- Category: News
Just 80 miles west of Longview/Rainier one can discover new opportunities for observing wild life beyond our customary species. We moved from Longview to Gearhart, Oregon in April 2016, and now are coastal residents of nearly a year. Living and exploring the coastal forests and prairies, the dunes and beaches has offered some delightful experiences.
One of our more interesting sightings happened last summer, when we began seeing large black fins circling just beyond the breakers off Gearhart Beach. Amongst these were repeated whale spouts. We identified 3 whales and at least 5 Orcas. Several local naturalists offered the explanation that this rogue Orca pod (often seen at the mouth of the Columbia) was trying to separate a mother gray whale from her calf. The mother was successful in staying between her calf and the predators as two whales were seen a few miles north within an hour of our sighting. It is hard to know who to root for during these natural world battles.
John takes a daily beach walk and it is always interesting. We have seen 6 eagles at one time, “celebrating” a comrade’s successful catch of a small sea perch, too small to share. Another day, one was clinging to a crab and puzzling over its best approach for consuming. The eagles are plentiful this winter and John sees them daily. We hope to find successful nests over the next couple months for observation.
One of the most exciting finds has been a group of 5 Snowy Plovers that have been present almost daily for nearly two months. This is a rare and endangered shore bird for which there are recovery plans/actions happening at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Penninsula.