Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Coastal Oregon Day I and II: Cannon Beach - Newport

 After checking various locations in and around Cannon Beach when reaching the Pacific coast I checked into the idyllic Haystack Rock Inn at Cannon Beach for the night.
 Unfortunately, the weather was not very conducive to photography while staying at Cannon Beach. I guess they wouldn't have temperate rainforests growing in Oregon if it was dry and sunny all year.

View of Ecola State Park from the beach:
 A Common Murre heading back to the ocean after feeding young at Haystack Rock:
 One of 17 bachelor Harlequin Duck drakes, non-breeding yearling males, on summer break at Haystack Rock:
 After satisfying close views of Tufted Puffins and other seabirds at the beach I headed into the remnants of the ancient rainforest in Ecola State Park.The remaining massive old conifers still standing hosts nesting Marbled Murrelets, Bald Eagles, woodpeckers, thrushes, and many warblers. This trunk was easily 2 meters in diameter: 
 The trail led out to a spectacular viewing point by a steep cliff overlooking the ocean and this lighthouse rock that serves as a breeding site for hundreds of sealions:
 View towards Cannon Beach:
 The newly recognized Pacific Wren, formerly considered a sub-species of the Winter Wren:
A curious Douglas's Squirrel posing for a portrait in the deep Sitka forests at Ecola Park:

A pretty Iris growing in Ecola State Park:
 All the older tree were covered in moss, lichen and ferns:
 After finishing the Clatsop Loop trail at Ecola, I ate lunch while scanning the ocean for Western Grebes, Pacific Loons, Red-throated Loons, Bald Eagles, Glaucous-winged Gulls, Heermann's Gull, and various alcids.
With the cloud-veiled skies I decided to head south and aimed at reaching the city of Newport before nightfall, to be in a more strategic position for exploring other coastal forest parks and beaches.

The view from a rest stop overlooking Nehalem Bay:
A stop at Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint yielded a few nice photo opportunities in the nice evening light as the skies slowly cleared up as I drove south along the coast. A male American Robin (above) and a immature Glaucous-winged Gull waiting for the next meal in the form of junk food left behind by passing visitors.
A male White-crowned Sparrow (likely) of the western nutallii sub-species.

Supposedly, Elegant Terns from California visit Newport frequently throughout the summer months so I spent the last couple of hours of daylight checking the bay and beach around Yaquina Bay:
However, I only found Caspian Terns:

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