The Alder Island Trail at Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge has to be one of our top favorite birding locations. I checked my records, and this is our twelfth trip there this year. The trail is well maintained, and provides a variety of looks at the Siletz River and the sloughs that surround the island. Yesterday was a cold morning in the mid 30's when we left Dallas and drove through thick fog before some clearing along the Salmon River. Arriving at the Refuge around 9:30AM it was sill only 42 degrees and a cold wind made it seem even colder. We made the one mile loop around the island before retreating back to the van and its warm furnace to have some hot-chocolate. This is why we love the van, even for just day trips. It allows us a refuge in all kinds of weather conditions. Hot chocolate turned into tuna salad sandwiches and chips for lunch before taking a second lap to finish off our outing.
This is our kind of place, paved roads, an empty parking lot, gravel trails, lots of birds, and a warm van awaiting our return.