Along the Columbia River

I walked for several hours at the Sandy River Delta this afternoon (Birding Oregon p. 63). Aside from two American Pipits and a Peregrine Falcon, birding was pretty slow, which was not too surprising given the heat and time of day. Even when there aren’t a lot of birds around, there is always something to see.


I spent a lot of time exploring the tidal ponds along the Columbia River. The river level is affected daily by tides and by releases from dams upstream. The water was low today, so lots of wildlife was crowded into the shrinking pools.


The little pools were filled with Banded Killifish. This species has been introduced to Oregon.


Along the with many non-native Bullfrogs was this Pacific Treefrog in a brilliant green.


Here’s another Pacific Treefrog in brown. He was “hiding” under water.


Of course, where you have fish and frogs in shallow pools, you will have garter snakes. I believe this is a Northwestern Garter.

Northwestern Garter Snakes are supposed to have seven scales on their upper lips, but this guy has eight.


And for those of you who don’t appreciate fish and herps, enjoy these lovely flowers (and tell me what they are if you know).

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This entry was posted in OR Birding Sites, reptiles & amphibians and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Along the Columbia River

  1. Richard Lingo says:

    Just thought I would correct two mistaken species ID’s. The garter snakes with red on them are not Northwestern Garter snakes. That’s why your scale counts are off. Those are Oregon Red Spotted Garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis concinnus.

    Also, your “Pacific Treefrog in brown” is not a pacific treefrog. I know it looks very similar to one but that is a young northern red legged frog, a larger native species.

    Great photos, I enjoyed viewing them.

    • John Rakestraw says:

      Thanks, Rick. I appreciate the info. I hope to spend some time really learning my Oregon herps this summer. I have spent most of my limited outdoor time obsessing on birds.

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