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Oregon Coast Wildlife Right Now; Possible Northern Lights Glow

Published 10/25/2016 at 7:11 PM PDT - Updated 10/25/2016 at 7:51 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Aurora Borealis in the Oregon coast range

(Oregon Coast) – You could be getting an eyeful on the Oregon coast if you look down and up: lots of wildlife are in abundance near the beaches and there's a chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis out there.

There could be some northern lights on the Oregon coast tonight (as well as inland) – if you can catch a break and the clouds open up. But the odds increase over the next 48 hours.

Jim Todd, astronomy expert at Portland's OMSI, said a strong "G3-class" geomagnetic storm is underway today (Tuesday) as Earth enters a fast-moving stream of solar wind.

“The arrival of the solar wind stream was predicted, but the intensity of the resulting storm is greater than forecast,” Todd said. “Tonight, Northern Lights around the Arctic Circle should be bright, and the glow could descend to northern-tier US states as well.”

However, some even stronger geomagnetism is headed for Earth sometime Wednesday or Thursday, and that could bring a better chance the Oregon region could see some of the esoteric northern lights.

It looks as if Oregon coast skies may be partially clear on Thursday, but the Portland area forecasts still hold to cloudy skies all week. Check Oregon Coast Weather.

Meanwhile, when it comes to wildlife viewing, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said many birds are in abundance along the Oregon coast now, along with elk in certain areas.

Brown pelicans are being seen quite a bit on the north Oregon coast, ODFW said. Most will stick around through fall to feed on fish before migrating south for the winter.

Look for plenty of migrating coots, grebes, ducks and geese at north coast lakes and estuaries. Most of the ducks are easier found on mudflats (such as Nehalem Bay) and shallow tidal areas. ODFW suggests using binoculars to get a decent view.

In estuaries and pastures of Tillamook County, egrets are an increasingly common sight, apparently growing in numbers in recent years. ODFW said the only known roost site for them is at Hathaway Slough, which is along Hwy 101 between Tillamook and Bay City. They generally start flying near that area near dusk, and their white bodies make them easily spotted amid the dark green of the area's forest.

At Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area near Astoria, elk viewing has been excellent, the agency said. The best time to see them is in the morning and late afternoon towards dusk. Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

Below: pelicans, courtesy ODFW. More of the north coast below that.







 

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