Wednesday, November 2, 2022


Located in the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is one of only a handful of urban national wildlife refuges across the country.
To break up a dreary, rainy weekend and get some fresh air we decided to go for a visit when the weather seemed to improve a little on Sunday afternoon.

Situated within the floodplain of the Tualatin River, the refuge supports some of the most abundant and varied wildlife in the watershed.
Among the four designated flyway routes in North America, this refuge is along the route of the Pacific Flyway route; this migratory route is utilized by billions of birds every year, and spans from Alaska through South America. Tualatin River NWR provides important habitat for migratory birds seeking refuge and respite along their migratory route.

We walked through the small visitor center, learning a little bit about the area, the refuge and the wildlife and had a look through the scopes that are set up in front of a large viewing window.
Besides lots of Canadian geese and ducks we spotted some Nutrias:



Nutria, a large, semi-aquatic rodent native to South America, were brought to the United States for their fur in the 1880s. They construct burrows in banks of rivers, sloughs, and ponds, sometimes causing considerable erosion.
In Oregon, nutria are classified as an invasive species and unprotected non-game wildlife.  That means they can be trapped and killed; they cannot be relocated.
Here in the refuge they are 'monitored' ...

We spend some time on the viewing platform outside which overlooks a couple of large ponds ..
Besides lots of Canadian geese I managed to spot a few different ducks like these Green-winged Teals:

And these Pintailed ducks ...

The geese were loud to begin with but when they all of a sudden all took flight it turned into a cacophony!

Reason why ..


I didn't think geese or ducks would have anything to fear from a Bald Eagle but apparently they are  incredibly opportunistic feeders and will take everything from their primary food source, fish, to ducks, geese, swans, and other waterfowl, especially when the weather is bad or, as in this case during the immigration flights there is a true smorgasbord right in front of them.

The weather held and we decided to go for the 2 mile hike which leads you through the forestry areas of the refuge. There's another hike which takes you around the ponds and through the swamps but it's closed from November to April to protect the birds while resting and nesting.

I was lucky to spot this small snake hanging in a bush besides the path. I think it is a Western Garter snake variety:

The path leads you by the Tualatin River ..

According to this info-board there are river-otters, salmon, trout and even craw-fish in it's waters!
None of them were present, or visible, but the river was beautiful and very calm ..

A little further we crossed a bridge over a muddy creek ..

And spotted a blue Heron fishing for dinner. Most likely he was after frogs which we heard croaking everywhere around us.


At the farthest end of the 2-mile loop you could see the visitor center where we started from through an opening in the trees ..

It stayed dry all the way back which made for a very enjoyable walk but it started up again when we drove back home. Perfect timing!
We definitely want to go back in the spring when they re-open the other trail. It's a beautiful place to walk!

And than of course there was Halloween this week:

Last year I missed it somehow, I didn't think it would be much .. small town, you know, how good can it be?
But when I saw some pictures of the event I regretted not having been there, so it definitely was on my calendar for this year:

Despite the weather, fortunately it was only drizzling, main street was packed with children and their parents ..

Many of the stores were open and gave out candy:

I've never seen so many different costumes in my life!

I hate spiders and I would never in my life walk around with one on my back, not even a fake one!


There were a large number of hilarious inflatables walking around:


Everybody in this family got into the spirit! Even Grandma went giddy-up!

After a while we drove to The Greens, the 'rich neighborhood' of town around the golf course, where people like to go all out decorating their houses for Halloween (and Christmas).

How about this family sitting around the campfire, complete with a dog, a cat and .. a dinosaur?

And that was Halloween for this year. Up next .. Thanksgiving!

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