Oregon Birding Recommendations?
November 17, 2020 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have suggestions for early winter birding in Oregon & Northern California?

A little relieved that Portland Thanksgiving plans have been cancelled (we'd only agreed to the plans to prevent more at-risk family members from attending larger gatherings), I find myself in the unlucky position of still needing to make the trip up to Portland to pick up some things and all the time in the world to do it alone, avoiding all human contact along the way.

The more remote (and unpeopled) the better. Last Thanksgiving I was lucky enough to go through Tule Lake & Lower Klamath NWRs where I saw more buteos than I have ever seen in my entire life, at one point it was one on every other telephone pole, of all morphs. I think I'll stop through, car-camping, on the way up, again. It can be anywhere, I've got legs to hike on or an inflatable boat to paddle in on, and time.
posted by rubatan to Science & Nature (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you are going to be in the Portland metro anyway, the Tualatin River NWR is worth a stop. there will probably be more people than you'd like though. Smith and Bybee wetlands is nice especially since you have a boat. Sauvie Island wildlife area is good too, but parts of it are closed in the winter.
posted by Dr. Twist at 5:01 PM on November 17, 2020

I'm not a birding expert, but we did some good viewing at the Malheur NWR (there's a self-guided drive where we saw lots of different kinds!). It's definitely remote. Not sure what it's like in the fall. Here's a brochure from fish & wildlife: https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Region_1/NWRS/Zone_2/Malheur/Documents/blitzen_valley_auto_tour.pdf
posted by rivenwanderer at 7:29 PM on November 17, 2020

I’ve always wanted to take a pelagic bird watching boat in Newport, you can get some amazing species there!
posted by cakebatter at 9:27 PM on November 17, 2020

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