Travel seven miles south of Monmouth on Hwy 99W to Suver Road. Turn left (east) on Suver and travel 2.2 miles to Corvallis Road. Turn right (south) and go 4.4 miles to NW Springhill Drive. Turn left (east) on Springhill and drive .8 miles to Buena Vista Road. Turn left (north) and travel 1.25 miles to a dirt road on the right that is just before the bridge over the Luckiamute River. Take this road to the parking area for the natural area. To access this area from the south, take I-5 exit 234 to Hwy 99E. Go west two miles and take the Hwy 20 north exit. Travel north until Hwy 20 crosses the Willamette River. Just after crossing the river take a right on Springhill Drive. Drive 6.8 miles to Buena Vista Road and follow the instructions above.Directions
Habitat and Birds
There are lots of possibilities at this riverside natural area. Located at the confluence of two major rivers (Willamette and Santiam), this small piece of native woodland harkens back to a time when the entire river bottom was covered with thick riparian vegetation. The birds flock to areas like this and even the surrounding farmlands reflect this attraction. This is the only reliable spot in Polk county to find Red-eyed Vireos, which are in the gallery forest. Other species seen in this area include Greater White-fronted Geese, Cackling Geese, Great Egret, Osprey, Rough-legged Hawk, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Barn Owl, Western Screech-Owl, Saw-whet Owl, Common Nighthawk, Vaux’s Swift, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Cassin’s Vireo, Hutton’s Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, and Wrentit. Tennessee Warbler was seen here once. There used to be a small pond that attracted more ducks (such as wood ducks), but the surrounding area has grown up so much to make it all but inaccessible. Beavers and other wildlife can be seen here as well. A Sedge Wren was found nearby here in 2007.