Birds in Portland OR area

Started Aug 17, 2012 | Discussions
foggy
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Birds in Portland OR area
Aug 17, 2012

OK after months of scraping a dollar here and there and working the politics with the wife. I finally got my 400 5.6 L lens. I know some of you could buy this lens or the 2.8 version with a few strokes of your I-Pad and no thought to anyone or the finances..! I will not see a 2.8 version any time soon because of both categories When it did come it came in that plain brown box with B&H tape on it. It goes on my 60D with a nice solid click of the lens release stop. I’ve spent so much time scheming and saving that on this fine (hot) sunny day when I get some time off of work to go shoot. Do you think I can find one birdie anywhere to shoot no..! Last spring you could throw a rock in any direction and hit 3 birds.! Do they all fly south already..? Anyway does anyone know a place in the Portland area that I could shoot birds..?

Foggy

Canon EOS 60D
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Joerg Rockenberger
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Re: Birds in Portland OR area
In reply to foggy, Aug 17, 2012

Check your local birding lists for current info, e.g.:
http://digest.sialia.com/?rm=one_list ;id=124

Check nature photography websites with regional groups, e.g.:
http://www.naturescapes.net
http://www.birdphotographers.net

Go to a local pond, harbor, wildlife refuge, park etc.

Spend lots of time outside, especially in the mornings and evenings.

And then, there is Google. And you'll find: http://thebirdguide.com/

They are there. You just need to find places where you can get close.

Joerg

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jmaster
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Re: Birds in Portland OR area
In reply to foggy, Aug 17, 2012

When it's hot, go to water. Of course, one problem with Portland might be its over abundance of water. Too many choices for the birds!
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jmaster

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canuck dave
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Re: Birds in Portland OR area
In reply to foggy, Aug 17, 2012

I bought my 400L 18 months ago for my T2i, specifically for birding.

Our cameras are similar enough but that lens is a superb 'upgrade'. It is just plain about the best bargain in all of bird photography in any system; there's nothing like it.
My Gallery has some examples!

I'm a photographer first, and am very new in birding. I had to learn (and am learning) to see birds.

I shoot hand-held Av f5.6, with the ISO either set at 400 or on auto-ISO capped at 1600.

Oh, I also shoot RAW and in LR3 almost always de-noise and sharpen straight off, then crop as needed.

enjoy that great lens

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Digirame
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Yes, I know of many places....
In reply to foggy, Aug 18, 2012

Yes, I know of many places to take pictures of birds in the Portland, Oregon area, but mostly on the west side. The bird population seems less during the summer months, but you can still find something.

1) Dawson Creek Business Park (Hillsboro)
2) Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve (near Hillsboro)
3) Fernhill Wetlands Preserve (near Forest Grove)

Try this website too....

http://audubonportland.org/local-birding/iba/iba-map/fernhill

Here's a shoreline bird that I captured at Jackson Bottom in the spring. During the summer months if you sit by one of the drying ponds and keep very still hidden partially with some shrubs, you can get some good pictures if the birds fly and land there looking for food (like heron).

Canon T2i (550D), 55-250mm IS lens, ISO1600, F14, 1/800, 225mm FL

Here's what Fernhill looks like. I took this picture in the winter months. Sometimes GBH can be found along the edges of the reservoirs. Occasionally one will let you get real close, if you walk extremely slow. I have set the shutter speed to be high, and have captured them taking flight.

Canon T2i (550D), 55-250mm IS lens, ISO800, F9, 1/400, 55mm FL

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chuck nakell
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Re: Yes, I know of many places....
In reply to Digirame, Aug 18, 2012

For years my only photography was focused on avians. Besides travel, here was one of my solutions to your problem.

If you are desperate in the always-relatively-poor-birding-time of Portland's summer months, head out to Crystal Springs Gardens by Reed College. There you will find an always dependable plethora of ducks. While the ducks are a sure thing, there is often a blue heron and kingfisher along the path as well. Beautiful backdrops, great color and movement, a good holding space until October brings all the birds back.

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Don Daugherty
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Re: Yes, I know of many places....
In reply to chuck nakell, Aug 18, 2012

Definitely look at Crystal Springs. I often go in the wee hours just before sunrise. Once you get familiar with the layout of the garden you will get to know where some of the shore dwelling hunters live. You can often find them resting or just starting to hunt as the sun is coming up. Sadly 400mm (even on an APS-C body) is a little short since the shore hunters won't let you get very close before they fly off.

Have fun!

D

chuck nakell wrote:

For years my only photography was focused on avians. Besides travel, here was one of my solutions to your problem.

If you are desperate in the always-relatively-poor-birding-time of Portland's summer months, head out to Crystal Springs Gardens by Reed College. There you will find an always dependable plethora of ducks. While the ducks are a sure thing, there is often a blue heron and kingfisher along the path as well. Beautiful backdrops, great color and movement, a good holding space until October brings all the birds back.

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John Sheehy
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Re: Birds in Portland OR area
In reply to foggy, Aug 18, 2012

foggy wrote:

OK after months of scraping a dollar here and there and working the politics with the wife. I finally got my 400 5.6 L lens. I know some of you could buy this lens or the 2.8 version with a few strokes of your I-Pad and no thought to anyone or the finances..!

I’ve spent so much time scheming and saving that on this fine (hot) sunny day when I get some time off of work to go shoot. Do you think I can find one birdie anywhere to shoot no..! Last spring you could throw a rock in any direction and hit 3 birds.! Do they all fly south already..? Anyway does anyone know a place in the Portland area that I could shoot birds..?

Here are some reports about where birds are being seen in Oregon:

http://birding.aba.org/maillist/OR01
http://birding.aba.org/maillist/OR02

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John

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Scrumhalf999
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Re: Birds in Portland OR area
In reply to foggy, Aug 18, 2012

I was at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood a couple of weeks ago. Also, go to Jackson Bottom Wetlands in Hillsboro. These are 2 fantastic places, although the pickings are slim right now.

I was at Jackson Bottom last weekend and saw Canada geese, mallards with off-season plumage and lots of blue herons and egrets. Also saw turkey vultures and some hawks. It will definitely get much much more populated in fall.

Also head to the coast. I was at Haystack Rock about 3 weeks ago and saw lots of common murres, cormorants, etc. etc. Went too late in the day to see the tufted puffins, but I was talking to the lifeguards on the beach and they said that that they are there, just fly offshore early in the morning and come back late in the day.

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John Sheehy
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Re: Birds in Portland OR area
In reply to Joerg Rockenberger, Aug 18, 2012

Joerg Rockenberger wrote:

They are there. You just need to find places where you can get close.

Which are often in heavily populated areas, where the birds have resigned themselves to a smaller personal safety space.

I've met herons and egrets in the NYC area that you could almost reach out and pet (although I wouldn't recommend trying!).

This little fellow was right in the heart of Manhattan, two blocks from Grand Central Station, in front of the New York Public Library:

http://www.pbase.com/jps_photo/nypl_oct_22oct23_10

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John

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jedinstvo
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Crystal Springs
In reply to chuck nakell, Aug 19, 2012

If you're into trout fishing, the lake there has a population of native cutthroat. But you have to be under 15 or over 65 to fish them....at least that was the regulation last time I lived in Portland, which was 1983. So the last time I fished for those cutthroat was in 1963...I'll be 65 next year so I'll be back! As for birds, I would suggest Sauvie's Island and Hoyt Park Arboretum.

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billythek
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Re: Birds in Portland OR area
In reply to foggy, Aug 20, 2012

Go to the 10th tee on just about any golf course. The birds will be stealing food out of the golf carts.
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  • Bill

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foggy
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Re: Birds in Portland OR area
In reply to billythek, Aug 29, 2012

Thanks to everybody for their posts

Foggy

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