[Tweeters] Sauvie Island, OR on 4/14/07

Christy Jobe christyrj at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 15 22:43:03 PDT 2007

Hi Tweets,

I had to go to Portland yesterday for a meeting, so Larry and I drove down from Seattle and made a short birding weekend of it. Yesterday afternoon we took the opportunity to go back to Sauvie Island Wildlife Refuge, a quick drive NW of Portland (NW on Hwy 30). Sadly we were two days too early to be able to take FULL advantage of the refuge! -- all wildlife areas open TOMORROW (April 16th) to the public (most areas are open only to hunters from early October thru 4/15). Nevertheless, we once again had amazing birding for several hours as we drove the island!

Sauvie Island, by the way, is located geographically just West across the Columbia River from the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. If you've been to Ridgefield, you know how great the habitat is for birds and other wildlife. Sauvie Island, by proximity, shares much of that same habitat, plus some that is different but equally bird and wildlife friendly. It's a beautiful place, and fabulous for birding. We can't wait to go back during the few months that the refuge is fully open!

Here's our birding list for about 3.5 hours on 4/14/07:

-GREAT HORNED OWL -- we spotted this bird just a few minutes after our arrival on the island. The bird was located on Oak Island Road, about 1.1 miles in from the corner of Oak Island Road and NW Reeder Road, across the river in the trees. (To our great shame, on our first spotting of the owl our specs were still located in the trunk where we'd stowed them for safety while we were parked Downtown. We failed Birding 101 big-time(!), and the owl flew off before we could get a close-up view. But it was so big and obvious to the naked eye that even that sighting was amazing. Better still, we went back a couple of hours later just before we left the island for the day, and were able to spot the owl again. We got some great views of a truly amazing bird.)
-GREAT BLUE HERON ROOKERY -- we were able to locate this rookery again (we first spotted it two months ago). It was harder to find this time, the 1-2 herons we saw were so hunkered down in their nests that it was hard to see them without careful observation. The rookery is located on Oak Island Road, about 1.5 miles in from the corner of Oak Island Road and NW Reeder Road, across the river in the trees.
-SANDHILL CRANES -- these were easily visible in several locations on the island, mixed with numerous Canadian Geese.
-MERLIN -- a mating pair, hunting together from a telephone wire over a field, and doing some mating 'stuff'.
-AMERICAN KESTREL -- these are easily seen on the island, doing their bobbing on wires and hunting. We had a really nice close-up view of one, and watched others hunting.
-OSPREY -- saw several overhead, and also a nesting pair at the North end of the island, down Rentenaar Road.
-BALD EAGLE -- several, flying overhead, stirring up the Canadian Geese, and also 4 immature 'playing' together in a lovely area at the end of Retenaar Road near a small lake.
-WHITE GOOSE - some type of goose, all white except for black tail feathers, amongst a large flock of Canadian Geese. Misplaced SNOW GOOSE, or albino CANADIAN? 

-SCRUB JAY (multiple)
-COMMON MERGANSER (3 female, 1 male)
-HAWK - unidentified but white with dark wingtips
-small white gull-like bird, unidentified
-other common birds like Robins and Starlings


~Christy Jobe and Larry Baxter
Kenmore, WA and Camano Island, WA
christyrj at hotmail.com

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