Oregon Bound and Down... travel blog

Spotted Sandpiper

On Duty

Date: May 14, 2012

Tonight’s Location: Bullard’s Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon

Weather: cloudy, and then sunny

Temperature: start 48º

High 55º

Wildlife count: Mallard, Barn Swallow, Brown Pelicans, Crow, Raven, Osprey, Spotted Sandpiper, Western Gull, California Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Robin, Pelagic Cormorant, Surf Scoter, White-crowned Sparrow, turkey vulture, Cackling Geese, Caspian Tern, Gary Whales,

A big group of volunteers joined together to share breakfast this morning. We sat with Don and Karen and enjoyed learning their story. Karen was a teacher, and then moved into a principalship in a small town in Kansas. She and her husband had lived their lives in a big city, so a very small town was a huge change. It was interesting to hear their story, as I had once considered administration, including taking an administration class. We have always been glad that we stayed in teaching.

When we got out to China Creek, it was cloudy, but not too cold. We were incredibly blessed to be able to see some amazing creatures. A Spotted Sandpiper (a life bird for us) came to spend time right below our vantage point on China Creek. Its tail continually bobbed up and down, which is why they are called ‘teeter-tail.’

We watched two crows fight over a mouse that one of them had killed – and the drama happened directly below us on top of a stump. A huge bird flew down onto the sand spit, and it didn’t stay long enough to get a good look. However, I think it might have been a golden or immature Bald Eagle. There were also huge squadrons of Brown Pelicans, and one large chevron of Cackling Geese.

Probably the biggest and most exciting event of the day was the sight of a Gray Whale. At that wasn’t enough, there were at least 2 more – one set was a cow with her calf. They stay in our sight, rolling on the surface, and blowing for at least fifteen minutes. It was awesome!

We prepared stroganoff and had our corn/cornbread for dinner. We visited Jim and Phyllis to get the Pinniped program (Mysteries of the Deep) on the Bullard’s Beach campfire program schedule. We presented it twice last year, and will enjoy it again this year.

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