Columbia County Quest

On Friday Sarah and I wanted to see some Columbia County birds, so we headed west on highway 30 out of Portland. About 60% of this county is covered by freshwater (I think), so we expected to see some waterfowl and shorebirds. We were not disappointed.

The ponds of Scappoose Bottoms had plenty of ducks, along with a few shorebird species.

At least nine Wilson's Snipes were resting at the edge of a pond.We've never seen so many just standing around.

At Carr Slough Wetlands, we found the mother lode of big white birds.


There were over 350 Tundra Swans, a dozen Great Egrets, and a handful of Trumpeter Swans doing their thing while we watched from the road.

We could have practiced our identification of swan skills all day, but another challenge awaited at Prescott County Park.

Here a big skein of scaup was resting on the Columbia River.

For the most part, it was easy to distinguish the greater from the lesser by looking for the curvy peak on the lessers' head, which were noticeable even when they were sleeping.

While we sorted through scaups, Andie dug herself a comfy beach bed. She relaxed for a few minutes but was freaked out by the wake of a small boat and had to leave the beach. She's a sensitive dog.

Our Columbia County excursion was otherwise a big success. We can't wait to return in the spring or summer to get some breeders!


  1. It's always fun to take on a different county. Andie looks adorable in her beach bed even if it didn't last.

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