Yaquina Bay

Yaquina Bay, at the town of Newport, is one of the more productive sites on the Oregon coast. On this visit, high winds reduced the number of birds that were out and about, but there was still a lot to see.

loon eatingCommon Loon with the catch of the day
common loon

rt loon 1Red-throated Loon

pelagic cormorant 2Pelagic Cormorant

horned grebeHorned Grebe
horned and western grebesHorned Grebe (above) and Western Grebe

pelican yawnBrown Pelicans

long-tailed duck 2Long-tailed Duck

surf scoter 2Surf Scoter

peregrineThe flats behind the Hatfield Marine Science Center. There were lots of Mew Gulls, some Brant, and Northern Pintails. Note the Peregrine Falcon at the base of the fallen tree.

california gullCalifornia Gull

sea lion 1Large numbers of California Sea Lions loaf on the jetties and docks on the bay.
sea lion 2

Three Graces Tidal Area

The Three Graces Tidal Area (Birding Oregon p. 127) lies along the shore of Tillamook Bay, just south of the town of Barview. It is a small site, but the offshore rocks and rocky shoreline attract a nice variety of birds.

The best times to bird this site are in between high and low tides. When the tide is up, the small rocks are submerged. When the tide is too low, people sometimes walk out to the rocks, thus scaring the birds.  Brown Pelicans, Common Loons, Harlequin Ducks, and other waterfowl are often seen swimming in the area.  In winter, Rock Sandpipers and Surfbirds feed on the exposed rocks and shoreline.

Peer over the edge of the path to scan the shoreline for rockpipers and gulls.  A scope is useful for checking the more distant offshore rocks.

A closer view of that distant rock. Pelagic, Brandt’s, and Double-crested Cormorants can all be found here, sometimes allowing side-by-side comparison. This photo shows mostly Pelagic Cormorants, with a possible young Double-crested on the right.