rd
Location/Directions: Midland Rd. is 3.2 miles long from Bergman Hole to River Front Rd.
Habitat and Birds: There is a good variety of habitat with the flooded fields and the slough holding water fowl and plenty of brushy kack for passerines. Scanning for raptors can be productive.
Marshland Drainage District (PL) – 115 species, 14, (5/31/14)
|Greater White-fronted 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|
|Greater Scaup||Lesser Scaup||Bufflehead|
|Hooded Merganser||Common Merganser||Ruddy Duck|
|California Quail||Ring-necked Pheasant||Common Loon|
|Pied-billed Grebe||Western Grebe||Double-crested Cormorant|
|American Bittern||Great Blue Heron||Great Egret|
|Turkey Vulture||Osprey||Northern Harrier|
|Sharp-shinned Hawk||Bald Eagle||Red-tailed Hawk|
|Rough-legged Hawk||Virginia Rail||American Coot|
|Killdeer||Spotted Sandpiper||Greater Yellowlegs|
|Long-billed Dowitcher||Wilson’s Snipe||Bonaparte’s Gull|
|Ring-billed Gull||California Gull||Herring Gull|
|Glaucous-winged Gull||Caspian Tern||Band-tailed Pigeon|
|Eurasian Collared-Dove||Mourning Dove||Great Horned Owl|
|Rufous Hummingbird||Belted Kingfisher||Downy Woodpecker|
|Hairy Woodpecker||Northern Flicker||American Kestrel|
|Peregrine Falcon||Western Wood-Pewee||Willow Flycatcher|
|Pacific-slope Flycatcher||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||White-breasted Nuthatch||Brown Creeper|
|Pacific Wren||Marsh Wren||Bewick’s Wren|
|Golden-crowned Kinglet||Ruby-crowned Kinglet||Swainson’s 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|
|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||American Goldfinch|