Pacific City.

I had never spent any time in Pacific City before this weekend- all I knew was that it was on the coast and that my friends from California had rented a house there for a couple nights.  We arrived on Saturday evening just as the sun was setting...

The house we stayed at was right on the Big Nestucca River and our view was pretty sweet...

And birds?  There were plenty.  On Sunday morning my friend and I explored Clay Meyers State Natural Area at Whalen Island, just north of town.  We took a hike through the wooded part to the beach and back around. 

Insert dirty joke here

 The trees were filled with Chestnut-backed Chickadees.  Adorable ones.

 When we got out of the woods onto the beach we found one lonely shorebird...

 This bird seemed bigger than other peeps but I am thinking it's just a Western Sandpiper?  I tried wading out in the water to get closer looks at some distant birds, but I guess they saw my plan and took off...

As we looped back around the park we crossed the entrance road and followed a trail into some mudflats and wetlands.  We found a bunch of Least Sandpipers...

I definitely recommend this park for exploring.  That afternoon we went kayaking on the Big Nestucca which was a bit of an adventure, especially with a two-year-old who was not so sure about the whole thing. 

Later on in the evening my friend and I were driving and she saw a bird flapping around in the middle of the road.  We turned around and found a female House Sparrow that must have been hit but not killed baking on the pavement. 

Sad little lady.  I moved her with a paper towel into the shade where she either died from her injuries, got killed and eaten, or possibly lived to tell the tale. 

Sunday evening on the river...

Monday morning when I woke up my friend pointed out three deer standing in the river.  After they waded out of the river one paused to take a leak.

My friend and I decided to explore Bob Straub State Park, which is a big piece of land between the ocean and Nestucca Bay.  There are no helpful trail maps anywhere which turned this hike into more of an adventure than planned. 

We came across a couple of these young birds that I think might be yellowthroats, but not positive:

We had a couple of Rufous Hummingbirds join us on our travels for a bit as well...

Part of our hike went through the land of a million teeny frogs. 

We spied on a nice big buck with a fresh rack...

Everywhere we went on the coast we saw lots of Cedar Waxwings, including awkward young ones...

And although there were no helpful maps or trail markers along the trails, we made our way back eventually.  The only useful sign we saw in the woods was this one:

Good times!!!


  1. Wow looks like a sweet spot! When I read Pacific City, it made me think of a terrifying retirement community, like Sun City here in Phoenix. This looks much nicer though, with plenty of wildlife to boot.

    Chestnut Backed Chickadee should also be an ice cream flavor (or the inspiration for one, rather).

  2. Looks like a great weekend! I love the deer with the antlers and that sign is great. Very clever.

  3. Sounds like a great time and good birding, Jen! The house on the river has a beautiful view. I love the cute chickadees and the frog. The deers are pretty, plenty of great wildlife sightings and photos. Great post.

  4. Looks like a fabulous little trip! Love the beautiful shots of the river! and the squirrel & pine cone is pretty funny! 2 year old & kayaking~always an adventure; mine likes to take over my paddle and getting it back is nearly impossible. At least he is beginning to be able to paddle.

    1. Ooh, soon you can just kick back while he paddles you around!

  5. I'm glad you got to visit PC! My parent's house is right across the river from where you were. I try to go there as often as possible. Whalen Island is the bomb. That's cool that you found some birds there. I think you are right about the Yellowthroat. Great trip!

    1. Oh funny! It was definitely a place I'll want to visit again!

  6. SO glad you had a fun trip, lots of wildlife too..awesome deer, squirrel and BRID photos!! ITS a beautiful place to boot. LOVE that Rufous shot!!!!!


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