Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

Today, Michelle and I decided to go birding somewhere new. We have been all over the place, but we have never made it to Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. The rain was coming down and the wind was howling, and that was before we even left the house. I don't know what possessed us to go out into the yucky weather, but we are sure glad we did! 54 identified species today! (Species list at bottom of post)

Not only was the weather perfect, but we saw 2 new Life List birds! The rain was coming down in sheets as we drove out to TRNWR and we were expecting it to be a pretty miserable day, weather wise. By the time we arrived at TRNWR, the sun was out and it was fairly warm. The wind blew all day but not so much that it wasn't enjoyable.

Then, after we left the refuge, we stopped at Vanport Wetlands. We were just in time to see a Bald Eagle hunting the area for some dinner. We saw quite a few types of waterfowl, too.

Then, on the way home, we took Marine Drive. There were quite a few waterfowl along the river and a lot of raptors on the land side, one of the raptors was a juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk (pics below). Overall, it was a great day birding and a great day spent together!

Hope you enjoy the photos!

Here is the sign in the main entrance to Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

Here is just one of the countless gorgeous views at the refuge.

After searching the lower area, we hiked up to the Ridgetop Overlook. On the way back down the trail, we both spotted this Great Horned Owl coming in for a landing!

He was gorgeous. This was a Life List bird for us.

He sat there for about 5 minutes and then took off for parts unknown. But, not before we got about 40 photos of him.
A Western Bluebird. We saw quite a few of them on the trail just behind the Refuge Headquarters. Another Life List bird.

Another Western Bluebird.

And one more Bluebird for good measure.
On the way home, we took Marine Drive and found a ton of raptors. This juvenile (notice all the white) let us get so close. Exciting stuff!
One of the 4 bald Eagles we saw today. This guy has just a hint of color on the tail, so we assume that he is about as close to a full adult as possible.

One of the many groups of waterfowl we saw today. This group of Northern Pintails was at Vanport Wetlands.
The 54 species that we positively identified today:
Canada Goose
Cackling Goose
American Wigeon
Eurasian Wigeon
Green-Winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Greater Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-Tailed Hawk
Mew Gull
Herring Gull
Thayer's Gull
Rock Dove
Great-Horned Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Steller's Jay
Tree Swallow
Black-Capped Chickadee
Chestnut-Backed Chickadee
Red-Breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Bewick's Wren
Western Bluebird
Yellow-Rumped Warbler (both Audubon's and Myrtle)
Townsend's Warbler
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
White-Crowned Sparrow
Golden-Crowned Sparrow
Red-Winged Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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jan m said...

What a great birding day! I can't wait for the auto loop to open in our wildlife refuge. They pull back the barricades April 1st, when the road should finally be passable.

North West Birds said...

Your list is very similar to mine last time I went there!

Birdnerd said...

I'll be taking a group there in a few weeks; good to know how hot it is! Great bluebird photos.

Heather said...

Love the Great Horned Owl photos!

JasonWells said...

Sounds like a productive day!