Date: April 13, 2012
Tonight’s Location: Bullard’s Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon
Weather: sunny, a few brief showers
Temperature: start 45º
Wildlife count: Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Steller’s Jay, Spotted Towhee, Greater Yellowlegs, Meadowlark, Berwick’s Wren, Killdeer, Pelagic Cormorant, Swallows, Belted Kingfisher, Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Black-tailed Deer, Bufflehead, Wood Ducks, Robin, Savannah Sparrow, Turkey Vulture, Wild Turkey, Mallard, Marsh Wren, Eurasian Starling, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Northern Flicker, Common Merganser, Band-tailed Pigeon, Coots, Osprey, Herring Gull, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Common Grackle, Common Murre, Western Gull,
We had a wonderful adventure this morning. With the trees here just beginning to leaf out, we traveled both sides of the Coquille River, to the town of Coquille and back. It was delightful.
Along the way, we stopped often and found a few unusual birds. In March, this area of the coast had received 18” of rain, so the wetlands were VERY wet, and lots of fields that weren’t supposed to be wetlands were flooded. Consequently, there was a plethora of birds, including many shorebirds that are migrating from Texas to the Tundra. It was neat to wonder if some of the birds we saw in Texas might be the same birds we saw this morning, on their way to Alaska!
We had some terrific treats today. We even splurged and stopped at the veggie stand – got asparagus to grill for tomorrow night and a red pepper. However, the real splurge was the bakery next door!!! John had an apple fritter and I had a date bearclaw. This bakery is operated by two little old people, who started this bakery before 1970 – they have EVERYTHING you could possibly want – breads, cookies, Danish, bearclaws – and it all looks like it is still 1940!!! It is dark in the place, and just these two 80+ folks are there – I’m sure they were up at 3am baking, as they do every day. They are retiring at the end of the month. It was just a bizarre place – all we could figure out was that the townspeople all must come at noon and empty the place out every day.
As the sun was shining when we arrived home, we sat out in the sunshine reading, when Tyna stopped by, and we had a delightful chat! Dinner was early at the Station Restaurant, as we had a seminar tonight on the Japanese Tsunami debris – all interpretative park volunteers were asked to attend. It was very interesting – the major issues were radioactivity and HazMat. Since the material has traveled for so long in the ocean, and the major radioactive isotopes are either water-soluble, or have a very short half-life, there is no issue from radioactivity. HazMat is a different story – there are always problems with barrels of hazardous material or oil washing up on shore. We were given a protocol for dealing with those types of issues that was very helpful. As has been the usual practice, Oregon city, county, state, park system, Coast Guard, as well as non-profits all work together – not just in this issue, but on many issues. We have been so impressed with the inter-departmental cooperation we have witnessed in Oregon – it is a great example to follow!
After the seminar, the DQ was too close to miss, so we got really small ones and headed for the beach overlook. It was our second and third treats for the day. The third was the beauty – a rainbow and the striking sunset. There is just so much for which to give thanks!