More from Lincoln City.

As we chip away at all the work that needs to be done on the new house we try to fit in some time for exploring the new area.  Last month we did our first hike in the area through Grassy Knoll Open Space to God's Thumb, a point that offers excellent views.

The trail was lovely with wildflowers and bird songs for company.

Iris tenax, I assume

Corn lily (Veratrum californicum)

Birds along the trail included Swainson's Thrushes, Wilson's Warblers, Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Band-tailed Pigeons, and a Hairy Woodpecker.

The Hairy had a sweet view 

View of Lincoln City and Devils Lake to the south

After weaving back in and out of forest we found our first views of God's Thumb.

That rock in the water on the left is smothered with cormorants and murres.

Once at the top of the thumb Jacob noticed a few gray whales were hanging out just left of that rock.

Now that's a nice 5MR bird!  All around the thumb were wildflowers including the very showy Hairy-stemmed checker-mallow (Sidalcea hirtipes).

Someday I will lug my scope up here to find more birds.  Till then it's all Bald Eagles.

If you look at the photo below you can see lots of rocks in the water.  These are the tide pools I've visited several times now.  Also, you can't see it but there's a cave down there that is only accessible during low tide. 

For the hike back down we wanted to make a loop and so followed in the footsteps of the only other group of hikers we saw that morning.  We ended up in Swainson's Thrush berry land and Wrentit salal heaven.

No visuals of Wrentits unfortunately, but nice to hear them anyway.

For the long 4th of July weekend Jacob, Matthew, and I went back out to Lincoln City where our house's foundation is now completely stable and there's no longer a slope down to the back. Yay.  The morning of the 4th we headed to those tide pools I mentioned for the extra low low tide.

Purple shore crab with bubble face

 Ochre sea star, lined chitons, other tide pool stuff

This next thing looked like a sea lemon, a large yellow nudibranch, but it was 4-5 feet from the ground and I'm not sure if they would be so far up.

This is the only leather sea star I've seen at these tide pools so far:

Some kind of marine isopod thing

Because of the low tide we were able to check out the beach cave I mentioned earlier.

I was not expecting there to be tons of barnacles inside on the walls.

As for birds, there were lots of Pigeon Guillemots around along with a couple of Black Oystercatchers and lots of cormorants.

Brandt's and Pelagic Corms, Common Murres, a few gulls

Despite it being the 4th and a bit more crowded than usual, we still had a lot of fun.  Can't wait till I can visit this spot more often!

Back at the house, baby deer are staying on the correct side of the fence.  So far.

We had a couple of new yard birds on this visit:  Brown Creeper and Bewick's Wren.  The American Goldfinches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, and juncos are the most common feeder birds so far.  Once in awhile a Purple Finch visits, and a Black-headed Grosbeak male has been coming even more frequently.

Have yet to see a non-Douglas Squirrel and I hope it stays that way!  We have two cherry trees that at least one Douglas has discovered.  Rexi has learned if she lays beneath it then snacks fall magically from the sky. 

One for me, five for the yard Rexi

The house is coming along slowly but surely and I am so excited to spend more time out there!  Especially now that we have a real bed (not an air mattress) and a couch (not just metal patio chairs).  Good times!!