I signed up for a class with the Audubon Society of Portland. Mostly because my friend Laura was leading it. I could go to both of these sites on my own, but it's nice to have a structured class and a leader who knows her stuff.
The first Sunday we visited the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge. It is slightly southwest of Portland, but probably the closest refuge to the city. This refuge has mixed habitat including oaks, conifers, and grassy fields that flood with the winter rains. We saw thirty-some species and dodged the threatening rain.
The second Sunday we visited Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Washington. This place just recently opened up to the public and the government website says that it is slated for a visitor center. The land is next to the Columbia river and is mostly fields that flood and cottonwood groves. We didn't see as many species here, although I haven't made an official tally yet.
Mt. Hood could be seen peaking over the mountains in the distance.
We got lucky and didn't get rain on either trips. As usual, it was a fun time out birding!