New Years at the coast.

My friend and I headed to the coast on Wednesday to spend a couple days hanging out in the surprisingly amazing weather.  Our first stop was Boiler Bay where I was hoping to catch some kind of alcid despite forgetting my scope at home.  I was not disappointed.  No less than five Ancient Murrelets were hanging out!

My last life bird of 2014!  I was stoked.  There was another bird a bit more distant that I am not sure can be identified, but here it is just in case.  I thought maybe Marbled but I had terrible looks and terrible photos.

Also at Boiler Bay we caught sight of a couple of likely gray whales spouting far off.  We got better views from Depoe Bay and Devil's Punchbowl later on.

Depoe Bay

 Double spouting

So cool to see whales from shore.  We made it to Newport and got an oceanfront room at the Shilo just as the sun was setting.  Last sunset of 2014.

On New Years Day we picked up some coffee at Cafe Stephanie and drove over to the Yaquina Bay fishing pier to see what could be found.

Me & the mutts. 

The best birds around were close up Surf Scoters and Common loons and a lone male Barrow's Goldeneye.

Sexiest bird of 2015 so far. 

After the pier we went over to the south jetty...

Red-necked Grebes

 Yellow-rumped Warbler

From the jetty we headed to the bayfront to walk the dogs.  The first little dock we walked out on had a Great Blue Heron basking in sunshine under a dock and a Townsend's Warbler investigating rusty crevices.

We walked out on the docks in the marina and found a lone pelican swimming close in, offering fantastic views for once.

On the walk back to the car we stopped by BowwowMeow for a couple of lobster dog cookies for the mutts.  They were stoked even though they were forced to pose in front of a mural to earn them.

After lunch at the Savory Cafe in Nye Beach, we drove over to Yaquina Head to look for the reported Burrowing Owl.  Despite two attempts and tips from the ranger at the interpretive center, we could not find the damn bird.   A fellow from Salem and another local birder showed up, though no one was having luck.  The Salem guy seemed frustrated and asked if he could play the call.  I was kind of disgusted and just started walking away.  I'm not sure what the local guy replied, and I don't know if he ever actually played it.  I know, I should have said something myself, but I am a wuss sometimes.

I haven't heard of anyone else looking for this owl and failing to find it, but oh well.  It happens, and I was not about to disturb it just so I could see it.  Salem guy seemed to be more of the mindset that since he drove all the way there, the bird owed it to him to be visible.  Ugh.

Despite the owl fail we had a good time exploring the rest of Yaquina Head.  The tidal pools were particularly awesome since we lucked into arriving just before low tide.  So many urchins and things!

It was a great couple of days at the coast!  The perfect beginning to a new year.  Good times!!


  1. Your mystery bird looks good for JAMU. Alert the masses.

    BUOW has to be in the top five birds most often disturbed my nerders.

    1. Are you speaking to the masses? And referring to them as your nerders? I hope so.

  2. Great post! I just started reading your blog and I am officially a fan girl now! Enjoy your new year.

  3. Ah, the coast with the most.

    Those Murrelets and the Barrow's are quite sexy yes quiet sexy indeed--luckily I wasn't reading this post in public.

    BUOW doesn't seem like a species that would respond to playback anyway, but that quick break down to using calls, especially to find an individual bird simply because one made the trip, is alarmingly common. It's strange that birders don't feel more embarrassed in resorting to it so soon. How about having a recording of a voice screaming "Douche Bag" you can play whenever someone else is asking for it?

    1. Perhaps you can offer your voice up for that task? And I can use it as my ringtone? Thanks.

  4. I also had both MAMU and ANMU today, and also looked for a BUOW. I saw it.

    We're friends forever...we're bros....not fairweather...

  5. wow Jen, great birds on your coastal trip...I would give an eye tooth for any of them right about now!
    AND the tidal pools are like being on another planet!! Love it---you started your year off right!!

    1. Thanks, Sondra, the tidal pools were pretty crazy! So much good stuff to look at.

  6. You got lucky with all that sunshine. Your photos are lookin' good!

  7. You did not exaggerate the sexiness of that Goldeneye. And you may be comforted to know that we tried for that Burrowing Owl the first week and December and missed it. May we both have better luck next time!

    1. Ah, that does offer some comfort, thank you!


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