Tag Archives: yaquina bay

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


Fat, Cool, and Happy…as long as we’re in the water

Just a few more minutes dear…

harbor seals relax in water

We watched the harbor seals bobbing in Yaquina Bay while we had lunch on the South Jetty, Newport.  It was 90F yesterday!

harbor seals nuzzle
Seal Snuggles

Today, I looked for seal pups from the Alsea Bay Bridge.

harbor seal pup and mom
Pupping Season

I think there were a few but this was the closest one to me.

20 - 30 seals swooshed into the water
20 – 30 seals swooshed into the water

The funniest thing happened…all at once, about 20 – 30 seals lept off the beach into the bay.  I couldn’t see any reason for it.

Maybe that’s how they leave the beach…all at once?

Cormorant gathers seaweed from bottom of the Alsea Bay
Cormorant gathers seaweed from bottom of the Alsea Bay

The cormorants are interesting to watch too.  They seem to have their favorite spots where they know they can find seaweed under water.  They dive to gather it off the bottom.  They come up with a mouthful and fly off with it.  I think they nest somewhere under the bridge.  I saw them fly under the bridge but I didn’t think to watch to see if they came out the other side.

having no joy, for they knew no misery

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week was Joy.  I looked at other posts and saw faces of children, nature photos and descriptions of the joy that Christ brings.  I wondered what photo I could post that would exemplify what is joy to me.  I thought of the baby girl looking at her daddy with awe.  Then I thought of the photo our son-in-law sent us when our daughter delivered their stillborn son.  Mama was holding her child tighter than I’ve ever seen her hold anything; staring into his face as she wanted to memorize it forever.  Their joy in their other children was certainly amplified from that experience.  Heaven now holds more joy than we might have imagined it would.

It got me thinking about what joy really is.  Dallin H. Oaks said, “Joy is more than happiness. Joy is the ultimate sensation of well-being.”  I don’t know if that is an uncommon definition but I think a lot of Christians describe it that way because of the peace Christ brings when we focus on Him.  Elder Oaks added, “The opposite of joy is misery.”  Opposition helps me to appreciate the good in my life.  Contrast certainly helps to define whatever it is that is opposite.  I’m just glad that it doesn’t take much misery for me recognize joy.

Green Flash at Yaquina Bay
Green Flash at Yaquina Bay

I’ve said before, I’ve never appreciated the sun so much as I have after living in Oregon where I can go for weeks without seeing it.  Even when it is not cloudy, a mountain (mostly) hides it from my home during the winter months.  While that may not be pleasant, it is a far cry from true misery.  I’m not saying I want to experience true misery so I can experience true joy.   I’m satisfied with the trials I’ve had and I trust that I won’t be given anything I can’t handle.

We happened to be driving down Hwy 101 this evening just before sunset.  So we (and about 30 other people) pulled into Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.  In typical meerkat fashion, we lined the edge of the parking lot watching the colors change, wondering if we’d be rewarded with a green flash.  Some silently watched alone, others were arm-in-arm with a loved one.  Parents tried to help children hold their attention on the slow-moving sun.  We were rewarded even though I didn’t capture the best of the green flash on camera.

sunset at Yaquina Bay
After the sunset

But once the sun set, the real show began.  Colors slowly changed from yellow, orange and blue to pink and purple and it lasted and lasted.

So there it was; a few moments of peace and tranquility.  It lasted as long as I was still and watched and took it all in.  And now I have the memory to reflect on and to contrast.  “men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:25.)    He created us to have joy!   I think this is one area where balance is not required.  It only takes a short burst of pain to help me appreciate feeling good for a long time.

References:  2 Nephi 2:23-25;   Dallin H Oaks article:  October 1991 General Conference

Wow – I hope the next photo challenge isn’t as thought-provoking!

Happy New Year!


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!

Great Egret

We had a Great Egret visit for a couple days!

great egret on alsea river

This one hunted right out in front of our yard (before it rained and filled up the Alsea River).

great egret on alsea river

It was very focused on the hunt

great egret on alsea river

and very immersed in his food.

great egret on alsea river

Great Egrets are also known as Common Egret, Large Egret or Great White Heron.

We get to see them on the Central Oregon Coast throughout the summer with larger numbers during the Fall migration.

Alsea Bay and Yaquina Bay are great places to find these graceful birds.  They are really weird to see in the trees because they are so large – it just doesn’t look right.

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 :-}

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.


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.