Date: April 18, 2012
Tonight’s Location: Bullard’s Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon
Weather: partly cloudy – some sunshine
Temperature: start 51º
Wildlife count: Mallard, Pelagic Cormorant, Buffalo, Sheep, Cattle, Horses, Goats, Burro, Greater White-fronted Geese, Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Pacific Loon, Horned Grebe, Surf Scoter, Bufflehead, Garter Snake, Chipmunk, Raccoon, Darlingtonia, Stellar’s Jay, Turkey Vulture, Western Grebes
What a wonderful today for an adventure! We saw two birds that we have never seen before: Greater White-fronted Geese and the Horned Grebe. What a treat.
After breakfast, we drove north toward Coos Bay, but turned off to follow a few sloughs. Sloughs are marshy, saltwater inlets, that are filled with salt water at high tide and are mostly mudflat at low tide. Water is continually moving through them. We made many stops for pictures.
Catching Slough is a long slough that flows south, where we saw lots of pastureland on the floodplain, holding sheep, cattle, horses, goats, and even buffalo. It was there that we saw the Greater White-fronted Geese in a pasture along with Snow and Canada Geese – what a sight.
From there we turned up and followed Stock Slough up into the Coastal range foothills, where there were lots of small farms. Returning to the Coos River, we viewed the Great Egret rookery, probably 100 Egrets nesting in trees overlooking the river. We happened on it last year, and couldn’t wait to see it again. The Egrets sport long, silky feathers for breeding plumage and build nests in the trees out of sticks.
After a quick grocery stop at Fred Meyers, we had a bite of lunch at Burger King and headed for Charleston. The harbor held a real treat. We saw Horned Grebes – though far off, their bright colors gave them away as they were molting for breeding. After watching for quite some time, we drove to South Slough National Research Preserve, where we observed the carnivorous Darlingtonia, just poking out.
Ray’s Market was the source of shrimp for dinner, which we grilled and paired with stir-fried asparagus. Today has been a great escapade.