jack williamson | Gotter Prairie Natural Area

Gotter Prairie Natural Area

July 12, 2015  •  2 Comments

I birded another one of Metro's natural areas this weekend. This time it was Gotter Prairie in Scholls. According to their website, "[t]he more than 120 acres that used to be the Gotter farm are being transformed from agriculture to rare oak savanna and wet prairie, along with forested wetlands and riparian areas."

The inhospitable conditions that I experienced at the Coffee Lake Wetland on June 14 had me second guessing my choice to bird this area.

That was until I arrived on the Prairie at 7:00 am Saturday morning. During my first visit, I covered 3.25 miles in just over four hours and tallied 26 species of birds. The best of which were two nesting pair of LAZULI BUNTING, too many SAVANNAH SPARROW with young to count, an out of place SPOTTED SANDPIPER, a PIED-BILLED GREBE with chick, two AMERICAN BITERN, a brief glimpse of one of five SWAINSON'S THRUSH, four VAUX SWIFT, one recently fledged Common Yellowthroat, and a WESTERN TANAGER.

On Sunday, I traveled 2.5 miles over 3 hours, and added seven species to my list, bringing my total to 33 for this area.  

INTERACTIVE MAP (Saturday's track is red - Sunday's blue):

Toggle tracks [on|off] by clicking the icon in the upper left-hand corner of the map then select one or both tracks


Lazuli Bunting: Spotted Sandpiper:

My second-ever Marsh Wren nest:

Pied-billed Grebe:
Pied-billed Grebe (chick): American Bittern: American Coot (chicks):

"Assessing and tracking habitat quality and restoration effectiveness using breeding birds as a bio-indicator". The basics; timed surveys taken of breeding birds from fixed point count stations deployed within specific habitats from May 15th to June 30th each year. Below is one of several Point Count Markers found in the area:

Savannah Sparrow:

The shy Swainson's Thrush: Common Yellowthroat (fledgling): Western Tanager:

A collection of Barn Swallow: Another pair of Lazuli Bunting:


Downy Woodpecker:

Bewick's Wren Bald Eagle watching over the Tualatin River: The work of a Pileated Woodpecker:
Common Yellowthroat (female): Great Blue Heron: Belted Kingfisher: Unsuspecting fawn: Savannah Sparrow (molting its tail feathers): Common Yellowthroat (male): A very cooperative Barn Swallow:

Western Wood-Pewee

A three minute video on how this site is being utilized as a seed bank for future restoration projects.

Metro's Gotter Prairie And Native Plant Center from oregonmetro on Vimeo.



Bob Archer(non-registered)
Thanks for spreading the word, I did not know the preserve was there.
Priscilla Sokolowski(non-registered)
Such a beautiful place with such varied habitat. Wish I lived closer to it. Excellent photos once again!
No comments posted.