Love at First Sight
After weeks of constant bird surveying, I finally caught a glimpse of the celebrated migratory birds. The weather has been exquisite this past week, so the arrival of these birds was perfect. The ocean currents have slowed down, the water bears a cobalt/teal shading, the clouds have diffused, and the sun has finally awakened. I stood out in Yaquina Bay (Idaho Flats) with my binoculars and examined the brown mud flats. There was a flock of Western Gulls sunbathing in the radiant sun, but towards the end there were four puffballs. I quickly used my scope to focus on the unidentified species: dark, almost spotty, bellies, short beaks, and black legs. What species of bird was it? Four…Black-bellied Plovers! The excitement I felt was overwhelming; never have I experienced that level of joy for birds. I am becoming a bird enthusiast! Through this internship, not only am I improving my bird identification skills, but I am also being exposed to an exquisite array of wildlife on a daily basis. I am strengthening my relationship with Mother Nature by living in such a beautiful part of the world! On a typical day, when I arrive to the Interpretive Center of Yaquina Head, I can spot two Peregrine Falcons on the ledge; when I go to the lighthouse deck, I can spot Common Murres, Brandt’s Cormorants, or Surf Scoters; and when I go to the tide pools, I can spot sea stars, anemones, and seals. Life is good on the Oregon Coast!