To my dismay, this week started off with saying goodbye to two wonderful friends and coworkers. Honestly, I’ve never really liked saying goodbye. I don’t really understand why they are called “goodbyes”, since there’s nothing “good” about them. Regardless, I am very happy that I was able to meet and work with these great friends and I hope we will see each other again in the near future! Best of luck to you both on your journey!
Even so, the week continued and it was one the busiest weeks I have yet to experience at Yaquina Head. Families, friends and all sorts of other groups came to the park and the most popular area of all was Cobble Beach, where our famous tide pools are found. Even on the rainiest of days, hundreds of people gathered in search of sea stars, giant green anemones, purple urchins and my favorite, gumboot chitons! During my shifts at the tide pools, I was also able to discover and learn about a new species that was stopping by! Velella jellyfish! At first, they seem like a shiny piece of blue plastic that has washed up on the pools, but looking at it closer one can see its tiny tentacles and jelly sail. These critters are also known as “by the wind sailors”, because they go wherever the wind will blow them. How cool is that?! There have also been sightings of some other cool wildlife here at Yaquina, such as harlequin ducks, turkey vultures, bald eagles and even a few whales spouts in the distance! I can’t wait for the gray whales to make a real appearance!
I’m also excited to report that on my routine survey to Idaho Flats this past week, my ever so sought after shore birds FINALLY made an appearance! Although it was but a brief moment, I could make out the four little sand pipers ,probing away in the midst of a large group of Brant geese. It all happened so fast and yet it was so exciting, because it has been so long that I have been scanning Yaquina Bay for shore birds! As the next few weeks come along, I hope to be prepared for the appearance of even more shorebirds and the many visitors of Yaquina Head.