It’s amazing how fast the temps change on the Oregon Coast; even in the Spring. I believe it depends on which way the wind blows. (Maybe that’s obvious to a meteorologist. hahaha)
We had a long, wet spring and it seems like the wildlife cycle is a little late. That’s not a scientific fact; just a feeling.
The wild berries also seem a little late. I love the Salmonberries when they are a little over-ripe like this one. And I think they are the prettiest when red rather than the earlier school bus orange. I’ve found that the Salmonberries that get more sun aren’t as sweet; no matter how ripe they are. So look for a bush that is mostly shaded during the day.
“Eagle!” my content advisor (as he likes to go by) calls out. I look out the window in time to see the adult eagle swoop down to the river. Fumbling with my camera, I watch it land briefly on the rocks, pick something out of the river and continue flying upriver.
Keeping my eye on him I get my lens cap off, turn on the camera and get out the door onto our deck overlooking the Alsea River near the Oregon Coast. He landed! The “eagle has landed”; to borrow a phrase from my childhood.
I hear another eagle chirp every minute or so; like a juvenile keeping in close contact with a parent who has food. And, sure enough…here comes the kid with a hollow leg.
Then another adult flew in to greet the two!
It happened too quick to get a photo of all 3 eagles together. The camera doesn’t always win when I have to make a split-second choice between watching wildlife and photographing it. The two adults flew off together and the young one stayed on the rock. I couldn’t tell if the parent finished eating or left something for Junior.
Bald Eagles get their adult plumage in about 5 years. This one looks like it is beginning to get its white head feathers.
We’re enjoying a snowday from home today. Snow on the beach is such a rarity on the Oregon Coast and I got to kinda see it once…at midnight…from a distance…lit by my camera flash…see here: Snow on Tillicum Beach
Today I’m enjoying it from up the Alsea River.
We had plans for going to Newport to volunteer at the Family History Center and then do our weekly grocery shopping. But caution prevails today.
Some don’t mind travelling on snow days but the duck route isn’t any different than any other day on the river.
Most of the snow fell before the tide started going out this morning.
Salmonberries first gathered weeds from the high river last month and now snow.
At first I thought this was a mallard hen. But I’ve never seen a mallard dive underwater and swim. This one dove several times in the tidewater of the Alsea River. Watch the video and tell me if you think this is a mallard. A still photo of her is below the link to the video.
The Merganser chicks’ wings are developing. They aren’t big enough to fly yet but they can dive and they look like they are flying under water.
Mama Merganser is on the left in the next photo. Compare her wings, which include a white patch, to her chicks. They’ve had their nap and are now ready to get back to business.
Before this family landed on the rocks of the Alsea River, Mama Merganser was chasing something in the river. I couldn’t see what it was but 2 Mallards also came from across the river quacking at the same thing. Whatever it was never came back. The Mallards didn’t even have chicks with them. I thought it was cool that they joined forces with Mama Merganser.
With as many predators who love the tender merganser veal I’m always impressed by the number of chicks a mom is able to raise. This mom has eleven chicks and it is probably due to their strict obedience to her.