The Long Beach Peninsula is known for many great things, one of which is Birding. More than 300 species of birds make their home on the Long Beach Peninsula. Whether you are searching for Great Blue Herons, Trumpeter Swans, the Western Screech-Owl, or perhaps the Red-Breasted Sapsucker – the possibilities are endless.
With several distinct eco-systems in this very corner of southwest Washington State, Pacific County includes Pacific Ocean seashore and marshland, lakes, inland waterways, wetlands, the Columbia River, the Willapa Bay and it’s many tributaries. Hundreds of species of birds migrate here each fall. Winter flocks consist mostly of Sanderlings, Dunlins, Black-Bellied Plovers and a few Western Sandpipers, and a spattering of Marbled Godwits. Peregrine Falcons are numerous and Merlins often sighted. In years’ past Snow Buntings have been seen at Leadbetter Point. Numerous sea ducks, grebes and loons can be observed along points on the Cape Disappointment State Park jetty, Coast Guard boat basin/launch and various points along Willapa Bay. Western Screech Owls and Great Horned Owls might be heard calling in the Seaview bluffs. Gulls are numerous, always with the chance of seeing an unusual species. Trumpeter Swans overwinter on Black Lake and Hines Marsh.
The most basic equipment required for bird watching may be your eyes, but having a set of binoculars, some rain gear, a notepad and paper, a camera and a field guide may prove to be beneficial! While visiting the Peninsula for a birding trip, be sure to stop by the Jack’s Country Store in Ocean Park or Dennis Company in Long Beach for nearly all of your birding needs!
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is for the birds! Established in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect migrating and wintering populations of brant, waterfowl, shorebirds, and other migratory birds, the refuge is rich in birdlife any time of the year. Be sure to stop by the information center for tips on birding at the Refuge.
Looking for birding options from the comforts of shelter? Look no further! The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center is a great spot for those intimidated by the elements. Enjoy the views from their glassed-in observation deck. If you want an even more intimate setting from the great indoors, then reserve a room at The Dove Shire Bed & Breakfast, where they cater to birders by offering sites right on their property! The China Beach Retreat in Ilwaco is a charming cottage in a cove between Cape Disappointment State Park and the Port of Ilwaco, right along the marshes of the bay making it the perfect spot for seeing one of our most majestic residents, the Great Blue Heron.
Click here for a list of Birding Sites in Pacific County
Click here for a list of birds viewed locally by season
Click Here for a Pacific County Birding Checklist
Go with the pros! Shoalwater Birders host monthly field trips on the fourth Saturday of each month that takes members, and anyone interested, to many favorite local birding spots on the Peninsula and surrounding areas. Wind, rain, and the occasional sun break do not dampen the enjoyment of finding many local and not so local migratory species that can be uncommon to the area. Everyone is welcome to join.
|Stop by the Visitor’s Bureau for a Guide to Birding in Pacific County, Washington or the Chinook Observer for a copy of Common Birds of the Long Beach Peninsula
Remember to follow birding ethics:
- Respect private property; do not trespass.
- Stay on trails and avoid disturbing habitat.
- Observe and photograph birds without disturbing them.
- Never chase or flush birds. Walk slowly and stay concealed.
- Do not use recordings to attract birds.
Contact the Wildlife Center of the North Coast at 503.338.0331
Events on the Horizon
Lighted Boat Parade & Crab Pot Christmas Tree – Ilwaco, December 7, 2013
Bed & Breakfast Holiday Open House – Peninsula-wide, December 14-15, 2013
Tuba Christmas – Ilwaco, December 15, 2013
Fireworks at Midnight over the Ocean – Long Beach, December 31, 2013