Friday, August 25, 2017

August 21st-ECLIPSE DAY!!!

So it officially has come and gone. The eclipse that was to pass through Oregon on the morning of August 21st passed through and people are now making travel plans for the next one in eight years. It was a very special morning at The Rock. I woke up early and was excited to see clear blue skies and the sun shining bright. As the staff got onto the beach it was a normal morning, with the same routine, same signs, and the animals were all acting completely normal; except this morning was special. Cindy-one of our wonderful environmental interpreters- was on the beach giving a huge demonstration about the eclipse and how it affects the tides and the birds. She was awesome! Visitors and other staff all enjoyed her presentation. There was two visitors that listened to her little presentation probably five times. They couldn't get enough, it was awesome!
As we reached the peak of the eclipse, it was magical! The small amount of people on the beach were all standing with their backs to the ocean looking up into the sky, no one's focus was on the Rock. Everyone was focused on the same thing, and was astonished by what they were seeing! Then very quickly the fog rolled in, it got really really cold, and then it got just a little bit darker. Dark enough where on of our interpreters thought she was going to be able to see a Rhinoceros Auklet-a type of nocturnal bird that nests at the Rock. Finally, as quickly as it began, it ended! The sun came back out in full force, it warmed back up, and the fog rolled back out to sea! Even though, we only had around 98% totality in Cannon Beach, the eclipse was still a completely magically event!!! Thanks to all who came out to watch it with us!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Where are the eagles?

Lately, a lot of visitors have been asking about the eagles. More specifically why we haven't been seeing them around the Rock causing chaos lately. The answer to that question is...PEREGRINE FALCONS!!! The last three weeks almost everyday there has been a falcon sighting. It is typically relatively calm, maybe just some extra noise from the nesting birds. Peregrine falcons are significantly smaller than eagles, but are still considered a prey bird. They look really similar to juvenile gulls when in flight, so to identify it is important to look for the more prey-like wing beat.To me the coolest part of a falcon is that when they power dive, they can reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour. Isn't that completely crazy?!?!?!? Keep your eyes out for one next time you are at the Rock! 

*I will post picture of falcons later, but this morning I couldn't find one I loved*

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sunshine, Warmth, and Lots of Visitors!

When most people think about the Oregon Coast, they think about the Pacific Ocean, overcast, and rain. Typically, that is normal but last week was different. Every morning we woke up to sun shining in through the windows and our staff could not wait to get to the beach each day. There is a trend that occurs in Oregon when there is a heat wave-people who live inland, where last week the temperature was in the triple digits, take a day trip to the coast to escape the heat. For the Portlanders, Cannon Beach is any easy jog over Highway 26. This means that it was a busy week at the Rock and our staff got to talk to and educate tons of visitors! Good thing that is our favorite thing to do!!!

On August 2, 2017, the temperature recorded at Haystack Rock was 93 degrees fahrenheit. THAT IS ASTONISHING! I almost do not even believe it. This spurred my curiosity and I looked into the highest recorded temperature ever at Haystack Rock. It was July of 1961 recorded at 105 degrees fahrenheit. That is mind blowing because its so far from normal.

Here is a few pictures from last week:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sand Bars are AMAZING!

OMG! OMG! OMG! All my dreams have come true! The stars have all aligned! We got to go to the BACK SIDE of the Rock three mornings in a row!!! It is was absolutely amazing! There was a -1.7 and -1.9 tide, a sand bar connecting the first needle and the Rock, plus the surf was small! There was creatures to discover everywhere you turned!
Lets just make a list off the things:

  • SOO many Sea Stars, including Ocre, Six-rayed, and Red Brittle
  • SOOO many Chitons (Leatherback, Mossy, and Lined)
  • Skeleton Shrimp
  • Lemon, Opalescent, Janolus, Rustanga, Frosted  Nudibranchs
  • Olive Snails and their maze of paths
  • Sea Urchins
  • Decorator, Red Rock Crabs
  • Sea Anenomes
  • Muscles
  • Barnacles
I definitely missed some of the things people found, it was impossible to see everything, but something so special. There was two moments that stood out to me. The first one was all of sudden I turned around and realized I was not surrounded by tourists. All of the people who got up early to come out were locals, who love the ocean and understood how special it was to be on the backside of the Rock. The second was a different day when one of our interpreters-Kari- was standing at the base of the first needle looking at the Common Murre colony looking for chicks, when an adult Common Murre dive bombed her. It was really close to colliding straight into her. It was terrifying and hilarious at the same time. All of us had so much fun exploring and nerding out back there!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Manzanita Music Festival

This weekend was the second annual Manzanita Music Festival in downtown Manzanita! Two HRAP staff members-Alanna and Jesse- went down and represented the program with a booth. Alanna is not on staff this year but she has been for the last five years and is now off studying the ocean at Oregon State University but she came home to volunteer her time at the festival for the program. It was an AWESOME weekend with great music and fun people. Alanna and Jesse made more fun puffin puppets and colored lots of pictures with kiddos and even some adults who took the puffin to the next level with extra details and teeth(do puffins even have big white square teeth?). They both had so much fun representing the program off the beach! Thank you Manzanita Music Festival for allowing us to be part of your awesome event. We can not wait for next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Guess what? Guess what? THE BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS HAVE BABIES!!!! THREE OF THEM!!!!!! AND THEY SURVIVED THEIR FIRST WEEK OF LIFE!!!!     We are REALLY excited about the little fellas. It has been a week and a half of a lot of excitement and a little added stress. We are working hard to ensure that the parents are happy and that the babies are protected. Please help us do that by understanding why there might be more area closed off than normal. Black Oystercatchers are extremely special birds and we are lucky to have a pair that nests at the Rock.

Ready for the quick and dirty story of Black Oystercatchers: They are shore birds who are considered a species of concern because their population is so low. It is estimated that there is only 400 on the entire coastline of Oregon, approximately one for every mile. They are territorial and will loudly chase off any other Oystercatcher that comes to close. At the Rock, there has been a pair nesting for a while. Unfortunately, it has been three years since they were successful in their nesting, even though they have tried relentlessly.

This year that changed, there was a successful nest. We suspect that the reason for the somewhat sudden change was that there is a new pair of Black Oystercatchers nesting at the Rock and that one of them is the off-spring from a few years ago. And that the old pair has simply moved over to the Needles as happy “grandparents”.

Never the less, there is babies running around the Rock!!! 

© 2017 Diana Robinson.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Photos: A Happy Update from Us to You!

❤ Here is an update of our magical moments from Haystack Rock! ❤

One of our favorite visitors, Barbara Hauser, wearing the latest fashion in Puffin! Puffins line down alongside the center of her coat's zipper. Don't we all wish we had one of these? 🙋🙌

This is what our inter tidal area of Haystack Rock's Marine Preserve looks like once the tide starts coming up quick! Be aware and don't forget, the ocean comes up really quick (after hitting low tide)!💧💦

A beautiful, healthy sea star enjoying some underwater sun!😁

The sunset frames Haystack Rock in pink from sea to sky! 💗

All Photos by: Brianna Ortega