Tuesday, August 07, 2007

SW ~ Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge: Summer

Date visited: June 8, 2007
Agency: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Path Surface: Gravel and dirt
Elevation gain/loss: 40 feet
Distance: Three or more miles
Ratings: Setting +++ Calorie-burning +++
Directions: To get to the Refuge, drive south on Highway 99W through the town of King City and look for the brown signs. About .7 mile beyond the Cipole Road traffic light, turn right into the refuge. Note that use of the trail is restricted to walking pedestrians. No bikes or pets allowed.

With the arrival of warmer weather and longer days, some tenants of the refuge depart and others move in. For human life, the big change is that much more of the Atfalat'i Unit is open to the public.

In addition to the one mile Nature Trail, which is open year round, enjoy the service roads from May 1st through September 30th. Walking the Nature Trail and the perimeter road yields a walk right around three miles. That does not include additional distance you could clock by crossing through the interior.

Here's our wildlife list from this day's visit: common yellowthroat, white crowned sparrow, killdeer, song sparrows, western wood peewee, bald eagles, house finches, barn swallows, Brewer's blackbirds, robins, shovelers, mallards, blue heron, tree swallows, rough winged swallows, towhees, red wing blackbirds, lesser goldfinches, mourning dove, flicker, cowbird, stellar's jay, savannah sparrow, white breasted nuthatches, cedar waxwing, red tail hawks, turkey vultures, Swainson's thrush, western tanagers, Bewick's wren, downy woodpecker, red breasted nuthatches, Pacific slope flycatcher, marsh wren, scrub jay, black capped chickadees, willow flycatcher, kestrel, bullocks oriole, American goldfinches, starlings, black headed grosbeaks, pheasant (heard), crows, pied billed grebes, coot, geese, mallards with babies, osprey, spotted sandpipers, cinnamon teal, cliff swallow, gadwall. Non-bird life included a garter snake and nutria.

Abundant wildflowers are also in bloom—I'm working on the identification of those-maybe by next year?

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