Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mt Talbert Nature Park

Today, April 18th 2015, I went over to Mt Talbert Nature Park.  I can see it gets some activity on eBird but it deserves much more attention.  Mt Talbert is off I-205 and Sunnybrook Rd (next road south of Sunnyside Rd).  Head one block east on Sunnybrook, turn south on 97th Ave and follow it around until it turns into Mather Road.  Parking area is on the north side of road. METRO has a link about Mt Talbert , click here.

It is site H-12 on the Heritage Loop of the Oregon Birding Guide.  The link for that site is here.

This is a fantastic birding area.  I am kicking myself for not visiting it sooner.

Below is a shot of the parking area off Mather.  I arrived at 8 am and was the only car in lot.  I left at around 11:30 am when I took this picture.

Only the very talented will get lost, the area is well marked.  Trails are dirt but easy to hike. I hiked up  the Summit Loop, the inner loop on this guide.  I went clockwise, it  was about 2 miles or so.  The hill is a bit higher than the far-more-birded Mt Tabor.  If you can get up Tabor, you will have no problem here. 

The area is a mix of Douglas-fir, oak and maples.  Most of it is forested.  But there are openings and gaps in the trees to see the birds.

This is the first opening I came to.  It was full of warblers and siskins.  The birds were working their way across the sunny spots in the trees.

A view looking back down from where I came. 

Most of the warblers were Yellow-rumped.  I did see many Black-throated Gray  and Orange-crowned.  A number of Nashvilles were there as well.

Nashville Warbler.

Bird song quiz:

The answer:

Up at the top is a hardwood forest.  Warblers were flying everywhere.

Looking for warblers is hard on the neck.

Another gap in the trees and more warblers flying through.

The fine pointed spike like  bill of an Orange-crowned Warbler.  Helpful when looking straight up at a back-lit bird in the tree-tops.

There were two, maybe just one, Cassin's Vireos in the trees.

No shortage of nesting chickadees.

Another promising section of the trail.

I have been trying to practice seeing the width of the primaries on Anna's, in case I ever stumble across an Archilochus.  On Black-chinned and Ruby-throated, primaries P6 on in are narrower.  The even width of the primaries and long tail show it is Anna's, assuming no rufous on bird.

No dogs are allowed, it is a METRO site just like Smith-Bybee.  

I was surprised I did not hear any goldfinch, they may have been there but my concentration was elsewhere.  I was happy with the lack of House Finch.  Purple Finch were in every corner.  

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  4
Mourning Dove  1
Anna's Hummingbird  3
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  2
Cassin's Vireo  2
Hutton's Vireo  3
Steller's Jay  4
Black-capped Chickadee  20
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  6
Red-breasted Nuthatch  15
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Pacific Wren  5
Bewick's Wren  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  6
Orange-crowned Warbler  15
Nashville Warbler  5
Yellow-rumped Warbler  150
Black-throated Gray Warbler  40
Townsend's Warbler  3
Hermit Warbler  1     bold white wing bars with a  clean white flank all white tail, saw a flash of yellow in head. About all I saw, high in trees behind leaves.
Wilson's Warbler  1
Spotted Towhee  14
Song Sparrow  7
Dark-eyed Junco  20
House Finch  5
Purple Finch  10
Pine Siskin  40

The closed forest prevented me from seeing any hawks and the lack of clearings kept the sparrow sightings down.  Thought I heard a flycatcher once or twice but only one sound each time. A very birdy spot.  Well worth the visit.


  1. I suppose I should give this spot a second chance. My first visit was a dreary winter day, I only saw one other hiker, and a man with a tent near the top stared me down in a rather creepy manner. Thanks for all these interesting trip reports!

  2. Ugh, scary time. No tents up there yesterday, just families with their little kids hiking past. I was probably the creepy one yesterday, with camera and binoculars just standing there looking up into trees.