The Nehalem Bay Sewage Ponds (45.714376, -123.885571) are managed by the Nehalem Bay Wastewater Agency, phone 503-368-5125. The site is open from 7 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday, and closed on all federal holidays. The ponds are located 24 miles north of Tillamook.
To reach the ponds from Nehalem, travel south on Hwy 101 for 1.0 miles to Tideland Rd, turn right (west) travel 0.7 miles to the parking area on the left. The east side of the parking area is signed for visitor parking. No Restrooms.
The Nehalem River–dike trail (45.709530, -123.887877) can be reached by returning southerly on Tideland Rd. for 0.5-mile to a small dike access turnout. Portions of the Nehalem Bay Sewage Ponds can be viewed from this dike by walking northerly along the dike for 0.5 mile.
Oregon Birding Trail: Choose the Oregon Coast Birding Trail, click on the North Coast tab and go to section 28
Habitat and Birds
Nehalem Bay Sewage Ponds are entered via a signed birder gate visible from the parking area. The gate is generally unlocked during business hours and locked at all other times including weekends. Management of the facility has alternated between opening the gate regularly and locking it for long periods. If the gate is locked do not enter. Once inside the open gate bird the ponds from the dikes. Note that the facility management at times posts closure signs for areas of the dikes and entire ponds. Please respect the signs and do not enter closed areas. If the gate is locked, the ponds can be viewed, with some walking, from the Nehalem River–dike trail.
The area has much the same birds as the Nehalem Meadows site but in a more concentrated location. It is best known for a good variety of common and occasionally uncommon waterfowl.
Like many coastal sewage lagoons, this is a good place to check at high tide. Shorebirds can use the ponds as a high tide roost. Golden-Plovers, Baird’s Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper all have been found here.
Passerines include Black Phoebe, wintering Palm Warbler, Lincoln’s Sparrow and Western Meadowlark, and in fall American Pipit.