With our boat-sitters arriving today it's all systems go for tomorrows departure to the USA, first stop Seattle. In fact this will be the first time Dee and I have crossed over into the USA, deviating from our usual Canadian birding destinations, so we're excited to be visiting new ground. Most of our Canadian birding friends have always maintained that 'you must do the Oregon', so we're putting it to the test!
A little background: Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It is bordered on its west by the Pacific Ocean, on its north by Washington, on its south by California, on its east by Idaho, and on its southeast by Nevada. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary, and the Snake River delineates much of the eastern boundary. It is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.
The Oregon is blessed with an incredible variety of habitats, including the open waters of the Pacific Ocean, temperate rainforest, farmland, alpine tundra, wetlands and sage steppe. As you would expect, this diversity of habitats encourages a great diversity of bird species. Plus the medley of different landscapes also allows a variety of birding styles, which appeals to Dee and I. If you wanted to you could blaze across the state in a few days and have Black-footed Albatross and Black-throated Sparrow on the same 'day list', or you can spend a week or two in one county and still not see it all!
Unlike previous years in Canada we've decided not to go touring around in an RV unit but instead fly/drive using various hotels along the route as a base over three day periods. After recovering from the ten hour flight in Seattle on our first night we'll drive south to Tillamook the following morning, approx. 230 miles, around 4 hours and stopping at various sites on route.
|Shrubsteppe - One of many habitats in Oregon|
|Black-footed Albatross - Photo by John Rakestraw who's guide 'Birding Oregon' I'll be using!|
|Tillamook - One of our birding destinations|
After our 3 day stay in Tillamook we continue south along the Pacific coast to our second destination of Coos Bay/ North Bend, approx. 160 miles. From here we then head further south before turning east towards Klamath Falls, after which we turn north towards Bend and then on to the Hood River. After this we'll make a steady progress back towards Seattle for a few days sightseeing with friends before our return home.