Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mt. Hood Birding - Part 2

For the few of you waited with baited breath for this post, thank you and I'm sorry it's been so delayed. I had the joy of spending my weekend with my laptop doing work instead of outside enjoying the 90+ degree heat.

Continuing from my last post, we left Larch Mountain having heard some nice birds but having seen very little. We headed toward the Columbia River Gorge on the more scenic "Historic Columbia River Highway" that parallels the major highway through the gorge tracing the reverse route of Lewis & Clark. The road stops along many scenic viewpoints and several waterfalls.

Our first stop was Vista House. While not a birding hotspot by any means, it did offer exquisite views of the river, a bathroom stop, and some very close Violet-green Swallows. An Osprey also made a brief appearance.

We headed back to the highway and came to our first waterfall: Latourell Falls. The falls were a short walk from the parking lot. It was a breathtaking waterfall with great rock formations around it and a neat moss-covered wall. I was hoping for a miracle Black Swift, but I don't think they exist in this part of Oregon. I did find our only Western Tanager of the trip here though. I didn't have "the big camera" here due to the mist from the waterfall.

Our next stop was Wahkeena Falls, not quite as scenic as Latourell, but nice nonetheless. A little further up the winding highway was the real show of the gorge - Multnomah Falls. Plummeting 620 feet from its origins on Larch Mountain, Multnomah Falls is the second highest year-round waterfall in the US. Here are some photos:

On part 3 of our trip, we will visit Mt. Hood itself in all its glacial goodness. Stay tuned!


Dana Zipkin said...

Beautiful photos...

mon@rch said...

Love those waterfalls and if you had the heat like we had it . . . I bet those waterfalls were very much enjoyed.

Bevson said...

I loved Oregon--got quite a few lifers there too. The wine is fantastic and the waterfalls! Looks like you are had a good time.