Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society

Birding Locations: Richland (north of I-182), Benton County, Washington

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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.
Howard Amon Park, Richland, Benton County, Washington
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Coordinates: 46.274656,-119.272299

This Richland City Park along the Columbia River, just north of the Pasco Bridge, provides opportunities to observe waterfowl, shorebirds, and gulls along the river's edge.  The large old trees in trees in the Park can harbor migrants as well as the common birds of the area.  This is a maintained park without large natural areas, however, the other facilities (playgrounds, tennis courts, adjacent galleries and businesses) make this a convenient family birding destination in the heart of town.

See also Birder's Guide to Washington, Page 346 (not specific)


W. E. Johnson Park (aka Johnson Park), Richland, Benton County, Washington
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Coordinates: 46.272861, -119.310614

One of the best birding locations in the Tri-Cities, this unmarked park is entirely natural area on the bank of the Yakima River.  Dirt paths and roads wind through heavy undergrowth, stands of trees, ponds, and creeks.  In wet seasons, some paths are submerged.  Remember where you walk as trails are not marked. Migrants, winter thrushes, sparrows and Yellow-breasted Chat are often seen.

Although there are entrances at both ends, birders typically enter on the southern end.  Park on Tanglewood (on the street and walk down the asphalt road and through the white gate (no vehicles allowed beyond the gate).    

See also Birder's Guide to Washington, Page 348.


Leslie Groves Park / Nelson Island, Richland, Benton County, Washington
click here for intractive Google Map
Coordinates: 46.311189,-119.262772

This long narrow Richland City Park extends along the Columbia River north of Howard Amon Park along several miles of shoreline.  Bicycle and walking paths, maintained and natural areas, playgrounds and sports facilities are found at various points.  Parking lots are located at the eastern ends of Newcomer, Park, Saint and Snyder Streets.

Nelson Island is located offshore and harbors colonies of nesting gulls and waterfowl in the Spring.  In addition to common birds of the Tri-Cities, Leslie Groves is a good place to see the area's migrant species in the appropriate seasons and Barrow's Goldeneye.  

See also Birder's Guide to Washington, Page 348.


North Richland Neighborhoods, Richland, Benton County, Washington
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Coordinates: 46.309292,-119.263201

The tree-lined neighborhoods north of McMurray Street and east of George Washington Way are a little known haven for winter rarities, because of the large number of older plantings that support them.  This residential area is adjacent to Leslie Groves Park.  

One strategy for finding winter rarities that seems to work here is to drive until birds are detected and then to walk the area.   Rare birds detected have included Bohemian Waxwing (fairly regularly), White-breasted Nuthatch, Red Crossbill, Mountain Chickadee (in an invasion year), Pine Siskin, Common Redpoll, Townsend’s Solitaire, and Pine Grosbeak.

Remember, these are residential neighborhoods deserving considerate birder behavior. 

Chamna Nature Preserve (aka Chamna Park) / Acme Ponds,
Richland, Benton County, Washington
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Coordinates:  46.255758,-119.27968

Chamna is a Richland City Park with trails maintained by the Tapteal Greenway Association.  (Visit their Chamna web page for more information.)

Chamna's strip of trees and riparian area along the bank of the Yakima River provide the opportunity to see any of the migrant list species.  Oriole nests suspended in the trees in any season are a reminder of this annual nesting visitor.  Many trails through riparian growth give one many birding opportunities.  The vastness of this area is largely unexplored by birders.  

ACME Concrete Ponds - be very careful of commercial traffic. Use a scope to look for shorebirds, which are often seen at the Ponds.

Chamna is located just south of the I-182 / Hwy 240 cloverleaf intersection.  It is also a popular area with fishermen.


Interstate 182 Bridge over Yakima River, Benton County Washington
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Coordinates:  46.258836,-119.292533

The area on the west side of this bridge (between the canal and the Yakima River) is a great place to bird in all seasons, less so in summer. A good variety of all wintering, migrant, and breeding birds may be seen.   Historically, several vagrants and rarer species have been seen including Black-and-white Warbler (seen in 2004), Bohemian Waxwing, Golden-crowned Sparrow and more.  The water and surrounding trees near the bridge are a good place to look for Wilson's Snipe in winter.


Hanford Site

The Hanford Reservation is a closed area, open only to personnel with badges.  We include this location in this web page for information only.  Birds sighted in various Hanford locations (i.e., The Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), Energy Northwest or Columbia Generating Station, and Laser Inferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO)) are reported in the Bird Sightings Column published in the CurlewSightings of significant birds are mentioned for long term record keeping as well as general information so that birds can be sought elsewhere.  Significant finds have included Gyrfalcon, Snowy Owl, Black-throated Sparrow, and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch.