Showing posts from April, 2014

April 14th - April 20th 2014

Daily Low Tides

Monday, April 14th
0.4' @ 6:58 AM

Tuesday, April 15th
0.0' @ 7:36 AM

Wednesday, April 16th
-0.3' @ 8:14 AM

Thursday, April 17th
-0.5' @ 8:53 AM

Friday, April 18th
-0.5' @ 9:35 AM

Saturday, April 19th
-0.4' @ 10:21 AM

Sunday, April 20th
-0.1 @ 11:13 AM

Notes from the week:

The third week in April was a typical spring week on the North Coast. The weather went from sunny, to pouring rain and strong wind, to sun again, back to rain, and ended with sunny weather but high surf. Our highest visitor count was 110 people in the intertidal at one time during the beach shift on Friday, April 18th; thankfully that was one of the nice days!

It was a busy week for HRAP! On Thursday we kicked off Cannon Beach's annual 12 Days of Earth Day Celebration with the "Welcome Tufted Puffin" ceremony at Haystack Rock. We opened the festivities with students from Seaside Heights Elementary, Cannon Beach Pre-School, and Fire Mountain Elementary by singing a s…

April 7th - April 13th 2014

Daily Low Tides:

Monday, April 7th 1.4' @ 1:36 PM
Tuesday, April 8th 1.5' @ 2:39 PM
Wednesday, April 9th 1.5' @ 3:37 PM
Thursday, April 10th 1.4' @ 4:26 PM
Friday, April 11th 1.3' @ 5:08 PM
Saturday, April 12th 1.3' @ 5:46 PM
Sunday, April 13th 1.4' @ 6:22 PM

Notes from the week:
The second week in April started out foggy but turned lovely with sunny days and warm temperatures as the days progressed. Staff, volunteers and visitors alike enjoyed the spring weather and exploring the tidepools. Our highest visitor count was 105 people in the intertidal at one time during Sunday's beach shift.
We kicked off the week with a Sea Star Wasting Informational Session on Monday, April 7th. Melissa Miner, Research Associate at U.C. Santa Cruz and the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe), gave a presentation on the background and characteristics of the disease, on-going research, and monitoring protocols. In an effort to monitor the Sea Star populations at …

April 1st - April 6th 2014

Daily Low Tides:

Tuesday, April 1st -0.5' @ 8:36 AM
Wednesday, April 2nd -0.4' @ 9:20 AM
Thursday, April 3rd -0.1' @ 10:04 AM
Friday, April 4th 0.3' @ 10:48 AM
Saturday, April 5th 0.7' @ 11:37 AM
Sunday, April 6th 1.2' @ 12:33 PM

Notes from the week:
The first week of April beach shifts was one of overcast skies, variable winds, a few good rain showers, and a just a glimpse of sun every once in while. The weather didn't keep visitors at bay though, as spring breaks around the Pacific Northwest brought tourists to the beach. Our highest visitor count during the week was 170 people in the intertidal during the shift on April 2nd.
It was an exciting week down at Haystack Rock with our first Tufted Puffin sighting on April 2nd! We saw three birds flying around the Rock during that Wednesday's shift. Throughout the week we regularly spotted a few Tufted Puffins passing over at a time. In other bird news, Staff and Volunteers continued to see Pigeon Guillemots…

March 30th, 2014

Low Tide: 0.0' @ 7:04 AM
The final day of Oregon's Spring break was windy and overcast once again. Staff and volunteers were on the beach just after sunrise to greet the early morning visitors to Haystack Rock. Our highest count was 12 people in the intertidal.
It was an exciting day for birding though! We saw our first returning Pigeon Guillemots (Cepphus columba) of the season. These small black birds with white wings bars are related to Tufted Puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) and Common Murres (Uria aalge), all members of the Auk family. They are a diving sea bird, foraging for small fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. They nest low on the cliffs of Haystack Rock and are therefore very susceptible to human disturbance. Listen for their low and quick, whittle-like call while you explore the intertidal!
Photo Credit: Susan Glarum
Staff and volunteers also spotted our juvenile Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) with it's parents and numerous Harlequin Ducks (H…

March 29th, 2014

Low Tide: 0.2' @ 6:35 PM
Another blustery day though not as bad as the day before. Staff and volunteers greeted the few visitors that ventured forth onto the beach. Our highest visitor count was 59 people in the intertidal, though for a majority of the shift it was less than 30 at a time.
The Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus luecocephalis) are still actively hunting the intertidal on a regular basis. During this shift one Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) was not quite quick enough. An adult eagle pinned it to the Rock and then flew off with the bird in it's talons, likely returning to it's nest in the hills behind Cannon Beach to enjoy the prize.

March 28th, 2014

Shift canceled due to weather :(

March 27th, 2014

Low Tide: 0.2 @ 5:01 PM

The weather calmed down a bit during this shift and Spring Breakers strolled the beach. Our highest visitor count was 74 people in the intertidal.

Creature Highlights:

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus luecocephalis)Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus)Trillineata Nudibranch (Flabellina trillineata)2 Opalescent Nudibranchs (Hermissenda crassicornis)2 Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani)Pelagic Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) - lots returning to the Rock at the end of the shift

March 26th, 2014

Low Tide: 0.4' @ 4:06 PM
Another less than ideal weather day with wind and rain. There was no exposure when staff arrived for the beginning of the shift, so they returned to the office for a couple hours and came back to the beach  at low tide. Visitors braved the weather to explore the intertidal during the rest of the shift. Our highest visitor count was 32 people exploring the tidepools.
Our juvenile Black Oystercatcher (Heamatopus bachmani) was spotted once again, foraging with its parents.
There were large amounts of sea foam present all along the shoreline. While sea foam can look like an oil spill or pollution washed up on the beach, it is actually caused by large blooms of diatoms, a microscopic plant or phytoplankton. Diatoms and other phytoplankton are the base of the marine food web. Everything in the ocean feeds on microscopic organisms, either directly or indirectly. During a diatom bloom, the surf becomes saturated with the plants and they wash ashore in an oil-like…

March 25th, 2014

Low Tide: 0.6' @ 3:02 PM

The wind was gusting and the sand really blowing during this shift. Staff called the shift after half an hour due to strong winds and very few visitors on the beach. The only ones brave enough to face the wind in large numbers were flocks of Common Murres (Uria aalgae) spotted flying around the rock.

Tufted Puffin Sighting!

Photo Credit: Ram Papish
The Tufted Puffins have returned from wintering in the open ocean! Yesterday, April 2nd, three puffins were spotted flying around Haystack Rock and today one solo puffin was seen flying. This is just the beginning of their return. We should be seeing more and more everyday in April.  Last year, our breeding colony totaled 143 individual birds. This was the greatest number of puffins sighted at Haystack Rock since USFW started surveying in 2010. I can not wait to see how many return to breed this nesting season!  Tufted Puffins are seabirds in the Auklet family. Their bright orange beaks and long toenails help them dig their nesting burrows on the Northside of Haystack Rock. Life-long puffin pairs will lay one egg each nesting season. July is the best time to see puffins at Haystack Rock because parents are actively feeding their hungry chicks in their burrows. By the end of August, most chicks and their parents have returned to the open ocean. Keep checking back …