Birding Washington County | Site Guides | Noble Woods Park
Site Guide: Noble Woods Park, Hillsboro, Washington County, Oregon

copyright 2004 by Greg Gillson

Noble Woods
Mature forest greets visitors at the Baseline Road entrance. Photo January 2004 by Greg Gillson. Click for larger view.

This 38-acre park is a hidden gem on Baseline Road at NE 63rd Avenue / NW 231st Avenue in Hillsboro. It is about 1 mile west on Baseline Road from its intersection with Cornelius Pass Road. Tucked away in the middle of suburbia, it packs a mature Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and western redcedar forest onto both hillsides above the more open maple/alder stream bottom of Rock Creek.

There is a mile of paved trails, plus additional gravel and bark-chip trails, and a couple of foot bridges over Rock Creek. Another parking lot and entrance is at NW 231st Avenue and Borwick Road. Portable toilets are the only current amenities, but it appears that a small play park is being installed at the Borwick Road entrance.
Noble Woods
Rock Creek overlook is very scenic. Photo January 2004 by Greg Gillson. Click for larger view.
The terrain is quite steep in many places, so wheelchair accessibility is limited, primarily to the Borwick Road portion of the park.

The list of birds compiled from only a few visits by a few people throughout the year is impressive. Resident birds in the evergreen forest include Steller's Jay, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, and Brown Creeper. In fact, Brown Creeper was on every person's list from this park. Five were found by Dennis Manzer in June, and I saw 4 in January. In the riparian and deciduous portions of the park resident birds include Mallard, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadee, Bushtit, Bewick's Wren, American Robin, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow. Even Pileated Woodpecker has nested here.

Noble Woods
The view from the Rock Creek overlook. Photo January 2004 by Greg Gillson. Click for larger view.

Summer visitors include Western Wood-Pewee, Warbling Vireo, Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Barn Swallow, Swainson's Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

Winter visitors are Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Varied Thrush, and Fox Sparrow, in addition to the resident birds.

At the Borwick Road entrance there are residences with bird feeders and oak trees. These attract White-breasted Nuthatch, Western Scrub-Jay, House Finch, House Sparrow, European Starling, Lesser Goldfinch,
Noble Woods
Foot bridges cross over Rock Creek. Photo January 2004 by Greg Gillson. Click for larger view.
American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Brewer's Blackbird, in season.

Other birds seen, but the status of which is uncertain, include Anna's Hummingbird (June), Pine Siskin (May), Cooper's Hawk (June), Red Crossbill (October), and Townsend's Warbler (January). An open field along the stream bottom is responsible for occasional sightings of Red-winged Blackbird, Marsh Wren, Savannah Sparrow, Mourning Dove, and Red-tailed Hawk.

Noble Woods
A winter view of Rock Creek from one of the foot bridges. Photo January 2004 by Greg Gillson. Click for larger view.