Fernhill Wetlands.

A long time ago I got it in my head that dogs were not permitted at Fernhill Wetlands.  I'm not sure where I got that info, but it made me never want to drive the 38 minutes predicted by Mapquest to get there... Yesterday I was checking out the Oregon Birding List and read some posts on hybrid geese and ducks at Fernhill.  I love hybrids so I decided to finally check it out-  and of course when I arrived people with dogs were all over.  Jake was thrilled to not have to sit in the car...

The first duck I found was this guy peeping in the grass:

There was a small flock of Canada Geese out in the water with one Cackling Goose mixed in...

Also out on the water were several Western Grebes and a Pied-billed....

From one of the viewing decks I caught sight of one of the hybrid geese I had read about...

I believe the consensus on this (or a similar) goose was that it was a Canada Goose X Graylag Goose.  It's a beauty whatever it is!

Back on the water- tons (well, more than a dozen) of Common Mergansers!

At one point I startled four domestic ducks... They popped away from the grass into the water, then paused to look at me and Jake.

I really love all the weird colorings that these ducks can have...

Oh and I never get sick of the big ole bill of a shoveler...

There were tons of sparrows in the bushes and trees, but the White-throated continues to elude me!  I saw mostly Savannah, Song, and Golden-crowned Sparrows, but also at least a couple of Lincoln's Sparrows!

There were also some goldfinches in the trees... This next one I thought might be a Lesser Goldfinch but I'm not sure...

It seems too late in the year for an American to be that yellow?

And yet another bird in a tree... A Great Egret...

Back to the water... A Horned Grebe!

I just realized that's a new one for me!  Awesome.

Of course there were tons of herons and egrets around as well... My favorite heron shot, even though it's in the shadow...

On the way out I startled some Mourning Doves... Such funny little birds (or as my mom calls them, "dopey").

What a great place!  I can't believe I had never been there before... Can't wait to go back!


  1. Great post! The photos are awesome and I love that shovel billed duck. never heard of one before.

    Love your blog.


  2. Jen-

    I am a big fan of your photos and posts. Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to get my kids in the car and start checking these places out.

  3. Cool Lincoln's shot! I really need to take more songbird pictures.

  4. Nice place isn't it. What size lens do you have? My experience there makes me guess that some of the water fowl you took pictures of were out a fair distance on the pond.

  5. I could be wrong, but that picture of the four domestic ducks are actually Hybrids between that white duck in your first picture and Mallards. I did some research on the web a while back when i first encountered them and what I found was constant with the coloration of those ducks.

  6. Sounds like you had a fabulous trip - great post and photos! I envy you your Lincoln's pic- I was looking for one all fall without luck - they are not very common here, just migrating through. Anyway I enjoyed reading about and looking at the variety of birds.

  7. I just happened across your blog today while reading another Portland area blog.

    Nice job! I wandered back aways and noticed your photography is getting much better!! I'm curious what set-up you're using.

    Anyway, i'm from Portland too, and thought you might like to know about a Google Group set up for the area -- Portland Area Birds. http://groups.google.com/group/portland-area-birds


  8. @Rick- the lens I'm using is 55-250mm (Canon Rebel T1i). Most of my photos that were really far out were too blurry to use. Also, I had just assumed those ducks were domestic Mallards- I suppose they could be Domestic/Mallard hybrids too.

    @Greg- I suppose I just answered the camera question- Canon EOS Rebel T1i with a 55-250mm lens usually (sometimes the 18-55mm that came with it). Thanks for letting me know about that group- I actually just joined it last week!

  9. Nice pictures like always. I never really thought about hybrid birds until I saw your post this time.

  10. Dogs are not allowed at Fernhill any more. It's about time something was done. I've seen dogs running after birds and people throwing sticks into the water for the dog to swim after.Some make it bad for all.
    SO BE IT.

  11. We are delighted that you are promoting Fernhill as a wonderful place to visit! With the ongoing improvements by Clean Water Services and the Scenic Bike Trail, more visitors are coming to Fernhill and that’s good news. The bad news is that despite ample “No Dogs” signage, people are still bringing dogs to Fernhill. At www.fernhillnts.org we explain that dogs are not allowed because, “Even the best behaved dogs may be a threat to the birds and wildlife that nest, rest and feed at Fernhill.” Please visit www.fernhillnts.org for more information.


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