Oregon Coast: Yachats to Newport

On our second and final morning at the coast, Jacob and I drove north from Yachats with our bellies full of sweet treats from the Green Salmon Cafe.  Our first stop was Seal Rock State Wayside where things were feeling a bit more like Oregon.

Cloudy and misty

I spent some time annoying a Black Phoebe while Jacob went exploring up the beach.

  People can't not touch everything.

Next we drove north to South Beach State Park where we walked the beach up to the south jetty of the Yaquina River.  The best birds there were one or two Rhinoceros Auklets relatively close in, super loud Common Murres, and Common and Pacific Loons still in breeding-ish plumage.

Terrible photo parade.

We took the trail back through the pines where a boisterous mixed flock of primarily robins and yellow-rumpeds were feeding.  A Wrentit started singing and even popped into view a couple times.  I was trying to take its picture when two women out on a walk came up, and one creepily whispered directly behind me "serious birders."

That one time a Pacific Wren was easy to see

After making it back to the car we headed to Nye Beach in Newport for tasty pesto grilled cheeses at the Deep End Cafe.  Afterwards it was time to hit the Hatfield Marine Science Center nature trail to check for a Tropical Kingbird reported the day before.

Random scaup super close to shore

We came across a big flock of Yellow-rumpeds and noticed this bird lounging on a rock:

Palm Warbler!  One had been reported here earlier in the month but I hadn't seen any super recent reports.  Lifer for Jacob!  It seemed injured and never used its legs to stand, though it seemed to fly around and eat just fine.  Jacob noticed there was a second Palm in the flock too.

Standing is easy!

No. Standing is hard.

The sun came out while we were there but it did not shine on any kingbirds.

We ran into Chuck Philo who had just found a Black Phoebe and we were able to re-find it on our way out.

Next up was driving the road along the south jetty in case of a random Long-tailed Duck or something.  Instead we found adorable harbor seals:

Our last stop was Yaquina Head for low tide because I remembered the tide pools being awesome.  We could see a gray whale not too far out when we arrived.

We kept waiting for the tide pools to be revealed but it never really happened.  After a quick google search we realized that the low tide wasn't that low after all.  Sad face.

Tiny shore crab in a rock wall

From there we headed home but decided to stop in Philomath to try for the reported Dickcissel.  We picked up a lot of Benton County birds, plus our Benton County Hipster Birders, but no Dick that day.  We weren't too disappointed since Jacob had already seen one in Texas this year, and I had already seen one in Oregon a few years back.

 Sewage pond friends

 Sunset on the drive home

All in all it was a very satisfying trip to the coast with tons of fun birds, mammals, and plants.  Our dog-sitter survived two nights with three crazy dogs so fingers crossed things go well while we're in Mexico!  Good times!!


  1. OH Mexico!! SO looking forward to that. Great birds again...and lots of skeeters for them to eat! A trustworthy dog sitter is like finding a gold nugget!

  2. Sounds like a great trip! And that little Pacific Wren is adorable!


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