Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

Musings about birds, nature, and our meanderings on the Central Oregon Coast

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tualatin River NWR

Ok, I know it's not on the coast, but a couple of weeks ago we had to make a trip to Portland, and had a couple of hours on our return trip.  We chose to use them at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.  Spring was in the air with WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS singing loudly near the entrance.


A beautiful solitary KILLDEER greeted us in a large puddle in the median.  We walked through the visitor center first, then stopped by the viewing area between the two main buildings.

Rufous Hummingbird

A flash of movement caught our eye, as a brilliant RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD flicked through the flowers.

On the water, large flocks of WHITE CHEEKED GEESE were interspersed with a variety of other waterfowl, including COOTS, BUFFLEHEAD, MALLARDS and RING NECKED DUCKS.
Ring-Necked Duck


Follow the Leaders

A pair of CANADA GEESE appeared to lead a line of CACKLING GEESE in a large loop.

There were a few other visitors on the trail, and we all stopped to watch the BULLFROGS in one of the ponds.

 Along the way towards the woods, WHITE-CROWNED, GOLDEN-CROWNED and SONG SPARROWS were plentiful. 
Golden-Crowned Sparrow
White-Crowned Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow

As we watched another unique sparrow, an experienced birder stopped by and told us we were looking at a LINCOLN'S SPARROW - our first!


We found a pair of MALLARDS drifting along the edges of a well-hidden creek - I wonder if they had a nest nearby?


The singing of WARBLERS greeted us as we moved from the open meadows and wetlands to the dense forest.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
Many other creatures were enjoying the rich forest, including SPOTTED TOWHEE and tiny CHIPMUNKS.

Spotted Towhee
Black-Capped Chickadee

A loud knocking caught our attention, and we were thrilled to watch a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER working its way around a tree.
Red-Breasted Sapsucker
Stopping at the wetlands viewing area, we heard and then saw our first GREATER YELLOWLEGS, along with a GREAT EGRET and a number of waterfowl, including EURASIAN and AMERICAN WIGEON and NORTHERN SHOVELERS.  

Tualatin River NWR is a beautiful place to visit, with a nice visitor center, public restrooms and plenty of parking.  The paved paths are available year round, and other paths are open during the summer.  A wide variety of habitat makes the number and variety of species a constant surprise.  Plan to visit!


  1. Great post- that is definitely a fun park to visit. Congrats on the new bird!

  2. Glad you enjoyed TRNWR! I haven't been there in about two weeks. Good to see the bull frogs are back. They are fun to watch. Did any of them croak? I still jump when I hear them, they are so loud, although that happens more on the service road along the canal that isn't open until May.

  3. We plan to go back next month so we can walk down the service road. None of them croaked while we were there :o)