Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society

Birding Locations: Pasco to the Snake River, Franklin County, Washington

Back to Birding Locations Main Page
The Great Washington State Birding Trail Map for the Sun and Sage Loop is available from Audubon Washington.  The map offers more birding locations and  information for birding in South Central Washington.

Chiawana Park
, Pasco, Franklin County, Washington
click here for Google Map
Coordinates:  46.247182,-119.206617

Chiawana Park is a day use and boating access park on the Pasco bank of the Columbia River.  From Court Street, turn south (toward the river) on Road 88.  (There is no access from Road 96.)

This is a great location to search for migrants. Walk the trees. At the west end of the park, a small trail goes through thicker riaprian habitat. Good in migration and rarities have been found in winter including Red-breasted Sapsucker.
The walking and bicycle path which extends along the West Pasco side of the River runs through the Park.

The park is divided into two distinct segments of wooded area, with an intervening open area.  There are sheltered picnic areas, boat ramp and seasonal restroom facilities and drinking fountains.


Pasco Humane Society Pond, Pasco, Franklin County, Washington    
click here for Google Map
Coordinates:  46.224918,-119.114285

The pond next to the Humane Society facility has riparian habitat good for migrants. Waterfowl gather here in winter and spring - a bit of an oasis away from the river. This area is also accessible from the trail that runs along the dike.  Look for raptors in the trees east of the pond.  
 

Sacajawea State Park, Franklin County, Washington
click here for Google Map
Coordinates:  46.199654,-119.040416

Sacajawea State Park is a day-use park on the north shore where the Snake River joins the Columbia River.  With extensive freshwater river shoreline, large old trees, and extensive trails, this area is a good birding spot year around.   In winter, eagles return each afternoon to roost in the trees.  Several types of owls are found in the Park.  Many waterfowl and migrants are likely to be seen here.  Walk the extensive trails, especially in migration season.  Look for Wood Duck, White-throated Sparrows and Blackpoll Warbler. Hood Park is nearby, on the south shore of the Snake River. See McNary and Tyson Ponds Maps also.

The road into Sacajawea State Park is closed in winter but one can park outside the gate and walk in.  

Water treatment ponds, just outside the Park on Commerce Street, may yield sightings of ducks and possibly a few shorebirds.

Follow the link for historical information and hours of the Interpretive Center.

See also Birder's Guide to Washington, Page 349


Job's Nursery, Franklin County, Washington
click here for Google Map
Coordinates:  46.318274,-119.214191

This retail nursery at 4072 Columbia River Road is located north of Pasco.  From Road 68, turn west on Columbia River Road.  The Nursery has grounds with a host of trees. Ask permission to walk around.  Winter sometimes brings Common Redpolls to this location.

You may also wish to visit Job's Nursery website.


Selph Landing Marsh, Franklin County, Washington
click here for Google Map
Coordinates:  46.327017,-119.126129

Selph Landing Marsh is located on Glade Road, north of Pasco.  An isolated spot in the middle of dry open fields, this marsh has a good variey of birds in winter. A tradtional spot for the Christmas Bird Count, rarities such as Virginia Rail and Harris' Sparrow have been found here.  The marsh has many overwintering sparrows and a few interesting water birds.


Ringold, Franklin County, Washington
click here for Google Map
Coordinates:  46.509617,-119.255648

Ringold, located north of Pasco on the Columbia River, is reached by taking Road 68 north which becomes Taylor Flats Road; Ringold Road is left turn (west) from Taylor Flats Road.  Drive this road and continue north on dirt roads. Bird riparian areas for migrants. Drive around fish hatchery ponds for shorebirds if the water levels are good.
From Ringold, continue walking past the gate to Wahluke Unit of the Hanford Reach National Monument.

See also Birder's Guide to Washington, Page 371


Smith Canyon, Franklin County, Washington
click here for Google Map
Coordinates:  46.485983,-118.89164

To reach Smith Canyon, take Highway 395 north from Pasco to Eltopia.  Exit east on Blanton Road; then right on Smith Canyon Road to follow the canyon.  Stop and listen for singing.  The road is best in spring.  This is native habitat with Grasshopper Sparrows and other shrub-steppe birds. Remember to look up for raptors including Ferruginous Hawk.  Farther along the road, the habitat becomes entirely agricultural and bird diversity diminishes.   


Scootney Reservoir, Franklin County, Washington
click here for Google Map
Coordinates:  46.703144,-119.010773

Scootney Reservoir is located between Mesa and Othello, on Highway 17.  This is a great place for viewing shorebirds in fall, Sandhill Cranes in spring, and waterfowl.
Shorebird viewing from heights requires a scope.  You may also walk along cliff top as far as the coulee.

See also Birder's Guide to Washington, page 368.