Tag Archives: coast

Kingfisher and Brush Rabbit

Since archery season opened last week I haven’t seen 1 elk!

I still see the black-tailed doe with her spotted twins but not as often.  No one is eating the early apples falling from our trees.

So my focus has turned to birds.

Belted Kingfisher in tree
Find the Kingfisher

Hint:  He’s got a black head, white collar and grey back and he is smack-dab in the middle of the photo.

I hear the kingfisher many times during the day.  He chatters as he flies up or down the Alsea River.  He’ll even land in our nearby tree.  But he is SO aware of his surroundings that I cannot sneak out to get a good photo of him.  This photo is when he landed in a tree 40 yards away.  I saw about where he landed and tried to find him in my lens.  I couldn’t see him until I got it onto the computer.  This is a Belted Kingfisher.  They differ from the Ringed Kingfisher in the color of their belly.

I love watching the kingfishers fish.  Sometimes they hover high above the water and then dive straight down into it to catch their prey.  I’ve also seen them dive in at an angle.  But they aren’t like the eagle or osprey; who don’t seem to break stride when they catch.  Kingfishers go under water and seem to struggle under the weight of their wet feathers to fly off again.  I haven’t tried to get an action shot since this one last June.

King Fisher Dive
King Fisher Dive

Another skiddish critter around here is the Brush Rabbit (I prefer Brush Bunny).  The Brush Bunny is an Oregon native and of the cottontail family.  Some people are convinced that the bunnies seen in Tillicum Campground are pygmy rabbits but those only live in the dense sagebrush areas of southeast Oregon. (reference: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/species/docs/rabbit.pdf)

brush bunny
Brush Bunny

Why did the bunny cross the road?

To get to the other side.

Was that joke funny when it was about chickens?  Or was it because I was 6?

Otter Family!

We’re not sure if this is the same family we’ve seen before with 4 kits.  Dad must be on a fishing trip.

Although these photos are mine and taken on the Alsea River, Oregon, I got the scoop on them from here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/river_otters.html

Everything in italics is from me.

Otter kit sneakin' a drink
Sneakin’ a drink

At 8 to 10 weeks the young otters start exploring outside their den and are introduced to solid food.  That one’s not too old to forget that mama has yummy milk though.

Otter mom with kits
I think I’ve been made

River otters are active day and night; around humans they tend to be more nocturnal. Otters spend their time feeding and at what appears to be group play.

Otters playing and drying their fur
Playing and drying their fur

They also dry their fur, groom themselves, and mark their territory by vigorously scratching, rubbing, and rolling on the ground. River otters are active year round, and, except for females with young in a den, are constantly on the move.

otter mom with kits
Sticking close to mom

They tend to follow a regular circuit that is covered in one to four weeks. Males can travel 150 miles within a particular watershed and its tributaries in a year. A family may range 10 to 25 miles in a season.

As they frolicked up the river, past a great blue heron, they left our sight.  At one point we started hearing a high-pitched bark or, it was more of a chirp.  I thought it was an osprey but there was nothing in the sky.  The sound seemed to come from different places, first one side of the river and then the other.  We couldn’t see the otters anymore.  The heron didn’t fly away immediately when the chirping started but eventually did.  We’re sure it was an alarm sound from one of them but not sure which one was in trouble or how.

Flaps Up for Father’s Day

Most of the goslings, at Eckman Lake\AlseaBay, look all grown up!

Geese almost grown up
Almost Grown

Well, they’ve got all their adult feathers in anyway.  If the adults weren’t there, to compare their size to, I wouldn’t know the difference. (kinda like teenaged humans)

There is a younger family on the edge of the grass.  These goslings are solid grey.  There’s one adult and 3 or 4 young’uns.

Geese in Tall Grass

Mom and Dad Canada Geese raise their young together.  Parents seem to live in a community too.  Before the kids can fly, the parents take them out to eat when it is safe.  Then they hide them in the tall grass to rest.  I think the taller one is the male.  Read more here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canada_Goose/lifehistory

Adult goose shows how to flap wings
Daddy Goose Shows the Way

They are still too young to fly but they need to start exercising those wings so Dad shows them how.

There’s that domestic goose still hanging around.  I wonder if these Canada Geese will stick around or if we’ll see a lonely, forlorn, goose one day?

goslings flap wings to strengthen
Exercise those wings

The young ones take turns stretching and flapping their wings.  They probably don’t even know why yet.

I don’t see the collared goose so I’m not sure when these hatched.  But I’m guessing it takes a gosling about 3 weeks to go from all grey to full colors?

They grow up SO fast!


Butt-Butt-Butt what about the berries?

Thimble Berries

I’ve only enjoyed a few salmonberries and now the thimbleberries are coming on.  I don’t know if these berries are any good for jams or jellies but their seeds are a lot smaller than salmon or black berries.  They are almost like a strawberry seed.  The berry is not slick like the other berries.  It’s more like the skin of a peach.  They are really tasty though.  The thimbleberries are growing lower on my road so maybe I’ll stand a chance…unless elk eat them

Roosevelt Elk Crossing

Ranchers lose a lot to elk.  He’s constantly repairing his fence.

I looked back at my photos from last year to see when I caught an elk calf and it wasn’t until mid-July.   😦

Bull Roosevelt Elk
Bull Roosevelt Elk

I’ll call him Kink – cuz he has a kink in one of his antlers.  He’s pretty handsome, eh?

Do trophy hunters look for perfect symmetry or do they like a little uniqueness?  I think uniqueness is more attractive.

BUT – they always look like they’re showing off their butts. hahaha

Elk on Manure Pile

Now, what could be tasty in a pile of cow manure?

Oh!  Do you see what I see?

A-3 Tagged Roosevelt Elk
Hi Alllie!

Yup!  There’s A-3!  She’s the only tagged elk I see here in the Alsea River/Tidewater herd.

I look for her every time I see the elk.

4 Otter Kits

I knew if I could watch long enough I’d see all the otters.

4 otter kits
She’s got FOUR!

Mom went in for a nap and the kits stayed out to play and fish a little more.

otters playing
Doin’ what ‘e oughter

I got to watch the otters on the Alsea for about 30 minutes today 🙂

The thing I like about workamping is it puts you right in the middle of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife!

And if it doesn’t, maybe you’re doing it wrong?

The Garden of Eden – Oregon Coast

I feel like I live in the Garden of Eden…only I’m not naked.

River Otter - Alsea River

I’ve been hearing popping or cracking noises from across the river all day.  There are willows and blackberries that hang out over the water and it’s dark under there.  But I finally saw that it is my friend Otto the River Otter.  I can’t see what he’s eating.

River Otter - choke
AAaaaacchhkk – Hairball

Sorry!  This hasn’t gotten old for me yet.

3 Otter Kits
3 Otter Kits

I kept watching after the adult disappeared and finally saw 3 kits cautiously hugging the water’s edge with mom close by.  They ducked into this area where the shrubs form a protective roof.  They played there until the tide raised the water and the sky got dark enough that I couldn’t see them anymore.  I wonder who their predators are?

King Fisher - Alsea River
King Fisher

This King Fisher was really hitting the water hard as he fished the Alsea River.

King Fisher Dive
King Fisher Dive

I was determined to get a shot but I can’t tell if he’s even right-side-up in this photo. 🙂

Field of Foxglove
Field of Foxglove

Time for a walk today – past the fields of Foxglove.

Flicker Nest
No wonder those Flickers are so spunky!

They’ve got populate and replenish the earth…or the air.

Alsea River Crawdads
Alsea River Crawdads

Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!  Aren’t those beautiful bugs!  I guess these would snap-crackle-and-pop in an Otter’s teeth.

Don’s trap works great!


I know I’ve seen these little sculpins in the otters mouth.

Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle

I don’t know how many times Don has pointed out Stinging Nettle to me.  I’ve never had poison oak or poison ivy, let alone stinging nettle…until yesterday.

NOW I will not forget what it looks like.

Okay, so I’m not in the Garden of Eden.  Ouch!

But just a little place on my finger.  Don, on the other hand, rolled in it.  That’s another story…for another day.  It will be funny….eventually.

The Birds and the Bees Minus the Bees

Let me tell you ’bout the birds and the bees…

Turkey Vulture - Red Tag on (BC) Right Wing
Turkey Vulture – Red Tag (BC) on Right Wing

I’ll find out more about Turkey Vulture BC but in the meantime click here to read about tagging vultures in Venezuela.

and the flowers and the trees…

Gold Finch Couple Camoflaged in Tree
Gold Finch Couple Camoflaged in Tree

and the moon and a bug …

I'll arm wrestle you for the 1 bug!
I’ll arm wrestle you for the 1 bug!

Okay so I changed the words to the song.  But I don’t have a photo of the moon today and had to work in the crawdad photo.

We left him in the cage til he calls friends and family for a pot luck dinner.

Warning:  The next photo may not be suitable for children.

And a thI-ng called lo-O-ove

Flicker Love
Flicker Love

Sorry, but after the 3rd Flicker couple stopped to use our tree, I had to take a photo.  Besides, one observation is an oddity, twice is notable, the third makes it a study. 🙂

Harbor Seal Mom and Pup
Harbor Seal Mom and Pup

Say hello to the new generation of Harbor Seals in Alsea Bay.

Seal Pup Kisses
Seal Pup Kisses

I wonder if seal puppy breath smells as sweet as dog puppy breath?

Seal Snuggles
Seal Snuggles

This is my favorite.  It’s the same look on a human parent’s face when they look at their sweet little baby.  You know, before they turn 2. 🙂

Seems like a good time to share a friend’s child-rearing philosophy:

Babies are adorable.  But when they turn 2, put them in a box with holes in it.

Then, when they turn 13, fill in the holes.

My thought: If you do not take the first step (with the box), there’s no turning back and you deserve everything you get.