Much to my dismay this was not a good week for common murre surveys. We started out pretty well, with one of the nesting rocks (Lower Colony Rock) continuing to fill with nesting pairs. Later on in the week, all the birds were gone. We hadn’t really noted any major disturbances by eagles or gulls while monitoring, so it is suspected that the murres are being disturbed outside of monitoring hours. Another possible explanation is that there are not enough food resources in the area to sustain the birds during incubation periods. Even with this very sad news, the cormorant nests are doing well! We have been monitoring even more nests, and we see more eggs and chicks as the season continues. Thus far, we have counted 20 Brandt’s cormorant chicks! With the murres, nature is cruel, but it seems to be on the side of the cormorants. Even so, there is still a chance that the murres will try to nest again. Fingers crossed!
I also had the amazing opportunity to participate in Rocky Shores training this week! Rocky Shores training consists of various activities and talks to educate interpreters all along the Oregon Coast about the beautiful flora and fauna that make it up! I had such a great time learning about whales, seabirds, mudflats, government agencies and more!
This past weekend at Yaquina Head was quite hectic too! Tons of visitors were at the park, with a high of 848 people at the tide pools alone. It was exciting but also a bit nerve racking trying to keep track of that many people. Luckily, overall people were respectful of the wildlife and the park. One highlight of the week, was being able to guide a group of 4H students through the park! It was a group of Latino kids in 4th-8th grade, along with their parents and a few other leaders. I had a fantastic time with this group! They were all so energetic and excited to learn about the tide pools and they had so may questions for me! It was such a wonderful privilege to be able to teach them what I am so passionate about! They were all so kind to me, I even joined them for a yummy lunch. Experiences like these make me realize just how important and special it is to share your passion with others. Not only does this give you a sense of fulfillment, but it allows you the opportunity to connect those you teach to something bigger than themselves! I hope I will have many more opportunities like this in my life.