Tag Archives: newport

Central Coast Birding

We thought we’d see a lot of birds today on the Yaquina Bay south jetty but we were a little disappointed.  There were a few seals up close and some Surf Scoters in the distance.  Then this cute little Harlequin duck couple paddled by.

harlequin ducks
Harlequin Duck Couple

I’m never sure who is observing who.

harlequin ducks
Harlequins watching the humans on the south jetty, Newport, OR

 

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Birding on the South Jetty – Newport

We had an excuse to go to Newport a few days ago.  So we did a South Jetty lunch and watched the sea birds near the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Yaquina Bridge from South Jetty
Yaquina Bridge from South Jetty

We couldn’t tell for sure what these were from a distance so we drove out a little closer.

Sea birds off the South Jetty
Sea birds off the south jetty

  We were pretty sure the large ones were loons.  But the way the smaller ones had their faces tucked into their chest made them hard for me to identify.

Resting Western Grebe
Resting Western Grebe

Once they lifted their heads we could tell they were grebes.  Turns out, they are Western Grebes.  (Is the plural of grebe, grebes or grebe?)

Western Grebes
Western Grebes

This one got a little mouthy.

Western Grebe
Mouthy Western Grebe

Then we zoomed in on the loons and turned to an expert to identify them as adult Common Loons.

Common Loon
Common Loon

They are coming into their breeding plumage.

Common Loon
Common Loon

Another of my favorites is the Surf Scoter.

Surf Scoter
Surf Scoter

I love the contrasting colors on the Surf Scoter’s big bill.

Brighter

You know how your eyes adjust to darkness?  After they’ve adjusted you can see pretty well.

Then, when a light is turned on, it is way too bright and your eyes almost hurt.

Yaquina Bay
Yaquina Bay

That’s kinda how it is every time the sun shines on the Oregon Coast (at least in the winter).  lol

Kayaker on Yaquina Bay
Kayaker on Yaquina Bay

I didn’t really think about it until a friend said, “It’s SO bright when the sun shines here!”

Yaquina Bay Jetties
Yaquina Bay Jetties

So I just got to wondering if our eyes adjust to the longer nights and the dim light of overcast days.

Yaquina Bay Bridge (Newport
Yaquina Bay Bridge (Newport)

So I just wear sunglasses when the sun shines.

Yaquina Bay Observation Deck at Parking Lot
Yaquina Bay Observation Deck at Parking Lot

And enjoy how blue the ocean and sky are on those days.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

The lighthouse was closed today (Christmas Eve) but I didn’t want to waste an opportunity to photograph Yaquina Bay from the height of the north side.

Coast Guard Tower
Coast Guard Tower

When the lighthouse is open, do they let you climb the lookout tower?  That would be cool!

Fishing off the South Jetty – Newport, Oregon

We had a meeting in Newport yesterday evening.  So we did our favorite thing.

Harbor Seals on South Jetty
Rock Camo Seals

We ordered take-out from our favorite crab shack and went out to the South Jetty on Yaquina Bay, Newport, Oregon.

Sleeping Loons
Sleeping Loons

The loons had their beaks tucked into their wings for an after-dinner siesta.

South Jetty, Newport, Oregon, fishing
Whatever your fishing pleasure: from jetty or boat?

There’s a variety of fishing to do on the Oregon coast.

Seagulls Fighting
Seagulls Fighting

The mergansers don’t care about the seagulls fighting over something.  After this little tussle one chased the other away anytime he came anywhere close.

Seagulls Corner a Crab
You want a piece o’ me?!

Then we watched a gull land in the water and pull up a crab in his beak.  Then he dropped it and it was funny to watch him get it back.  Seagulls are very buoyant.  They cannot dive.  He’d sort of jumped up  so he could plop down lower in the water with his head shooting as low as he could get it under water to reach the crab.  But it was like trying to push a beachball under water.  He’d barely submerge a third of his body before he bounced back up.  He finally got his catch to the sand.  That crab was not ready to be eaten though!  He’s going to pluck the seagull’s eyes out!

Yaquina Bay Picnic

Armed with a sandwich from Safeway we pulled into our favorite parking spot on the south jetty of Yaquina Bay, just south of the Newport bridge.

Lots of fishermen were in the bay.  I don’t know if they are fishing for steelhead or chinook.  I’m sure they are waiting for their crab pots to soak though.

South Jetty, Yaquina Bay, Newport, Oregon
South Jetty, Yaquina Bay, Newport, Oregon

We were a bit surprised that there were no seals on the jetty.

Surf Scoters - Yaquina Bay
Surf Scoters – males are more colorful

But it was fun to watch the surf scoters feed.  They were always paddling into the current.  So they’d change directions as the tide swung back and forth.

Pacific Loon - Yaquina Bay
Pacific Loon

There were 3 Pacific Loons.  They kept their distance from each other.

Resting Pacific Loon
Resting Pacific Loon

When resting they tuck their beak behind their wing and look like a float in the water.

Harlequin
Harlequin

There were even a few harlequin ducks!

Harlequin Pair in Yaquina Bay
Harlequin Pair

We also saw some grebes.  I thought it was an adult with some young ones but a passer-by corrected me.  She said the smaller ones are horned grebes and the larger was a western grebe.  I wish I’d gotten a photo but I was distracted by a phone call.

One seal showed up before we left.

December Day on the Coast

We took a jaunt up to Newport and down to Tillicum Campground today.

Great Egret
Great Egret on Eckman Slough

The rain subsided so it was a good day for seeing wildlife and the sunset.

This Great Egret has been hanging out on the salty side of Eckman Lake lately.  We were finally able to pull over without disturbing it so we could take some pix.

Showers from the bridge
From the Newport Bridge

We spent a couple hours volunteering in the Family Search Center in Newport.  After that and a little Walmart Christmas shopping, we headed south again.

We didn’t have time to stop to enjoy the view so I snapped this photo as we crossed the bridge across Yaquina Bay.  There’s a big boat out there!

Sunset - Dec5
Sunset from Tillicum Beach Campground

We had a little business at Tillicum Campground.  Don could tell I was tapping my toe while the sun was getting close to setting.

When I threatened to run off with my camera he decided he was ready to go too.

Sunset Peek-1
One more opportunity before it disappears

So we watched the sunset together and he advised me when to snap.  🙂

Sunset Peek
Last Peek

There were only 2 campers in Tillicum tonight.  For being right on Hwy 101, Tillicum is very quiet in the off-season.  It has 7 electric/water sites.

Lazy Day on the Oregon Coast

After my first colonoscopy of my life (apparently I was overdue because I’m 55) I was hungry.  They found NOTHING!  YAY!  Hopefully I won’t have to do that again for another 10 years?

Anyway, so we did our usual, drive-thru the Newport Burger King and take it to the south jetty of Yaquina Bay.

Yaquina Seal
Yaquina Seal

I could see, from the bridge, that it was high tide.  So I thought there wouldn’t be much to watch.  There were no boats, because of the stormy conditions, and the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed at least until December 15, 2012.  The bays closed to commercial crabbers on December 1st too.  Recreational crabbing is still open.

We did see a few harbor seals feeding.  And this Harlequin duck hung around for a little while too.

Harlequin
Harlequin