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Audubon Birding Day: Willamette Birding: Milwaukie to West Linn *FULL*

Visit four lesser-known birding spots along the Willamette River, beginning at Milwaukie Bay Park. At this park, we walk along the waterfront searching the river for Gadwall, Bufflehead, and Short-billed Gull. This time of year, many species are beginning their migration. Various unexpected species, such as loons, grebes, and uncommon gulls, may appear. 

We’ll next head south to the recently restored Boardman Wetlands, complete with a raised metal boardwalk allowing close-up views of Green-winged Teal and an ever-changing mix of ducks. Occasionally Virginia Rail are heard calling from the wetlands, and even Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon sometimes fly over.  

The next stop is the lagoon at Clackamette Cove, created by sand and gravel mining. It is now connected to the Clackamas River and an excellent spot to find cormorants, mergansers, goldeneye, and various ducks seeking food and shelter. We will walk along the Clackamas River Trail, where we will bird the adjacent habitat, searching for raptors and various sparrows. Early March has been a good time to find Say’s Phoebe at this location.  

Finally, we’ll visit Willamette Park, the confluence of the Tualatin River, and the ponds and adjacent wetlands of the old Publisher’s (Blue Heron) Paper Mill along the Willamette River. This bottomland attracts numerous ducks and Great Egret and is an excellent place to see Black Phoebe and Red-shouldered Hawk.  

We’ll also discuss some of the ongoing conservation issues in these areas. 

Birders of all experience levels are welcome. Make sure to bring lunch and dress for the weather. 


A Red-shouldered Hawk perches on a lichen and moss covered branch.
Red-shouldered Hawk by Audrey Addison

Rest Stops: There are a few benches.
Sun Exposure: sun to part shade, depending on the weather
Amenities: Milwaukie Bay and Willamette have public restrooms.
Public Transit: N/A


Distance: Driving is 10 miles. Walking is 3-4 miles combined.
Elevation Changes: primarily flat with a few small hills
Trail: Mostly paved paths and roads
Pacing: Slow to Moderate; many stops and scanning for water birds.

Explore the Willamette River!

Visit four lesser-known birding spots along the Willamette River south of Portland with Dan van den Broek. Birders of all levels are welcome.


Trip Details

  • Leader: Dan van den Broek
  • Date and time: March 5, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Fee: $65 members / $85 non-members

  • Limited to 12 participants


March 5
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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