Posted by: atowhee | December 31, 2007

Birding in the bottom


A rainy winter afternoon in Portland, O.  Redundant, I know. We were taken on a hike by our Portland friends, Myra and Richard.  To a spot they’ve been many times, tough they were surprised that the main path is now paved and not the four-inch sticky mud they recalled from prevous winter visits.  We were at Oaks Bottom, part of a long chain of greenway and wildlife reserves along the banks of the Willamatte River, for a hike with friends and some birding.  This is a stretch of riparian forest and one large overflow pond.  It’s onthe east bank of the Willamette in Sellwood, a district of southeast Portland. 

Marshy deciduous woodlands with standing water in this season,  edged on the east by a steep slope up from the river’s flood plain to intense urban housing and industry up above.  So this narrow strip of “wild” land is intermittent with an amusement park, bridges, railroads, but does afford plenty of rich habitat.

Ducks a-plenty.  Shoveler.  Green-winged Teal in abundance.  Pintail.  Wood Duck.  Mallard, of course.  In open water: Ring-necked Ducks and four Bufflehead.  Also Pied-billed Grebes, Coots, Double-crested Cormorant.  The only raptor we saw was a Red-tail.  The only woodpeckers: one Hairy and three Flickers.  Golden-crowned and Song Sparrows.  Red-winged Blackbirds already acting territorial in the large cattail bed.  The Osprey nest was empty, the birds having migrated south.  Robins.  Yellow-rumped Warblers.  Juncos. Crows.  Herring Gulls.  A Blue Heron.  Nothing unusual but in the ninety minutes it took us to do the three-mile loop we were nearly always within sight of a few birds.  A nice bit of urban birding within the city limits of Portland.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: