Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Birding Jackson Bottom when it's flooded

This is from a posting I made to OBOL on 3/10/2017:

Most of the time this winter Jackson Bottom was flooded. Here are some tips on how to still make it a rewarding visit when this is the case. I typically probe about 5 different access points, but here is a list of access points that I'm aware of (technically, not all access points listed below are actually within the Jackson Bottom preserve boundary):

- The visitor center area: Check the 2 feeders areas at the Jackson Bottom visitor center and the overlook platform. Then work your way around the east end of the Clean Water Services building, there are several more feeders there. Check the brushy area north of the parking lot on the north side of the building. There used to be good viewing from the mini "amphitheater" out towards the wetland, but it has mostly grown over. Finally, this is important, check the area on the west side of 217 from the No Trespassing sign at 45.502901, -122.991229. This is typically the best spot for Canvasbacks.

- The north viewing area at 45.512986, -122.990406. The gate is sometimes closed (like these days), but will re-open when the flooding has receded.

- Off the end of Wood St at 45.512501, -123.001309: Park at the yellow gate on the south side. Even though it says No Trespassing, Clean Water Services has given birders access to this area on foot. This is often the best area to see swans in winter.

- The Tamora & Bianca access at 45.507796, -122.976629.  From the gazebo, walk north along the paved walking trail to about 45.509216, -122.977576. This area often offers good views of the open water and is therefore good for diving ducks. There can also be lots of sparrows along the wetland edge since several houses have feeders.

- If you are ambitious you can scope the gulls at the dump from here: 45.486829, -122.979843. This is always a good area for aythaya ducks.

- Another option for gulls is the entrance to the dump at 45.495201, -122.970331, but I never linger there.

- I haven't been to the SE Duke Dr access at 45.504426, -122.969443 in a while, but this can be really good. You get there by taking Jean Lane off SE River Rd, then turn right onto Fir Grove Loop. Park by the pumping station at the end of the road.

- Finally, the Jacquelin Rd access at 45.498900, -122.969600 (so, actually off SE 12th Ave) is a little sketchy, but might be worth a try if you are adventurous.

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