Well, that’s a matter of opinion. After living here for a while, I like the rain and fog as much as the sunshine. You could say the Oregon Coast is a little moody.
If you’re here for the views though, July – October is when you’ll find the clearest skies. Of course my favorite views are between Waldport and Florence because you can see everything from Highway 101.
Today would be an awesome day for a horseback ride on the beach.
The Brandts Cormorants and Common Murre are starting to nest on the cliffs.
The male displays his pretty blue neck by tilting his head all the way back to touch his tail feathers and he raises his elbows like a human imitating a chicken.
Hint: Look in a nest in the lower left-hand corner for the egg. This is part of a new marine reserve now. A volunteer was observing and counting the cormorants here and at the site next to Heceta Head Lighthouse.
We didn’t see any eggs with the murres.
We even got a nice fly-by from a flock of pelicans!
All the other sea lions must be in the cave. He must need some peace and quiet.
A road crew is doing maintenance on the bridge just north of the tunnel at Heceta Head Lighthouse. One lane is open. Expect delays. They do a pretty good job letting traffic through. I’m not sure if they’ll continue through the weekend or not.
We’re supposed to get a bit of a drizzle in the morning but it should clear up for us to see the meteor shower Friday night/Saturday morning.
The Central Oregon Coast was a little moody today. No worries – we’ll just duck on into Tidal Raves (Depoe Bay) for lunch and hope the fog lifts.
Doesn’t that just say Oregon Coast?!
Full tummies (fish tacos are YUMMY) and we’re off! Checked in at the Whale Center: whale count yesterday (0), today (there’s still hope, although very little).
I’ve seen these charter boats navigate this harbor entrance in rough weather and I don’t know how they get home with clean underwear?
Usually Otter Creek Road is a beautiful drive but it was fogged in today. So, it was just a nice drive without a view. We stopped at the Devils Punchbowl and saw a different sight – an osprey sitting on the cliff overlooking the marine gardens.
There was a lot of activity in Yaquina Bay so we pulled out onto the South Jetty to watch for a little bit. This photo sums it up: boats going out, boat being towed in, birds flying, calm seas, overcast
Now look – this squirrel is trying to eat right. He’s eating whole grains. I’m guessing he’ll die of coronary heart disease like the humans who feed him french fries.
Are these inflatable seals? How many times have you actually seen seals at Seal Rock?!
The brown pelicans are back in town. My favorite thing to watch them do is fly in formation over the waves and dive for fish.
Nobody was read for the tour to be over so we kept driving south. These cormorants and murres are still raising their families just north of Sea Lion Caves. I wish I could be there when the murre chick jump off this cliff. I just can’t imagine it. What a strange instinct to have :-}
We stopped at our favorite overlook to see how the Sea Lions, Brandt’s Cormorants and Common Murres are doing. This is from the big pullout between Sea Lion Caves and Heceta Head Lighthouse north of Florence, Oregon, on Hwy 101.
The Common Murres don’t build nests. They lay their single egg on the hard rock, then hatch it by putting it on top of their feet for 28 – 35 days. Mom and Dad take turns incubating. “After the chick hatches the adult female flies north to molt while the male leads unfledged young on a swimming migration north to the protected waters of Washington and British Columbia” according to: http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/wildlife/seabird.htm
Did you catch that? “unfledged” means they can’t fly yet when the male takes them swimming north. So, how do they get down from the cliff? Roll-n-Splash?
See the cormorant chicks in the nest on the right? The one on the top nest looks like she’s next to a murre? Wish I could see closer! I keep trying to imagine what the white could be from but maybe the cormorant chicks are mostly white?
If you have a better camera – go get some better pix and let me see them 🙂
It was certainly a gorgeous day on the Oregon coast!
I’m not sure if this is a metaphor or not. I usually don’t go looking for a metaphor for life. But, often, as I think about what I’ve observed, I can apply it to life.
We’d heard reports of orcas being seen from Sea Lion Caves all week. So we stopped at the Hwy 101 overlook, just north of there, yesterday. As is usually the case my attention span, and the tiny specs that I have to look for in the distance for most whale watching, are directly proportional. There’s usually something closer to see on the rocks just below the overlook. (Another metaphor I’ve learned from the ocean: If I spend too much time looking for great things in the distance, I miss the beauty in the small things right under my nose.)
We had to go try it out. I’ve been trying to catch a kingfisher on camera for some time. The slightest movement startles them.
With this new camera I don’t have to get as close to get a good shot. 🙂
The young osprey, in the nest at the high school, was waiting for his lunch.
Campers made this fogdial on Tillicum Beach. I’d call it a sundial but we’ve been fogged in for a few days. The way a fogdial works is, if you don’t see it, visibility is less than 5 feet.
A camper reported an injured bird this morning. I reported it to the State Parks and they reported it to the Beach Ranger. Then I went out to see what kind of bird it was. I couldn’t tell from her description. It is a common murre. The lady sat out there by the bird, to ward off dogs, until the Ranger came. But she had to go to the restroom, and when she came back, the bird had died and a crow was eating it. The lady was sad and thought the crow was “mean”. But the crow’s got to eat too. It’s the circle of life.
She described it as black and white and kind of looked like a penguin. The common murre even walks like a penguin.