For the Birds at Yaquina Head

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Leader: Mary Ellen West

Birds were the feature of the July 10 Obsidian Bus Trip to the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area north of Newport. We were treated to peregrine falcons on the cliffs surrounding the Visitor Center. A nest is the visible home to a family of four peregrine chicks. A short walk away are the offshore islands home to thousands of nesting common murres and some cormorants. Eagles, were not present during our visit, but the effect of their predation was evident in the smaller number of birds able to sustain nesting. We observed several marauding turkey vultures lift the murres off the rocks. Biologists from OSU are monitoring nesting success, estimated at 20%. Many seals were visible lounging on the beach and rocks below.

Visible from the Yaquina Head road, was a great view of the dock which arrived on Agate Beach after the Tsunami of 2011 in Japan. Lunch was the Yaquina Bay State Park, site of the original lighthouse built in 1871, and open to visitors.

Our final stop was at Beaver Creek State Natural Area opened in 2010. This beautiful area is seven miles south of Newport and several miles inland from Ona Beach State Park on highway 101. Rick Ahrens was our extraordinary naturalist.

Nineteen club members and 3 non-members were on the trip.

Members: Mary Ellen West, Rick Ahrens, Ethel Allen, Bill Arthur, Mary Lee Cheadle, Sharon Cutsforth, Clara Emlen, Barbara Flanders, Dennis Flanders, Marjorie Jackson, Ray Jensen, John McManigal, Lenore McManigal, Barbara Payne, Don Payne, Margaret Prentice, Susan Sanazaro, Julie Snell, Charles Thomas. Nonmembers: Geri Nelson, Christa Emerson, Elizabeth Grubb.

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