Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

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

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tillamook Bay Wetlands aka Rain River

I spent parts of two days at Tillamook Bay Wetlands, aka Rain River, Thursday and Saturday (2/2/12 and 2/4/12).  I've been wanting to go there ever since it was mentioned on Oregon Birds Online listserv a few weeks back.  Not sure I can get everything I love about this place into one blog.  The trail is a four-mile loop through the wetlands along meandering rivers and marshy fields.

Black Phoebe

On Thursday, I reached it late in the day, the apex of a wonderful "Tillamook County Big Day" (personal big day :o) Unfortunately, it meant I only had about an hour of daylight, so I only walked about a half-mile into the area.  My first sighting was a BLACK PHOEBE (seen in this blurry but diagnostic photo).

On Saturday, I dragged my hubby with me - we started in the afternoon, and spent three lovely hours meandering along, racking up a count of over 30 species of birds, several frogs and a few nutria along the way.  Here is some of the beauty...

Northern Harrier

Pacific Tree Frog
The highlight of the afternoon was a big, beautiful BARN OWL - it was perched in a branch above the trail, and when it saw us, removed to another tree not too far away.  I was able to get a few photos through the branches.  
Barn Owl
A few more birds along the trail...
Downy Woodpecker

Marsh Wren with no tail

Red-Tailed Hawk
Of course we're going back (we have 3 more miles to explore!)  And I'll be sure to tell you all about it!


  1. Ooh I saw your post on OBOL and then saw your photo- so freakin awesome!!! (the owl I mean, duh). Sounds like a great new place for you to explore, can't wait for more reports.

  2. Thanks Jen and Linda! I loved seeing the owl - and my wonderful hubby talked me into trying manual-focus to shoot through all the trees, thank goodness, as it was great to get photos to confirm what we saw. The Harrier with the sun through its wings was awesome to see - glad I could capture it. It spent several minutes working over the tall grass, sometimes coming fairly close. Just magnificent!