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June 4, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Bird Alliance of Oregon Birding Day: Willamette Birding: Baskett Slough NWR to Willamette Mission State Park with Dan van den Broek

Join Dan van den Broek to visit Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Willamette Mission State Park. We will begin exploring the 1,173 acres Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, an important place for wintering waterfowl, breeding wetland birds as well as protecting oak woodland and the very threatened Willamette Valley prairie.

In the open water and marshes of Cottonwood Pond and South Slough Pond we can find Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck and with some luck Black-necked Stilt and Wilson’s Phalarope.  A walk through the meadows, prairie grasslands, and oak woodland on Baskett Butte we may find Western Meadowlark, Cassin’s Vireo, Purple Finch and Lazuli Bunting.

Some of the wildflower in bloom throughout June include Winecup Clarkia, Ookow, Brodieae’s, Madia’s, Flax, Globe Gilia, checkermallow and others. This site is known as having the largest population of Fender’s Blue butterfly, which is now increasing at other sites. Once believed to be extinct, conservation efforts have helped this species recover from 3000 in 1993 to 19,000 in 2020.

About 4 miles north of Kaiser is the 1300 acre Willamette Mission State Park where wetlands, fields, farmland and rare Willamette River floodplain forest make an outstanding place to explore nature. At this time of year the forest is filled with breeding birds that just arrived a few weeks earlier and we hope to find a few such as Warbling Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, Bullock’s Oriole, Black-throated Gray, Orange-crowned, Yellow and Wilson’s Warblers, Western Tanager. Time allowing we can stop to see the largest Black Cottonwood in the U.S. a 270 year old tree, standing an impressive 155 ft.

Along the way, we’ll discuss some of the ongoing conservation issues in these areas. 

Birders of all experience levels are welcome. Make sure to bring lunch and dress for the weather.

$65 – $85
A Black-necked Stilt is standing in shallow water.
Black-necked Stilt, photo by Mick Thompson

Bird with Dan along the Willamette!

Spend a day at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Willamette Mission State Park searching for breeding birds in wetlands, floodplain forest, oak woodland and Willamette Valley prairie. We’ll also enjoy the wildflowers and butterflies we see along the way.


Accessibility and Parking Fees/Permits

Distance: Driving: you will need to drive to Baskett Slough and Willamette Mission
Walking: ~6 miles combined
Elevation changes: 216’ elevation gain at Baskett Butte, mostly flat at South Slough Ponds and flat but with a few small hills at Willamette Mission
Trail: Mostly paths and roads, some uneven terrain
Pacing: Slow to moderate; many stops.
Rest stops: A few benches at the more developed parks
Sun exposure: The walk to South Slough Ponds is an exposed 2 mile walk.  The other sites expect sun to part shade, depending on the weather
Amenities(bathrooms and parking): Basic bathroom facilities and porta-potties at Baskett Slough.  Proper bathroom facilities at Willamette Mission S.P.
Public transit: None
Fees and Permits: Willamette Mission $5 Parking Fee or Oregon State Park Pass

Trip Details

  • Leader: Dan van den Broek
  • Date and time: June 4, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Fee: $85 members / $115 non-members


June 4, 2023
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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