Tag Archives: seals

Moody Oregon Coast

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.

View from Tidal Raves
View from Tidal Raves

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).

Depoe Bay - Smallest Harbor in the World
Depoe Bay – Smallest Harbor in the World

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?

Osprey at Devils Punchbowl
Osprey at Devils Punchbowl

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.

Goings-on in Yaquina Bay
Goings-on in Yaquina Bay

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

Squirrel eating whole grains
Squirrel eating whole grains

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.

Seals on Seal Rock?
Seals at Seal Rock?

Are these inflatable seals?  How many times have you actually seen seals at Seal Rock?!

Brown Pelicans at Seal Rock
Brown Pelicans 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.

common murre chicks with brandts cormorrants
Can you find the 2 Common Murre chicks?

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 :-}

A Little TLC

I was starting to think I was living too close to downtown Tidewater!  Don’t pigeons usually hang out in urban areas?

Okay, I can close my eyes and listen to their gentle cooing and make-believe it’s a dove.  Maybe that’s how the Feral Pigeons got nicknamed Rock Dove?

Band-tailed Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon

But, actually, this is a Band-tailed Pigeon.  The yellow bill and legs and dark eye are unique to pigeons and this is the “largest of our pigeons”; according to my bird book.

They live in tall coniferous trees in mountain areas.  Okay, so they are right at home at my home!

Coming back from Newport yesterday, I couldn’t cross the Alsea Bay Bridge again without stopping to see if there were any seal pups.

Alsea Bay Bridge Gets TLC
Alsea Bay Bridge Gets TLC

They have one, southbound, lane closed for bridge maintenance.  They are removing rust, painting and constructing a new walkway under the bridge.  I couldn’t find an estimated completion date on the ODOT website.

So, in honor of our upcoming Mother’s Day…

Seal Couples or Moms with Pups?
Seal Couples or Moms with Pups?

I couldn’t see the size difference of these seals to be able to tell if it was 2 moms nuzzling their pups or if it was male/female couples.  They weren’t splashing around in the water like they did in the pre-pupping behavior.  They are just sort of twisting around each other and swimming with their noses touching each others head and neck; very graceful and loving.

Seal Pup in Alsea Bay
Brand New Seal Pup

No wonder people have to be reminded to resist the urge to “rescue” a seal pup!  They look so tired and under-fed and helpless!  The pups can swim immediately after birth but they are like any baby, they need a lot of sleep.  They only nurse every 3 hours and mom still has to eat.  So, if you come across a seal pup on a beach, keep your distance.  If you want to help it, stay there to educate other people who come along and keep their pets away.  Mom Will Be Back!  But the pups have to rest.  They are camouflaged, like any other baby animal, for protection.

I actually didn’t even see this one until I got my photos back home to the computer.  What I do is zoom in and take successive photos from one end of the group to the other.  That’s how I’ve found animals that are tagged or branded too.

I hate carrying too much equipment around with me.  I don’t take tripods or extra lenses (much to Don’s disappointment because he is sweet enough to buy those things for me – sorry Sweetie).  Nor do I even take binoculars with me.  It’s just extra baggage.  I like to travel light.  I barely throw on a coat!

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

Seal Pups – Alsea Bay

We decided to take the time to look for some seal pups.  May and June is when they are born in this area of the Oregon coast.

We were going to go over to the sand spit because there are so many.  But we saw some as we crossed the Alsea Bay Bridge, at Waldport Oregon, so we decided to check it out.

You can park on either end of it and walk out to the middle.  We parked on the north side and walked up the east side of the bridge.

Peregrine Falcon (Peale's)
Peregrine Falcon (Peale’s)

I must have gotten too close to this falcon’s nest.  It must be under the bridge.  He was scolding me until I moved on.

Moms nap when the baby naps
Moms nap when the baby naps

The bridge is the best place to view them from a safe distance so as to not disturb them.

Wet Kisses
Wet Kisses

You can see them in the water too.  It was interesting to watch as the pups got separated from their moms (on sand or in water).

The pups called out and the moms quickly found them even when the mom was under water when it cried.

Wrinkled Pup
Wrinkled Pup

The seals come in all colors.  This one must be pretty new because he hasn’t plumped out yet to fill in all those wrinkles.  Looks like the mom had a tangle with a prop?

I know they grow up to eat salmon.  But they’re so sweet… when they’re sleeping….just like children.  🙂

Living on the Pacific Ocean

We had a torrential rainstorm last night.  At least, that’s what they told me.  I sleep pretty soundly.  I know we had some pretty good showers all morning.  But I managed to squeeze in a walk on the beach without getting too wet.  I was covered in rubber from my head to my toes though.  This is the size of an auto headlight.  Maybe it’s a bus turn signal?

Bus Turn Signal?
Bus Turn Signal?

The phone started ringing at 8am this morning!  What do they think this is, the office?  Oh, I guess it is.  I tell people we live at work.  It’s kinda like working at home, only different.

Anyway, one of the phone calls was to open a gate for the people helping us cut down trees in Cape Perpetua Campground.  So I drove down to let them in and couldn’t pass up the beauty overlooking Yachats as I came back.

Yachats, Oregon
Yachats, Oregon

I went ahead to Waldport to check the mailbox since I was already in the truck.  The seals are spending more time at the mouth of the bay lately.  There are cormorants mixed in with them.  I thought that was a little unusual.

Alsea Bay, Waldport, Oregon
Alsea Bay, Waldport, Oregon

We’ve got a Super Moon coming this weekend!  It will be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the other full moons of 2012.  That is because it will reach its closest point to Earth just 1 minute before it becomes full.  The biggest effects will be “slightly higher tides and many beautiful pictures” according to CBSNews: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57428066/supermoon-2012-biggest-full-moon-of-the-year/

Super Moon over Tillicum
Super Moon over Tillicum

I think the 2 dark spots (that could be the eyes for the “man in the moon”) are the Sea of Serenity and the Sea of Tranquility.  My dad could tell me for sure.  He spent a lot of time studying the moon in his career with NASA.

Tides on Tillicum Beach:  highs are around 9 and lows are around -2

Seals, ducks and workamping

How'd she know that rock would be the first one out?
How'd she know that rock would be the first one out?

I think her buddies are jealous.

Pick a Rock
Pick a Rock
Tide going out
Tide going out

There were lots of Lesser Scaups and this Loon.

Loon
Loon
Harlequin Duck
Harlequin Duck

 We saw a couple Harlequins with the Lesser Scaups in the Alsea River last week.

The clouds blocked the sunset, a little, last night.

Cloudy Sunset
Cloudy Sunset
Honest, it's today's sunset
Honest, it's today's sunset

Alsea Bay Sunset

Wow!  Can’t believe how mild the weather is on the Oregon Coast (today).  hahaha  Not that we can count on it, but we enjoy it when we get it!

Alsea Bay Seals
Have you seen my mother?

AAAaaawww!

We hadn’t gone out to the Alsea Bay Bridge to take pix of the seals, yet, this year.  We decided this was a good evening for it.  Low tide was around 4:30pm and it was .2.

We parked in the lot north of the bridge and crossed Hwy 101 to see the seals on the east side.

Alsea Bay Seal Siesta
Alsea Bay Seal Siesta

I wonder if the small ones are yearling pups?  None of the seals were moving around or interacting much at all.  Must have full tummies.

Alsea Bay - Low Tide Sunset
Alsea Bay - Low Tide Sunset

Okay, back to the truck.  Gotta get back to Tillicum before sunset.  I’ve missed too many clear sunsets this week!  This is from the corner of the Alsea Bay Bridge.

Tillicum Beach Sunset
Tillicum Beach Sunset

We’ve got a nice crowd in Tillicum Campground tonight – about 20 sites filled!  All the beachfront sites in 2 loops are taken.  There are still 2 electric sites open (one near the beach, one near the entrance).