Tag Archives: alsea bay

Harbor Seal Pups

The sandbar east of the Alsea Bay Bridge is a nursery for Harbor Seals this month.  The eagles and buzzards hang around a lot this time of year.

harbor seal pups
Lots of harbor seal pups are born on the central Oregon Coast around Mother’s Day

Pups nurse for 4 weeks on mom’s rich milk.

sloppy seal nursing
This one needs a bib

Pups learn their mothers voice.  Nap time is snuggle time.

seal mom and pup nuzzle
Mom and pup nuzzle while napping

Seal puppy kisses  🙂

seal pup kiss
Sweet puppy kisses

The pups lose their umbilical cord after about a week.  You can see this one’s bellybutton scar.

seal pup bellybutton
Pink bellybutton scar on seal pup

Here’s a cute video of mom and pup swimming and playing in the Alsea Bay.

[youtube https://youtu.be/qofLqWpVUrQ]

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Goose Herding for Mother’s Day

These Canada Geese parents make herding a gaggle of goslings look pretty easy!

canada geese with 7 chicks
7 goslings stick close

The chicks really blend into the grass so I had to wait until they took to the water to get a good pic.  This couple has 7!  I combined the rest of the pix into a YouTube slideshow below.  One or both the parents swam with their head down.  It looked like they were protecting the chicks from the other geese but I’m not sure.  I read that several couples gather together after the chicks hatch.  This is called a creche.  I wonder if geese in one creche protect the chicks from geese in another creche?

[youtube https://youtu.be/FjwtPVepIvs]

Happy Mother’s Day!

Spring Wildlife

There are signs of spring everywhere on the Oregon Coast.  See the 2 grey dots between the one elk’s ears?  That’s the bull who recently shed his antlers.  I think the bulls lose their antlers just before birthing season so they can get in touch with their feminine side. They’re a little more humble without antlers.  🙂

Bull elk shed his antlers
Bull elk shed his antlers

The Canada Geese are pairing up and building their nests.  You can see them on the Alsea Bay and up the river.  Eckman Lake is a good place to see a lot of them on their nests.

Canada Geese beginning to nest
Canada Geese beginning to nest

The brown pelicans have been here for over a month now.  These were in Yachats.  Seagulls are here year-round.

Brown Pelicans fishing off Yachats River
Brown Pelicans fishing off Yachats River

This is looking at Waldport from the beautiful arch on the Alsea Bay Bridge.  It’s my favorite place to look for seal pups.

Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport, OR
Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport, OR

It’s common to see Pelagic Cormorants diving in the bay and coming up with nesting material.  They make nests under the bridge out of sight of all but the boaters.

Cormorant under Alsea Bridge
Cormorant under Alsea Bridge

There are wall-to-wall harbor seals but I didn’t see any babies on this day (Apr 10, ’15).  Seals are able to delay implantation after their egg is fertilized.  Now, how does their body know, 9 months ahead, when will be the best conditions for giving birth?  I have a lot of questions when I get to heaven!  🙂

Wall-to-wall seals in Alsea Bay
Wall-to-wall seals in Alsea Bay

These seals were finished with their nap and were crabbing near the base of the bridge.

Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay
Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay

Diving Brown Pelicans

Some old friends are back on the Central Coast.

seagull
Well, the Seagulls never leave

But loons are not as common.  I’m not sure what kind of loon this is though.

loon - alsea bay waldport oregon
Weather Loon says it’s raining

Brown Pelicans are fun to watch as they dive so clumsily into the Alsea Bay.

[youtube http://youtu.be/iQ7ZsnlGK8Y]

Supermoon – Central Oregon Coast

The western sky looked mostly clear around 6pm so we decided to head to Waldport to see if we’d get a shot at the last Supermoon of 2014.

looking east from alsea bay bridge
Maybe the Supermoon will rise right there?

Looks like there’s a very small window of opportunity on the eastern horizon.

foggy sunset
Foggy Sunset

I’m also watching the sunset over my shoulder…

great blue heron alsea bay
Great Blue Heron in the bay

and a couple Great Blue Heron fishing…

harbor seals splashing alsea bay
Harbor Seals splashing

and the seals cavorting.

sunset waldport
Waldport got a little sunset color

The sunset cast a little bit of color.

kayaking alsea bay
Kayaking at Sunset in Alsea Bay

A couple kayakers were taking a sunset cruise but it was becoming evident that I would not see the supermoon from the Alsea Bay Bridge.

alsea bay bridge
Pretty lines of the Alsea Bay Bridge

Back in Tidewater, the supermoon crept over the mountain at 9:10pm.

supermoon sep 2014
Supermoon – Sep 2014

Pop! Goes the Harbor Seal!

If you’ve ever been 9 months pregnant, I’m sure you can relate to this mama seal.  She just cooled off in the Alsea Bay and now she’s warming up in the sun.

Pregnant Harbor Seal
Pregnant Harbor Seal

I saw lots of new seal pups last Friday.  A lot of them were out of good range for my zoom lens.  An eagle came and sat on the beach for quite a while too.

harbor seals, pups and eagle
From the Alsea Bay Bridge, looking east

There were 3 or 4 pups close to the bridge.  They usually stick close to their moms.  Although I saw one swimming alone and wanted to warn him of the dangers.  When they swim with their moms, they nuzzle up to their moms often.  It reminds me of seeing young children in a grocery store with their moms; hanging onto her clothes or her leg.   When the seals are floating on the surface, the moms often tilt their head back.  I’ve seen them do it even when they are alone.  But when they have a pup, her baby kisses her nose.

harbor seal mom and pup
Seal mom and pup touch noses

Seals are much more comfortable moving in the water than on land.  Sea Lions can use their hind flippers to help move them on land but seals cannot.  This pup looked like he felt so free being in the water.  Click on the photo to enlarge it and you can see its umbilical cord!  One source says this indicates the pup is less than 10 days old.

harbor seal mom and pup
Pups just wanna have fun!

 

Fat, Cool, and Happy…as long as we’re in the water

Just a few more minutes dear…

harbor seals relax in water
Relaaaaaaax

We watched the harbor seals bobbing in Yaquina Bay while we had lunch on the South Jetty, Newport.  It was 90F yesterday!

harbor seals nuzzle
Seal Snuggles

Today, I looked for seal pups from the Alsea Bay Bridge.

harbor seal pup and mom
Pupping Season

I think there were a few but this was the closest one to me.

20 - 30 seals swooshed into the water
20 – 30 seals swooshed into the water

The funniest thing happened…all at once, about 20 – 30 seals lept off the beach into the bay.  I couldn’t see any reason for it.

Maybe that’s how they leave the beach…all at once?

Cormorant gathers seaweed from bottom of the Alsea Bay
Cormorant gathers seaweed from bottom of the Alsea Bay

The cormorants are interesting to watch too.  They seem to have their favorite spots where they know they can find seaweed under water.  They dive to gather it off the bottom.  They come up with a mouthful and fly off with it.  I think they nest somewhere under the bridge.  I saw them fly under the bridge but I didn’t think to watch to see if they came out the other side.