Tag Archives: oregon coast

Tidepools – Central Oregon Coast

Even when I can’t find any starfish I LOVE tidepooling.

tidepool colors
The colors of the plants are so rich!

My sweet hubby took me tidepooling this morning and he’s not even that into it.  I feel so loved!

Seagulls bathing at Seal Rock, Oregon
Seagulls bathing at Seal Rock, Oregon

We went to Seal Rock where, oddly enough, I’ve only seen 2 seals in the 8 years we’ve been here.  It was a gorgeous day!

Giant Green Anemone among various seaweeds (sea lettuce, black pine, etc)
Giant Green Anemone among various seaweeds (sea lettuce, black pine, etc)

Anemones disguise themselves by holding onto shell pieces when they close.

Aggregating Anemones
Aggregating Anemones

It can get pretty windy on the beach but it usually comes up later in the morning or afternoon.  We decided to get an early start and it had to be timed with low tide; of course.

Picnic tables in Seal Rock State Park
Picnic tables in Seal Rock State Park

We parked at Seal Rock State Park which has a clean restroom, picnic tables and paved ramp that goes almost to the beach.  The last 20 feet or so are loose rocks.

Seal Rock State Park beach access
Seal Rock State Park beach access

Can you barely see the seagulls on top of the cliff on the left side of the photo above?

Oregon Coast Elk

The elk keep their newborns hidden for a month or so but we finally saw this herd’s 2 calves today.  To see the video, click or tap on the photo or this link:  https://youtu.be/AvWTXqUX4dA

elk calf
Fences are not as easy for calves to cross as their parents

This herd has a wide variety of ages.

elk herd
Only 2 new calves so far this summer (far left)

Here is a yearling bull just starting to grow his antlers.  They are just nubs this summer.  Next summer he’ll have a set of spikes.

yearling bull with antler nubs
Yearling bull (left) with antler nubs showing

This one looks pretty sickly.  You can see her ribs and she doesn’t have much hair.

Sickly-looking cow elk
Sickly-looking cow elk

The rancher’s cows want to chat with the elk but she’s having none of it.

elk and cows have conversation
They are so stupid…they think I sat in white paint and dipped my head in black paint

This bull has some interesting antlers.

bull elk with crooked antler
Crooked antler

This is a nice looking bull.  Looks like 9 points to me; unless I don’t know which ones count.

9 point bull elk
9 points?

Little one asks mom for dinner.

Elk calf with mama
Elk calf with mama

Mink vs Mallard – Act II

How lucky are we to see this again!!

I saw 2 groups of Mallard ducks across the river.  They stopped to look at something on the riverbank of the Alsea River.  I saw a very small mink running along the bank so I started recording.  Mama-Mallard kept her 5 babies safe again!

If you watch where the duck is looking you’ll see movement under the brush.  That’s the mink.  He dives in after them and Mama scatters her ducklings.  This is a larger mink than I saw at first so I’m wondering about a mink family living nearby???  How cool is THAT!

Click/tap the link to watch the YouTube video:  https://youtu.be/9T_Nh9kePiA

Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling
Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling

Spring on the Alsea River

A male Rufous hummingbird finally found our feeder today.  He guards it ruthlessly.

male rufous hummingbird
He’s the boss

Rufous hummers are very territorial.  He is chasing off 5 or 6 other hummers.

Everybody likes the salmonberries – especially the Robins

robin in the salmonberries
Robin in the Salmonberries

The crawdad is almost the bottom of the food chain around here.  They are the scavengers who feed on dead fish flesh.  The diving ducks eat the crawdads – unless we eat them first.

crawdad
Crawdad!

The mallards are enjoying all the fresh green moss growing on the river bottom and banks of the Alsea.

mallard hen and drake
Mallard Couple

The new growth of spring is such a vibrant green!

Alsea River at Tidewater, Oregon
Alsea River at Tidewater

Oregon Coast Backyard Birds

We don’t see the grosbeaks all summer but they are here this week.  The Blackheaded grosbeaks are the most common.  The Evening grosbeaks are the most colorful.

The hummers stick around as soon as they find a feeder.

Hummer-male-1
Male Rufous Hummingbird
hummer-flight-1
Rufous Hummingbird – young male

The Tree Swallows are looking for a good place to nest.  This couple had a little chickadee chewing them out though.  So we don’t know if they raided the chickadee’s nest or if they were encroaching on each other’s territory.

Swallow-couple-3
Tree Swallows on dead tree

Signs of Spring

The signs of spring are everywhere!

My neighbor calls these flowers a honeysuckle.  I finally saw these for sale at the local market!  They are Azaleas.  They smell so pretty!

Honesuckle-flowers

The Common Mergansers are starting their courting.  The female mergansers seem the most aggressive.  Females chase off other females when they get too close to the man she likes.  The guys don’t seem to care who is close.  Sometimes the males just swim away from all the drama but sometimes they like to watch the girl-fight.

CommonMerganserCouple
For Pete’s sake Mabel, fix your hair!

I’ve seen several male mallards but no females yet.

mallard-male-2

Here’s a lone Hooded Merganser female.  It seems like the hoodies courtship season comes a little later.

hooded-merganser-female

Oregon Coast Wildlife

The Waldport Osprey chicks are growing fast.

osprey feeding chicks
Osprey brings home the bacon

These young male Mallards will be in full color before you know it.

Young male mallards getting their colors
Young male mallards getting their colors

Pileated Woodpecker finds some grub in the dead tree.

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

I spotted the first elk calf of the season!!

elk calf
First elk calf of the season!

I love seeing the ducks with so many chicks.  I can’t imagine how the mom keeps up with them all.

Mallard hen with 11 chicks
Mallard hen with 11 chicks

Can you tell what kind of critter tracks these are in the next photo?

critter tracks
Critter tracks: otters and what else?

There were just otter tracks when I first looked.  But then I caught a second culprit.

beaver
Beaver going to get him a blackberry vine

I didn’t know beavers ate blackberry vines but that’s what it went up to get.  It brought it back down to the water’s edge to eat it.  Watch 2 beavers in this video:

[youtube https://youtu.be/i22D5cZIj2E]

The kingfisher kids are learning how to fish.  Mom and Dad still bring them food though – so they can keep up their strength until they get better at it.

3 kingfishers
3 Kingfisher chicks waiting for breakfast