Right Now on Oregon Coast: Weird Crabs, Bird Walks, Whales
Published 06/08/2016 at 8:51 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – It's all fun and fascinating right now on the Oregon coast, with a nice variety of birding events, bird drama at Oceanside, whale watching, and some funky lil' crabs showing up. (Photo: sea lions resting on Oceanside's Three Arch Rocks).
On Thursday, June 16, there will be a talk in Newport on the Birds and Wildlife of East Africa presented by Anne Sigleo. Anne is a retired scientist from the Hatfield Marine Science Center. She visited Tanzania during October-November 2015 and saw nearly 50 species of birds and 40 mammals. Because the rains came earlier than predicted, she was there during the "great migration" of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles from the Masai Mara south to the Serengeti in Tanzania.
This event is free and open to everyone and begins at 7 p.m. Public Meeting Room of Central Lincoln PUD, 2129 North Coast Highway, Newport, Oregon. For more info call 541-265-2965
On Saturday, June 18, Wayne Hoffman will lead a birding field trip that will feature peregrine falcons and seabirds. June is the peak for seabird nesting and a great time of year to see them along with their predators. You are likely to see Peregrine Falcon, Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Black Oystercatcher, Pelagic and Brandt's Cormorant and Bald Eagle.
The onsite nesting Peregrine Falcon pair may still have young in the area.
Meet in the Interpretive Center Parking Lot at 8 a.m. and dress or bring clothes for variable weather. The field trip will last two hours. This event is free and open to everyone, but the BLM requires a recreation pass or charges a vehicle fee to enter Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. For more information call 541-961-1307.
Also in the realm of birds, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) suggested to look at Oceanside for some wild action. Three Arch Rocks has for a long time been home to thousands of nesting common murres and other colonial seabirds, and it is still possible to see large numbers of them staging below the rocks in the water. However, one bald eagle there has been making life difficult for the feathered creatures resting on the national wildlife reserve. With binoculars, you may be able to see some of the drama.
“Instead, the Steller sea lions are a very reliable denizen on the lower rock in front, Seal Rock,” ODFW said. “They can be seen loafing on the rock, often with young pups in the mix. These are the larger and lighter-colored cousin to the more common California sea lion.”
The beaches right now – as always - are full of surprises, the agency said.
“Last week, sandy tidepools in central Oregon were teeming with tiny shrimp-like creatures,” ODFW said. “These creatures are juvenile sand or mole crabs (belonging to the scientific genus Emerita). Adults get to be 1.5 inches long and you can often see their antennae poking out of the sand as you walk along in the wash zone of the beach. Right now, the young mole crabs have settled on Oregon beaches in vast numbers.” (Mole crab photo at right courtesy Seaside Aquarium).
ODFW added whale watching is good right now as well. Some gray whales make their way up to summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, while others are part-time residents and stay off the Oregon coast from June through November. ODFW said plenty of gray whales have recently been seen around Brookings and Port Orford. In the really wild category: killer whales have been spotted along parts of the central coast, with some dramatic video of them at Florence. Where to stay for these events - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour
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