We continue to urge anglers and others recreating outside to stay close to home, keep your social distance, and travel safely. Here’s more information about
Both residential and migratory songbirds are active in north coast forests as nesting and rearing of young has been in full swing for several weeks. As a result, many species are very visible as they forage not only for themselves but nests full of young. Many species of warbler can be viewed from the roadside foraging the forest edge. A good field guide is handy here when trying to determine species. Look for flycatchers posted up and flying sallies for bugs from snags and young tree tops in open clearcuts.
Bayocean spit provides several habitats in a loop from the parking lot out the dike road. A trip out along the bay side typically features waterfowl and wading birds and leads to a forested area that is home to many passerines and upland species. A short hike through the dune leads to the beach, where you’ll find shorebirds and nearshore marine species. Bug repellant is advised for the forested section.
Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge features salt marsh, mudflats and tidal areas as well as grassland, woods and wetlands. The Two Rivers Trail is 2.2 miles and offers several loop options to hikers up for moderate to moderately difficult terrain. Many species can be seen along the way as the trail passes through forest and prairie. Neotropical migrant songbirds are the most likely group of birds to be seen during the summer months.
Ft. Stevens State Park is once again open for day use. The park is a good area to birdwatch in a variety of habitats all in close proximity. Ocean shore, jetty, estuarine, lacustrine (lake), both forested and emergent wetland, grassland and spruce forest are present within a few miles of each other and hold an amazing variety of wildlife. Some birds will be active any time of day but morning and evening will generally be the most active and offer the best chance for possibly spotting furbearers and other mammals as well.
Easily-viewed migratory species present in many areas of the county include band-tailed pigeons, violet-green swallows, tree swallows and wood ducks. Look for band-tailed pigeons near areas with abundant elderberries and tall trees to stage from. Swallows can be seen gliding over open fields and small ponds. Wood ducks, hooded mergansers and mallards have been seen on the shallow pond areas, in fields with standing water, and along creeks.
Elk viewing has been good at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. With the warmer weather, viewing has been best in the early mornings and late evenings. Good places to look are the Fishhawk Tract along Hwy 202 and the Beneke Tract along the first 1.5 miles of Beneke Road.
Elk calves and their mothers have started to join back into the larger herds. Watch for vegetation movement behind the adults as calves try to follow their mothers through the tall grass. As fields are mowed during July and August, calves should be more visible.
Staff and visitors have seen several back-tailed deer with fawns in and around the viewing areas. Tree and violate green swallows are gliding over the fields and nesting in boxes along view area fence lines. Band-tailed pigeons have been a frequent visitors to the many bird feeders located in most viewing areas.
Brochures with maps are available at the main viewing area kiosk. Remember that areas posted as “Wildlife Refuge” are closed to public entry. Posted portions of the Beneke Tract are open to public entry until Aug. 1. (See Big Game Hunting Regulations for exceptions)
A parking permit is required to park at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Find out .