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Birdwatching day at Smith and Bybee Lakes 10.31.11


I love Smith and Bybee Lakes.

They are two lakes really close together, they probably just barely stop short of being one giant lake. Somehow they manage to maintain their separate existences.

They are a protected wildlife wetland area, stuck in the middle of a very industrial area of Portland. They are a sanctuary where you least expect it, hidden off the side of a busy highway usually only used by trucks and industry. They are only about 10 minutes drive from my house.  The Smith and Bybee Lakes is one of my favorite places to go birding. I go there often, so I thought I’d start documenting how awesome this place is throughout the year.

I got the idea of returning to a place regularly to document the changing flora and fauna from another blog I found, click  here if you want to check it out.  This other blogger is doing an in-depth phenology project. I love the idea and what she is doing. It inspired me to do something similar. But I am not interested in doing it in such an official way.  But I wanted to do something. So I thought about a place I like to visit often, and Smith & Bybee Lakes came to mind immediately. I figured I could visit there about once a month, and take pictures and record what I observe each time I’m there. And show how beautiful this place is throughout all the seasons of the year.

It was a gorgeous fall day today. I walked out to Smith Lake first, with camera, binoculars, and spotting scope. Then after I got my fill there for awhile I walked out to Bybee Lake next.  Surrounding the lakes are walking paths and trees which are great for finding songbirds. Here’s the list of species seen today, and some pictures of the area.

  • Red Tailed Hawk, sitting on a pole in the parking lot
  • Dark eyed junco
  • Gull (type not identified)
  • Canada Goose (really, you can’t go anywhere in Portland without seeing these)
  • Pied Grebe
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Common Merganser
  • Great Egret
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Double Crested Cormorant
  • American Wigeon
  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Wood Duck
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Green Winged Teal
  • Cedar Waxwings
  • Song Sparrow
  • Black capped Chickadee
  • Bushtit
  • Brown Creeper
  • White Breasted Nuthatch
  • Golden crowned kinglet
  • Ruby crowned kinglet
  • Coyotes. Two separate coyotes, not together. One was hopping thru the tall grass like a deer at Bybee Lake. The other (in the pics) was settling down for a nap in a sun patch on the path in between the two lakes.

coyote creeping up

coyote settling down

coyote enjoying the sun patch

Path down to Smith Lake Oct 31


path down to Smith Lake Oct 31




Smith Lake 1

in between smith & bybee looking left

in between smith & bybee

path down to Bybee Lake 1

on the path down to Bybee Lake

Bybee Lake

Bybee Lake looking right. The grass is about knee-high


Author: Kay-Kay's Bird Club

Hat-maker, Bird lover, Star gazer, Scooter rider, and Running fool.

3 thoughts on “Birdwatching day at Smith and Bybee Lakes 10.31.11

  1. Nice!

    Just a note – in case you didn’t realize, part of why my phenology posts have such a specific format is that they’re for an assignment for a graduate course in environmental education that I’m taking this fall. I hope my professor likes them as much as my readers do…!

  2. Pingback: Photo Summary: Walking path to Bybee Lake. « Kay-Kay's Bird Club…

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