Audubon Birding Day: Birding the Willamette from Lower Tualatin to the Molalla Rivers *FULL*
Join Dan van den Broek to visit lesser-known birding spots along the Willamette River. We will begin at Brown’s Ferry Park on the banks of the Tualatin River. A highlight at Brown’s Ferry is a kolk pond (a depression in the bedrock from the Missoula Floods) that hosts a variety of duck species. We will likely get close-up views of Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, and sometimes there are early-arriving Cinnamon Teal in February.
Next, we’ll drive to Molalla River State Park, where we’ll begin by checking out a nearby farm pond that has an ever-changing variety of ducks, including Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, and Ring-necked Duck. Inside the park, we’ll begin our 3-mile hike along wooded ponds where occasionally Black Phoebe and wintering Green Heron can be found. The walk continues along hedgerows and fields, where we hope to encounter many species of sparrows, including Golden-crowned, White-crowned, Lincoln’s, Savannah, and Fox Sparrow. In past years White-throated and Clay-colored Sparrows have been found in this area.
Our final stop will be Anderson Road Swale, an oxbow of the Pudding River. Flooded fields on the way can be good for Cackling Goose (an occasional Snow Goose mixed in), American Pipit, Dunlin, various raptors, and, if we are lucky, the largest wintering flock of Western Meadowlark in the northern Willamette Valley. The oxbow lake at the end of the road can attract an impressive number of waterfowl, including Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, and sometimes hard-to-find ducks such as Eurasian Wigeon and Redhead.
Along the way, we’ll 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.