I shared photos of Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve on the blog about a year ago (this most recent trip was Ben and I's third visit), but it has quickly become a favorite wetlands in the Portland area and our trip this past weekend offered so many blooming flowers and chirping birds, that I couldn't help but share again.
Bird watching and photography has become a weekend hobby for Ben and I and we usually try to get out to a preserve or refuge about once every few months when the sun peeks out. We're in luck to have at least 5 spots close by. Jackson Bottom is in Hillsboro, about a 35 minute drive West of Portland on a day with no traffic and one of the most well-maintained spots in the nearby area. We took my parents last year but hadn't been back due to some winter flooding. I love the abundance of different trails at this specific preserve: a riparian forest trail with an overlook onto a river; a walk around a reservoir that offers views of some nesting osprey; a heron rookery trail; a walk around the wetlands for viewing of duck, geese, coot, egret, and heron; and a path that leads through some low brush for sightings of swallows, red wing blackbirds, and many other trilling song birds and sparrows.
On this trip in particular, we saw a ton of blooming flowers. I'd highly recommend an April visit as it seems to be the best time to catch the blossoms and the best time to catch nesting birds. We were thrilled to see some cinnamon teal in the water as there are some areas in Oregon that serve as mating grounds for them in the spring. We also saw the nesting osprey from afar and apparently earlier that day, they'd been chasing away the bald eagles flying overhead.