Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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 Haystack Rock, HRAP has taken on counting the animals during each shift and watching for symptoms of wasting. Observations are being reported to MARINe for use in their studies. HRAP is also undertaking the process of setting up a permanent monitoring station at Haystack Rock, though this may take time to establish. If you are interested in learning more about Sea Star Wasting, current research, or how you can get involved, visit seastarwasting.org.

The North Oregon Coast Bird-a-thon wrapped up the week on Saturday, April 12th. Birders across Clatsop County set out to see as many birds as possible and raise money for the Wildlife Center of the North Coast. One of the many stops along the way was Haystack Rock, where staff and volunteers had a bird observation station set up for participants and visitors. The HRAP Bird-a-thon team won the award for most Raptors identified! Congrats team!

Nudibranchs were out in full force this week at Haystack Rock! Spring time is breeding season for most marine invertebrates, and a chance encounter in the tidepools between two individuals usually means mating. Make sure to keep a close watch to try and catch this behavior! On April 13th, 10 Opalescent Nudibranchs and 10 Shaggy Mouse Nudibranchs were spotted in the pools. Hermit Crabs were also observed mating this week!


Creature Highlights

Invertebrates
  • Opalescent Nudibranch (Hermissenda crassicornis)
  • Shaggy Mouse Nudibranch (Aeolid papillosa)
  • Hermit Crab (Pagurus spp.)
Birds
  • Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - Lots of eagle activity this week. Adults and juveniles were observed hunting the slopes of Haystack Rock. Staff hypothesized that many other birds, like the Pigeon Guillemots (Cepphus columba) and Tufted Puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) were avoiding settling on the rock and establishing nesting sites due to the eagles.
  • Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) - A few birds spotted flying around the rock, not landing though.
  • Pelagic Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) - Large numbers were observed nesting on the cliffs of Haystack Rock and the Needles to the south.
  • Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) - Both parents and the juvenile were spotted amongst the lager boulders at the base of the Rock this week.

Photos from Haystack Rock

Shaggy Mouse Nudibranch seen at Haystack Rock. (Old HRAP file photo - watch the blog for photos from this year!)

Juvenile Bald Eagle soaring in front of Haystack Rock. (Photo by Susan Glarum)



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