From I-5 near the Columbia River, take exit 307 to Marine Drive. Go east on Marine Drive for 4.0 miles and turn into the parking area for Broughton Beach. You can read the Birding Trail guide for this location by going to the Oregon Birding Trails Website. Choose the Willamette Valley Birding Trail. Click on the Trail Guide and choose the Portland Loop Guide. Section P-3.
From the parking area, you can walk east either on a bicycle/pedestrian path that also overlooks the airport, or along the shore. There are places where one can walk from one to the other so it’s possible to make a loop.Directions
Habitat and Birds
Broughton Beach is best in fall and winter when typically large rafts of Lesser and Greater Scaup are present. Gulls can be plentiful, especially by a spit that is about 0.5 miles east of the parking lot. Numerous birds hard to find away from the river can occur there including Common, Pacific and Red-breasted Loons; Surf Scoters and rarely White-winged and Black Scoters; Common Mergansers are common and rarely Red-breasted Merganser; Common Goldeneye and sometimes Barrow’s Goldeneye. Red-necked Grebe has become regular in winter and Western and Horned Grebes are often seen. Short-eared Owls roost in the area and can sometimes be seen flying around during the day. In fall the spit mentioned above can be good for shorebirds, but they are frequently chased off by off-leash dogs.
This has been a good place for Horned Larks in Fall, presumably post-breeders wandering from the adjacent airport, but as of 2021 they have become scarce.