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Tillamook County's Abundant Bird Numbers Right Now - N. Oregon Coast Sea Lions

Published 01/03/2019 at 4:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Tillamook County's Rollicking Bird Watching Numbers Right Now - N. Oregon Coast

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(Pacific City, Oregon) – Tillamook County, on the north Oregon coast, is experiencing a bit of a bird boom. This winter has been full of bird-watching possibilities as well as sea lions. The area of the north Oregon coast around Pacific City to Oceanside – along the Three Capes Route – is especially ripe for spotting amazing moments of nature. (Above: sea lions at Three Arch Rocks, Oceanside).

Looking for sea lions? Oceanside’s Three Arch Rocks is the hotspot for Stellar lions on the north Oregon coast, found on a regular basis, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).

“They are the larger, lighter colored cousin to the more common California sea lion,” ODFW said. “Binoculars or a spotting scope make for the best viewing.”

Nearby, in Netarts Bay, ODFW reports spotting tall wading birds is fantastic at low tides, such as great blue herons and great egrets. There, they typically wade in the shallows for fish and other prey. Look for them to be most plentiful across the bay up against the western shoreline.

Also close is Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, found near Pacific City. This is home to several varieties of Canada geese during the winter months.

“The birds are usually foraging in the fields right along Hwy 101, but can also be seen from the refuge viewpoint at the end of Christensen Rd.,” ODFW said.

Again, binoculars are very helpful when you’re observing them from the highway, but a spotting scope is best when viewing from the viewpoint.

In fact, great egrets are currently in great abundance along the north Oregon coast. ODFW said they appear to be more numerous in Tillamook County this winter than further north in Clatsop County, with over 100 of them seen around Netarts in the fall. Now that it’s winter, they will be seen increasingly in agricultural fields in the lower Columbia, lower Nehalem and Tillamook Valleys.

Another fun sight: ODFW reports a flock of snow geese was spotted in a Tillamook area pasture around December 15. Seeing them in a flock is rarer than seeing individuals.

Near the action (more images below):

Sandlake Country Inn is a cozy B&B secret that’s close to all this action, hidden along the Three Capes Scenic Route near Sand Lake. About 15 minutes to Netarts Bay and ten minutes to the wildlife reserve. 8505 Galloway Rd. (Near Pacific City, Oregon). 877-726-3525. 503-965-6745. www.sandlakecountryinn.com.

Headlands Coastal Lodge in Pacific City is the Oregon coast's newest upscale resort. You’ll find it right on the beach, with beachfront rentals, fully furnished. Five minutes or less to the Nestucca wildlife reserve. Some pet friendly. 33000 Cape Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City, Oregon. 888-965-7001. www.kiwandacottages.com

Open Nest Vacation Rentals  Less than five minutes to the Nestucca reserve; about 20 minutes to Oceanside and the sea lions. Dozens of vacation homes, all fully furnished and beachfront, some pet friendly. 1-877-549-2632 or 503-965-5776. 33105 Cape Kiwanda Dr., Pacific City, Oregon. Book online - www.shorepinerentals.com

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Great egret photo courtesy ODFW

 

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