Monday, July 13, 2009

Mid-summer Beaches and Bays


This weekend we took a trip to Newport, on the central Oregon coast to check in on its birds, bays, and beaches.

Thousands of Common Murres were nesting on offshore rocks. I did not get any pictures of these raucous colonies, but I did photograph a murre floating among the fishing boats in Yaquina Bay.

The bay was also full of jellies. Silver dollar-sized penicillate jellies twitched alongside the docks.

Under the glare, we also saw many purple jellies, about the size of bowling balls.

To get a better view of the bay and it's birds, we climbed to the second floor of the Rogue Brewery and ordered a few beers.

On Sunday, we surveyed beached birds at Bob Straub. for the first time, we found dead cormorants in breeding plumage. The white patches on the rump of the bird above indicate that it is a Pelagic Cormorant.

The Brandt's Cormorant above was quite rotten, but could be identified by the white plumes on its cheek.

3 comments:

EcoRover said...

Were the dead cormorants a "natural" occurence, or is there some sort of problem? Beautiful place, though.

Max said...

ER,

When thousands of seabirds gather off the coast to nest in the summer, it is common for some adults to wash up dead due to inability to find enough fish for themselves and their chicks. Later in the season, some recently fledged young join the adults on the beach.
There was probably lower mortality when there were more fish in the sea, but I do not know for sure.

Mimi said...

I love the jellies. It seems like a lovely part of the country.