Brady Loop

Montesano, Washington

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To the uneducated eye, the land circled by Brady Loop looks like yet another typical series of agricultural fields. To the bird-watcher, however, the area around Brady Loop is a big playground, especially during fall migration, winter, and early spring. This valley was once inundated with water as the glacial floods of the last ice age sped toward the Pacific Ocean. Since then, the rivers that bound the valley have repeatedly deposited silt as they cut across it. When farmers began settling the area, they turned riparian wetlands into agricultural fields edged with shrubby riparian habitat. During the winter months, the fields turn into a giant, seasonal wetland. Hedgerows, shrubs, and riparian habitat edging the Chehalis River attract migrating songbirds. The birds, of course, attract bird-watchers. Habitats: Lowland riparian, wetlands, agricultural fields. Specialty birds: Tundra and Trumpeter Swans; Greater White-fronted Goose; White-tailed Kite; Bald Eagle; Peregrine Falcon; Sandhill Crane; Black-bellied, American, and Pacific Golden-Plovers; Willet; Short-billed Dowitcher; Bonaparte’s, Mew, and Western Gulls; Band-tailed Pigeon; Short-eared Owl; Vaux’s Swift; Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Red-breasted Sapsucker; Hutton’s Vireo.

Brady Loop Professional Review and Guide

"To the uneducated eye, the land circled by Brady Loop looks like yet another typical series of agricultural fields. To the bird-watcher, however, the area around Brady Loop is a big playground, especially during fall migration, winter, and early spring. This valley was once inundated with water as the glacial floods of the last ice age sped toward the Pacific Ocean. Since then, the rivers that bound the valley have repeatedly deposited silt as they cut across it. When farmers began settling the area, they turned riparian wetlands into agricultural fields edged with shrubby riparian habitat. During the winter months, the fields turn into a giant, seasonal wetland.

Hedgerows, shrubs, and riparian habitat edging the Chehalis River attract migrating songbirds. The birds, of course, attract bird-watchers. Habitats: Lowland riparian, wetlands, agricultural fields. Specialty birds: Tundra and Trumpeter Swans; Greater White-fronted Goose; White-tailed Kite; Bald Eagle; Peregrine Falcon; Sandhill Crane; Black-bellied, American, and Pacific Golden-Plovers; Willet; Short-billed Dowitcher; Bonaparte’s, Mew, and Western Gulls; Band-tailed Pigeon; Short-eared Owl; Vaux’s Swift; Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Red-breasted Sapsucker; Hutton’s Vireo."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Montesano
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best spring and fall for migrating waterfowl, winter for overwintering waterfowl
Trailhead Elevation: 10 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Grays Harbor Audubon Society
Driving Directions: Directions to Brady Loop

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May 2018