Recently at Florence, OR, on the coast, visitors spotted Otters doing what Otters do best—eating shell fish and playing in the water. They didn’t hang out long before going back into their burrow. However, they are residents here and can be seen from the Gazebo Park in Old Town Florence on Bay St.
The Oregon Coast is home to a variety of marine wildlife. Critters can be seen in the wild all up and down the coast as you travel or stop to view. We are going to visit with a few right now.
Seals are a big attraction for visitors and residents alike. They can often be seen resting on the coast outcroppings. Here at Seal Rock (near Newport) many have gathered to rest upon the rocks.
The seals and sea lions often cruise in the bays hunting for fish. They also cruise around folks who are fishing and attempt to steal their fish. They are frequently successful. We caught sight of this one at the public fishing docks in Winchester Bay.
Crabbing is a very popular activity for residents as well as visitors. Grab a crab trap and some bait and you can have an entertaining day and yummy dinner you caught yourself. The Dungeness Crabs are the biggest and best eating, but make sure to follow the rules about what you can keep and what needs to be returned to the water. Size and gender are important.
Along with the marine life there are a variety of birds. Many are usually only found near water, but some you can find anywhere. Like this crow caught at take-off.
One of the bigger water birds is the crane. This one had just taken off from the beach near Newport.
Everyone knows what a seagull is. Here at the ocean they are bigger than inland gulls. Seagulls have distinct personalities and no two are the same. While walking across the bridge at Charleston one time, a gull dive-bombed me several times. I couldn’t see anything it was protecting but it sure didn’t want me there. This photo is outside a room window at the Embarcadero in Newport. This gull hung out on the porch watching (me—yikes!).
There are a lot of ducks in the bays. They nest on the banks and raise their babies here. These two Mallards were swimming in Winchester Bay.
A really fun thing to do is tide pooling. There are some great places to do this like Cape Arago and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. We can point you in the right direction. When the tide rolls out, it leaves behind many interesting ocean creatures in the shallow pools. This purple sea star is one, along with the sea anemones and turban snails.
Everyone’s favorites (well, except for the commercial fisher folk who say they eat too much fish) are the sea lions. Outside of the caves north of Florence, you will find them many places. Our favorite viewing place is the dock they’ve claimed at Newport. They are very entertaining.
It is easy to find wildlife here on the coast. When you drop in to visit us at Umpqua River Haven, we’ll send you to the best places for wildlife viewing. And don’t forget the seagulls. They, too, are very entertaining like this one that posed for the camera.