Port Orford

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Elk River Road

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Floras Lake/New River

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Rocky Point Bridge

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Sixes & Cape Blanco

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Brush Creek

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Seasons

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Spring
Summer
Fall

Location

Port Orford is in northern Curry County on Hwy 101. It lies 28 miles north of Gold Beach and 27 miles south of Bandon. It’s 4.3 miles south of the junction of Highway 101 and Cape Blanco Road. For birding north of town, from central Port Orford at Highway 101 and 9th Street, travel 1.0 miles north to Paradise Point Road. Turn left (west) onto Paradise Point Road and travel 1.0 miles to its end (42.761107, -124.516308) and scan the sea for birds. There is a 3-mile (one way) trail that will take you north to the mouth of the Elk River. This is a great place to watch sea birds and bay birds. From Paradise Point, go back east on Paradise Point Road 0.7 miles and turn right (south) on Arizona Street for 0.3 miles until you come to a section of Garrison Lake. Pull over and bird here (42.755638, -124.500759). Continue south on Arizona Street for 0.2 miles and turn right (west) on Pinehurst Drive. At 0.1 miles check the old Mill Pond on the south side of the road (42.752560, -124.502988) and the city dock on the north side for ducks. From here, return east 0.3 miles back to Hwy 101 and turn right (south) on Hwy 101 for 0.6 miles through town to Harbor Drive. Turn right (south) on Harbor Drive (Harbor becomes Dock Road) to Battle Rock Beach (42.739445, -124.498911) and in 0.3 mile to the Port of Port Orford where you can scan the harbor and oceanside. Sea Watches can be done from the headland off of Coast Guard Road (42.739225, -124.510882). Return to Highway 101 from Harbor Drive and go north on Hwy 101 for 0.2 miles, then turn left (west) on 9th Street. Travel 0.2 miles west to Coast Guard Road. Take Coast Guard Road 0.8 miles to the Coast Guard facility and hike out to the headland. This area is called The Heads or Port Orford Heads Wayside. Walk the trail here for exceptional sea birding.

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Habitat and Birds

The town itself can produce some local rarities. Oregon’s first confirmed Common Moorhen was found here in 1976. Other oddities include a Blackpoll in 1992 (another in 1993), Rose-breasted Grosbeak in 1998, and Dickcissel in 1993. Common Grackle been found here several times and a Great-tailed Grackle visited in 1992 Orchard Oriole has also turned up in Port Orford. More common birds here include Wood Duck, Harlequin & Long-tailed Duck (look on the trail at The Heads), Surf Scoter, Red-throated Loon, Pacific Loon, Red-necked Grebe, Brown Pelican, Brandt’s Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Peregrine Falcon, Virginia Rail, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Red Phalarope, Heermann’s Gull, Thayer’s Gull, Ancient Murrelet, Cassin’s Auklet, hummingbirds (look for Allen’s, Anna’s, and Rufous on the trail at The Heads), Pileated Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Bewick’s Wren, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hutton’s Vireo, Varied Thrush, Wrentit, Cedar Waxwing, Fox Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow and Pine Siskin.

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