Detailed Itinerary
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker (above and
including the banner photo).
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Photo by Harry Fuller
For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles or Alison at
888-203-7464 or Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at
Day 1:  Arrival
Most participants will travel to Portland and arrive at the
airport prior to 10 AM on arrival day. Some participants
may choose to fly in the day before and spend an extra
night (at an additional cost) close to the airport. Others
may meet the group at or near the airport at around 10 AM
arrival day. Anyone arriving the night before can meet with
guide, Harry Fuller, for dinner.

Everyone should try for a flight home after 3 PM to allow for
early morning birding travel to Portland. Group should
arrive at Portland Airport around 1:30PM. Please contact
us before booking your flight so that you understand the
group’s plans well. Booking flights outside these time
frames can result in additional lodging and transport costs.

Day 1:  Sauvie’s Island

We pick up birders at the Portland Airport and go straight to
Sauvie’s Island. Here we will look for Sandhill Crane,
Trumpeter Swan, Cackling Goose, Greater White-fronted
Goose, Glaucous-winged Gull, Thayer’s Gull, Western Gull,
and possibly Glaucous Gull, Rough-legged Hawk and Short-
eared Owl. Several species of grebe (including Red-
necked) plus three loons species (Common, Pacific, Red-
throated) are possible on the Columbia River.

We will spend that first night in Astoria (just a short walk
away from some barking California Sea Lions). Astoria is
the first English-speaking settlement west of the
Mississippi. It is about 80 miles west of Sauvie’s Island.

Day 2:  Astoria

Here Lewis & Clark spent their winter in Oregon in 1804-5.  
They were the first American explorers to discover
numerous western species, including Sharp-tailed Grouse,
Lewis’s Woodpecker, Clark’s Nutcracker and Western
Tanager. Just over thirty years later, John Townsend and
Thomas Nuttall came here, crossing the Great Plains on
foot with fur traders. They added numerous new species to
the list of known birds in North America, including
Townsend’s  Warbler, Black Oystercatcher, and several

West of Astoria is the mouth of the Columbia River; on the
south (Oregon side) is Clatsop Spit. In the winter there are
a dozen possible gull species including Slaty-backed (rare)
from Asia. Pacific Loons outnumber the other species here.
All three Pacific cormorant species (Brandt’s, Pelagic and
Double-creasted) occur along with Brown Pelicans, all the
northern grebes, and various near-shore alcids like
Cassin's Auklet. There will be thousands of Sanderlings
and a mixture of other shorebirds including Black
Turnstone, Surfbird and Black-bellied Plover.

Along the coast south of Clatsop Point we will look along
the rocky shoreline for three types of scoters and Harlequin

We will spend a second night in Astoria to set up for an
early departure northward the next morning.

Day 3:  Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Today we will head north into Washington. We will stop at
the Mount St Helens visitor center where we can bird along
a boardwalk through a marshy lake shore. Further north,
on I-5 near Olympia, is Nisqually Refuge. It’s about 160
miles from Astoria. It combines freshwater and brackish
marsh with riparian rain forest. Here we could add Northern
Shrike, Pileated Woodpecker,  Varied Thrush, Chestnut-
backed Chickadee, Spotted Towhee, Golden-crowned
Sparrow and any freshwater ducks we have missed.
Several western gull species are also common here.

Day 4:  Olympic Peninsula

From Olympia we head north to the Olympic Peninsula.
Along the peninsula, we should add Harlequin Duck for
sure, Long-tailed Duck, possibly Snowy Owl and Brant. We
may find both goldeneyes and Brant loafing along the
shoreline of Hood Canal. Alcids possible here include
Pigeon Guillemot, Rhinoceros Auklet and Marbled Murrelet.
Other birds we will see include Red-necked Grebe, Red-
throated Loon, Common Loon and Pacific Loon.

Day 5:  Puget Sound

This morning we ferry and drive to Port Townsend where
we take a ferryboat to Whidbey Island. We expect to see
several alcid species and this is our chance at an Orca
sighting! The group will return to Sequim for the night.

Day 6:  Departure

In the morning, we will have time for roadside birding while
heading to Portland for afternoon flights home (after 4 PM).
Pacific Northwest
Birding and Wildlife
Photo by Harry Fuller
Photo by Bill Schmoker
Minneapolis Audubon and All Birders Welcome