Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer birds in the Oregon Coast Range

Gray JayGray Jay, Timber, Washington Co., Oregon on 22 June 2010 by Greg Gillson.


This past week I led a half-day birding field trip into the Oregon Coast Range about 40 miles west of Portland, Oregon. The trip was sponsored by the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve.

The five of us spent the morning primarily at Reeher Forest Camp in the Tillamook State Forest about 2 miles west of the small hamlet of Timber.

We left the parking lot at Jackson Bottom in Hillsboro about 7:30 am and arrived at Timber about 45 minutes later. At Reeher Camp we chased around some singing birds, including SWAINSON'S THRUSHES, HERMIT WARBLERS, VARIED THRUSHES, and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, though we enjoyed more of their songs than much actual observations in the thick and tall forest. A family group of COMMON RAVENS were making quite a racket and allowed us to get good views at surprisingly close range.

From the horse camp we took the trail down along the river and enjoyed more birds down to the bridge over the Nehalem River. There we enjoyed a pair of AMERICAN DIPPERS bringing food to their mud and moss nest under the bridge.

Returning to the day use parking area we walked up Wheeler Road about 1/2 mile. We enjoyed looks at WESTERN TANAGERS, WILLOW FLYCATCHERS, RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS, CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEES, and an EVENING GROSBEAK feeding his fledged young. A family group of HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHERS cavorted about high up in one tree, providing less than ideal views.

Birders at Timber, Oregon on 22 June 2010 by Greg Gillson.


For the final hour of our field experience, before driving back to Hillsboro, we drove closer to the summit of Round Top Mountain. On the steep north slope we heard the deep booming calls of SOOTY GROUSE, but did not see these shy forest chickens.

We stopped in a ravine and were able to call up a group of about 7 GRAY JAYS, who glided in through the trees for delightfully close views and one usable photo (above).

The following is the list of birds seen or heard, from Timber west to Round Top. You might want to compare this list with a similar trip last week.

Sooty Grouse 3
Band-tailed Pigeon 1
Rufous Hummingbird 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-breasted Sapsucker 5
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Olive-sided Flycatcher 6
Willow Flycatcher 2
Hammond's Flycatcher 5
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 15
Warbling Vireo 8
Gray Jay 9
Steller's Jay 2
Common Raven 7
Violet-green Swallow 2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 12
Red-breasted Nuthatch 6
Brown Creeper 1
Winter Wren 4
American Dipper 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
Swainson's Thrush 20
American Robin 8
Varied Thrush 3
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Black-throated Gray Warbler 2
Hermit Warbler 6
MacGillivray's Warbler 3
Wilson's Warbler 20
Western Tanager 4
Spotted Towhee 5
Song Sparrow 2
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Black-headed Grosbeak 2
Purple Finch 2
Red Crossbill 2
American Goldfinch 4
Evening Grosbeak 14