Sandy River Delta
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The Sandy River Delta, particularly its E side, is a unique area of extensive open habitat near the mouth of the Columbia Gorge. As such, it draws birds that are otherwise hard to find in the northern Willamette Valley. In late spring thru summer look for nesting Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lazuli Bunting and Bullock’s Oriole. Eastern Kingbirds reach the western limit of their documented breeding range on the E side of the delta. Many intermontane-region vagrants such as Sage Thrasher and Mountain Bluebird have been found. The delta also includes access to reclaimed wetlands which now host Sora and Virginia Rail, Cinnamon Teal, and Solitary Sandpiper (in migration). In winter, look for Northern Shrike and check sparrow flocks for rarities such as Harris’ Sparrow. River views at the ends of the trails are good for loons, grebes, and diving ducks in winter. A though-provoking “bird blind” sculpture designed by Maya Lin can be reached via a 1.2 mi trail from the parking area.
From I-84 eastbound near Troutdale, to reach the west bank of delta take Exit 17, turn N at bottom of ramp onto Graham Rd and follow for 1 mi (road curves to W), then turn R on Sundial Rd and continue 0.5 mi. From there walk N along a gravel road to reach the Columbia River. To reach the east bank, take Exit 18 onto ramp that curves back toward W. At bottom of ramp turn N (R) to pass under freeway, and follow frontage road 0.2 mi E to gravel parking area on L, just before the frontage road turns into on-ramp for I-84 westbound. From here walk trails NE into grasslands or follow a causeway that leads N along the Sandy River.