Tag Archives: blackberry campground

Even wildlife need to bathe

Otters seem to have a fluid motion even when they are on land.  These photos were taken in Tidewater just below Blackberry Campground east of Waldport, Oregon.  (Sorry if I caught an intimate moment.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell.)

river otters on alsea river
3 otters

 Watch the video of them taking a dirt bath.  When the 3rd otter comes onto land you can see a little newt scurrying out of the way.

[youtube https://youtu.be/O-MOzwbzK_M]

Greater Scaups Brave the Alsea

Recent rains raised the Alsea River to 14 feet.  Flood stage here is 18ft.  The clear water gave way to muddy runoff.  Still these brave Greater Scaups came fishing.  A bird’s gotta eat!

scaups fish alsea river banks
Scaups fish the banks

Here’s a look upriver just west of Blackberry Campground this morning.  The rain stopped, dropping the river level 2.5 feet by tonight.

alsea river - 14 ft
Swollen Alsea River – 14 feet

The Greater Scaups fished all day.  How do they see anything in that mud?  It must have something to do with those golden eyes – gives them a sunny outlook!

greater scaups
Greater Scaups

Breakfast with the Otters

It is a frosty 30 degrees here in Tidewater, OR, this morning!  I am SO grateful for a warm and dry place to live.

These photos were taken near Blackberry Campground on the Alsea River, Oregon.

alsea river otter eating
Not catch-n-release

I wonder if otters, or any wildlife for that matter, ever shiver?

2 otters eating salmon on riverbank
Focused on their breakfast

There were at least 5 river otters in this group.  Just a little bit of mist is coming off the river.

Don’t you just love outdoor breakfasts on the river!

5 otters eating salmon on alsea river
Everybody’s happy

I’m assuming they are eating small salmon.  The color of the flesh is bright orange as you’ll be able to see in the video below.

Black Bear on the Alsea River

The day started off slow enough for wildlife viewing.  We saw our first turtle ever in Oregon.

alsea river turtle
Sunning Turtle

A little later in the day, as we were sitting on the deck and planning the next step of our jetty project, we saw a bear cross the Alsea to the opposite side of the river.

bear crossing alsea river
Now we know where the Bear Crossing is

He walked into the trees so we watched to see if he’d come out in the field and run down the route we’d seen him on previously.  But then we saw him down by the river and making his way on the river bank.  So we watched and videoed (is that a word?  spellchecker didn’t like it spelled videod)

[youtube http://youtu.be/rO-VADZp2FE]

He swam right past us!  It’s like living on a wildlife thorofare!

alsea river bear
Bear swimming in the Alsea River

These photos were taken just a few miles west of Blackberry Campground.

OSU’s Benny the Beaver has a brother

OSU’s Benny the Beaver greets new and old friends as students get ready for the new school year.  But did you know that Benny has a brother on the Oregon Coast?  Yup, just down Highway 34!

Benny Beaver’s brother, Billy, lives near (you guessed it) Blackberry Campground; near milepost 18 on the Alsea River.

beaver in alsea river
Billy Beaver

Beavers don’t make much noise so you have to be watching for them.  Early morning or late evening hours are the best time to see them.  We’d seen signs they were in the area for a few days:  bark-stripped sticks floating down the river.  We could also see waves in the water coming from something bigger than a fish on the other side of the river.  Then we saw him lazily swimming upriver yesterday and today.

Red-tailed Hawk

This Red-tailed Hawk caught a rodent for lunch.

Red-tailed Hawk

I never noticed all the pretty leg feathers before.  Maybe those are his long-johns?  Although it’s really not that cold now on the Oregon Coast.

This was taken near Blackberry Campground on the Alsea River.

7pm – just enough time for a walk

Out of the corner of my eye I see something black, under the apple trees next door, as I walk from the driveway toward the road.

As I walk around the truck, the “something black” starts to run and there is a big something black and a little something black.

(fumble with camera with a feeling of futility)

Of course I am stopped in my tracks thinking that now is not the time for a walk after all.

After they bound across the road, over the barbed wire fence and up the hill, I go back inside (maybe 3 minutes after I’d left) and tell Don what a great walk he missed.

Don proceeded to convince his wildlife-enamored wife (me) that I scared the bears away so I would be fine to go ahead for my walk now.  (alzhiemer’s maybe?)

Black Bear Cub
2nd Twin Cub

So, I get to the road and see the first cub head up the big fir tree behind the fence (right) and hear the apple tree rustling (left).

(Now I know, the pictures Don wants to get are of me being mauled by a mama bear.)

At first I wasn’t sure if this was the black bear family we saw across the Alsea River 4 days ago.

Now that I see the 2nd twin cub I’m sure it is.  Mom is small; maybe less than 200 lbs.  (She still out-weighs, out-teeths and out-claws me.)

Black Bear Mama
Black Bear Mama

She’s watching me close while her 2nd baby heads up the fir tree.

Black Bear Cub
Black Bear Cub

They’ll be back to make a dent in the neighbor’s apples.

And I’ve got the game camera pointing up our apple tree in case they come to ours.  I’m glad I pick a few apples off the tree today.  They really aren’t all the way ripe yet.  So maybe the bears will finish off the neighbor’s while ours ripen a little more?

These photos were taken near Blackberry Campground on the Alsea River.