A birding paradise on the Peninsula

Birding on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula.

Snowy owl on the Peninsula’s northern end.

You’re likely a birder, even if you don’t know it.

A bird’s eye view of the national birding community reveals that about 1 in 5 Americans over the age of 16 identify as birders, according to a recent article in a community publication, The Current.

Holy crow, that’s a lot of feather fans! And we know just the place to head when you’re ready to roost — Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula.

Get the Guide

The Washington State Birding Trail’s Southwest Loop includes all of Pacific County and runs from the lower Puget Sound to the Long Beach Peninsula. The Southern Loop features 270 of Washington’s 346 annually recorded bird species, according to the National Audubon Society, making the Peninsula a must-stop for avian enthusiasts.

Southwest Loop Guides are available at the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau in Seaview. And the local Shoalwater Birders group maintains a website dedicated to the local birding community.

Birding Hotspots

Peninsula winters are perfect for fowl-weather fans, as numerous migrating birds call Peninsula beaches, marshes and woodlands home during this time of year. Birding is especially exceptional along the sandy shores of Loomis Lake and Leadbetter Point state parks toward the Peninsula’s north. Also on the Peninsula’s north end is Hines Marsh, home to wintering trumpeter swans.

Birding on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula.

Sanderlings at Loomis Lake State Park.

While on the Peninsula’s northern shores, keep an eye out for snowy plovers, which frequent beaches near Leadbetter Point throughout the winter. Sections of the park are closed between March 31 and Sept. 30 to protect snowy plover habitat.

Majestic trumpeter swans also return annually to Black Lake near Ilwaco and Loomis Lake State Park in late December; they can be glimpsed throughout winter. Birding at Black Lake is especially accessible – a roadside pullout
just off Highway 101 provides a beautiful view of the water and woods.

Bald eagles are frequently spotted, from beach to bay, throughout Pacific County. And snowy owls are also seen, though less frequently.

Birding on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula.

Pelicans on the water.

These feathered friends compose just a sliver of the local bird population. Jackie Ferrier of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge recently told South Sound Magazine:

“A great deal of migrating waterfowl including mallards, pintails, American widgeon, green-winged teal, Canadian geese, and shorebirds, sandpipers, dunlins, godwits, and more are using the estuaries of Willapa Bay, Port of Ilwaco and the Columbia River right now. Quite a few raptors, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, northern harriers are present as well.”

Now, that’s a roster of wildlife. Are you ready to see what the Peninsula has to offer?

Ready to start planning your trip to the Long Beach Peninsula? Contact us at (360) 642-2400 or You can download the free guide here or send us your address to receive a physical copy.

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