Heceta Lighthouse and Sea Lion Caves

The rain held off all day on the central Oregon coast today.  I forget what these yellow wildflowers are called.  But they are blooming all along the cliffs of Hwy 101.

Spring flowers blooming on the coast
Spring flowers blooming on the coast

Heceta Head Lighthouse is undergoing renovations.  It is expected to take a little over a year.  You can still hike up to it.  The B&B and gift shop are still open.  It’s a beautiful place!

Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse

The sea lions were out sunning themselves today.  We could see them to the south of the Heceta Lighthouse overlook; towards the Sea Lion Caves.  We could hear them but not as well as when they are right below the overlook.  Click on the picture to enlarge it and look at the marking on one of them to the far left of the picture.  I wonder who marks them and why are they marked?  I also like the 2 (or 3) in the center of the picture who are nuzzling up to the dark one.  Is that called “necking”? 🙂

Sea Lions outside the caves
Sea Lions outside the caves

According to Bryan Wright, Biometrician, Marine Mammal Research Program, ODFW, here’s the LD on the branded sea lion:
It looks like 121R, which would be a female we branded at Rogue Reef in 2001 (almost 11 years old).  This is a good sighting because it appears she hasn’t been seen since 2009.  Before that she’d been seen most years, almost always at Sea Lion Caves.  She has also been seen at St. George Reef in California, and a couple sites in Oregon (Orford Reef, Cape Arago).  Sea Lions are branded as pups and they are put to “sleep” to do it.  They brand them to keep track of survivability and location.

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