Tag Archives: yaquina

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.

Yaquina Bay Jetties and Minus Tides

We had rain on the coast, off and on, yesterday.  That’s called “showers”.  That means it is fun being outside off and on. 🙂

We were in Newport (indoors) for most of the day.  Crossing the Newport bridge, before noon, we noticed the waves crashing clear over the jetties!  I wished we’d had time to stop to take some photos then!  I would definitely use my zoom to keep a safe distance though (mom).

We have minus tides and extra highs this week!  There is about a 12 foot change; which is about the most we get here on the central Oregon coast.

Returning south, just before sunset, we could see that the minus tide exposed places we hadn’t seen before next to the south jetty.  The clammers were out!  Tide-poolers were out!  It’s like exploring the moon when the minus tides expose the rarely seen ocean floor.  The extra low tides always make me want to run out to the edge of the water and think of how few people have actually stood there.  🙂

Yaquina Bay Jetties
Yaquina Bay Jetties

Even the low tide waves can crash over the jetties.  Every year some unwise person is killed by a sneaker wave.  Stick to the roads and trails on the jetties.  Don’t stand out on the rocks.  Sneaker waves are not as big an issue if you’ve got level sand to run away on (like at Tillicum Beach at low tide or anytime in the summer).  It’s the rocky areas that are dangerous (like the jetties and Tillicum Beach at high tide in the winter).

We’ve got high tides and showers through the weekend.  So it will be a great weekend for camping on the Oregon coast!