Watching Sea Lions and Elk Good on N. Coast, Say Oregon Officials
(Oceanside, Oregon) – There are plenty of elk being seen in the Oregon coast range, and sea lions are making a splash around the Oceanside area. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently sent out a series of updates on this kind of wildlife.
ODFW said elk viewing has been excellent at Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Elk have been visible throughout the day on the Fishhawk Tract. Best viewing times are from 9:00 am to about noon each day.
Visitors should start near the main viewing area and along Hwy 202 to observe larger herds of females and young. The older bulls are usually found near the west viewing area.
The Beneke Tract is also a good bet if the elk are not out along Hwy 202. (Above: elk at Cannon Beach).
“Elk are currently being fed a supplemental diet of alfalfa hay on the wildlife area,” ODFW said. “Staff members try to feed close to the viewing areas on weekends to enhance viewing opportunities.”
Reservations for the winter elk feeding tours have been completely filled for the three-month season.
Other wildlife to watch for include songbirds near the viewing area feeders, coyotes in the fields, and bald eagles perched high in trees or soaring along Fishhawk and Beneke Creeks.
Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area is on Highway 202, which is best reached from a junction about 12 miles from Seaside on Highway 26, turning onto Highway 103 from 26 (known as the Fishhawk Falls Highway). From 103 it connects to 202.
Down at Oceanside, something that has been missing has returned. ODFW said Stellar sea lions are back on Three Arch Rock NWR, where they will stay through the breeding season in summer. (Above: sea lions on Three Arch Rocks)
The larger and lighter colored cousins to the more numerous California sea lions have struggled in numbers in their range for decades. However, they can be seen reliably here throughout the year except for October when most of them leave, only to return by November.
Fortunately, they tend to loaf on Seal Rock, the lowest and closest rock to the shore, thus making for great viewing opportunities. Binoculars or spotting scopes are still recommended, through.
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