Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 9th to June 15th 2014

Daily Low Tides

Monday, June 9th; shift extended 30 minutes due to tide
2.5' @ 4:07 PM

Tuesday, June 10th
2.6' @ 4:58 PM

Wednesday, June 11th; shift extended 45 minutes
-0.5' @ 6:08 AM

Thursday, June 12th
-1.0' @ 6:54 AM

Friday, June 13th
-1.3' @ 7:40 AM

Saturday, June 14th; two shifts to cover both low tides
-1.5' @ 8:25 AM
2.4' @ 8:21 PM

Sunday, June 15th
-1.4' @ 9:10 AM

Notes from the Week

The Black Oystercatchers took center stage this week. Susan Glarum captured a fabulous series of photos of our favorite oystercatcher couple sharing parental duties at Haystack Rock. This nesting pair in the saddle gives us a great opportunity to observe the lengths to which birds go to successfully hatch their eggs. One adult is almost always on the nest to keep the eggs protected from the elements and predators. The exchange between parents is quick so as to expose the eggs for only a short time. The couple was spotted chasing away another Black Oystercatcher early in the week. Later in the week, two gulls harassed the incoming Oystercatcher who did not go immediately to the nest. Photos and captions by staff member Susan Glarum.

"I'm waiting Dear."

"I'm coming, I'm coming"

The Exchange

"I'll see you in about an hour." 

"I always have to rearrange things after you've been here."

School group season has come to an end with only Astoria Elementary School second-graders visiting this week. The highest visitor count for the week was 130 on Sunday morning.

Creature Highlights


  • Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani) - Black Oystercatchers still on their nest in the saddle and swapping nest-sitting duties.
  • Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - Bald eagles continue to visit Haystack Rock; 4 eagles were sighted together on Monday.
  • Tufted Puffin ((Fratercula cirrhata) - Tufted Puffins were photographed in the grassy areas of Haystack Rock
  • Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) - Guillemots were spotted mating
  • Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) - About 6 Harlequin Ducks on the south side 
  • Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)
  • Peregrine Flacon (Falco Peregrinus
  • Shaggy Mouse Nudibranch (Aeolid papillosa) - This nudibranch has a whitish or pinkish body with brown or gray spots. They have colorless or brown projections, typically with a bald spot down the middle.  It feeds once per day on sea anemones.
  • Ochre Star (Pisaster ochraceus) - Sea Star spawning (see picture below)
  • Kelp Crab (Pugettia producta) - This crab is generally olive in color; adults may have varying amounts of red or yellow. They have a smooth, shield-shaped carapace. They are usually seen in or on seaweed in the intertidal to a depth of 240 feet.
  • Decorator Crab (species unknown) - Baby decorator crab in the tidepools
  • Purple Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus nudus) - This crab ranges from purple to red-brown in color and typically has red-purple spots on the claws. There is no hair or spines on the shell or legs. This crab is found under rocks and amid seaweed in the mid and low intertidal zones.
Photos From Haystack Rock

Tufted Puffins - Hanging out in the Grass!
Photo by Susan Glarum

Tufted Puffins - Taking off!
Photo by Susan Glarum

Purple Shore Crab
Photo by Jenee Pearce

Sea Star Eggs
Photo by Susan Glarum

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 2nd to June 8th 2014

Daily Low Tides

Monday, June 2nd; shift extended 45 minutes due to tide and visitors
0.2' @ 10:26 AM

Tuesday, June 3rd; shift extended 45 minutes
0.6' @ 11:03 AM

Wednesday, June 4th; shift extended 1 hour due to tides and visitors
1.0' @ 11:44 AM

Thursday, June 5th; shift extended 1 hour
1.4' @ 12:30 PM

Friday, June 6th; shift extended 1 hour 15 minutes
1.8' @ 1:23 PM

Saturday, June 7th; shift extended 1 hour 15 minutes
2.1' @ 2:18 PM

Sunday, June 8th; shift extended 45 minutes
2.3' @ 3:13 PM

Notes from the Week

Multiple swaps in tending the black oystercatcher nest in the saddle were observed. Bald Eagles, alone and in groups with adults and juveniles, continue to hunt. The eagles were seen taking a common murre on at least three days and sitting on a cormorant nest, possibly eating an egg. On Friday, a bald eagle family unit (2 adults and 1 sub-adult) were hunting with one other adult bald eagle; the adult from the family unit then started chasing the other adult eagle.

Bald Eagle; Photo by Susan Glarum

The end of the school year is bringing lots of school groups to Haystack Rock to learn about the intertidal. This week there were eleven school groups with at least 2 group each weekday and just over 500 total school visitors!

The highest visitor count was on Tuesday with a total of 172. Saturday saw three consecutive hours with counts over 100.

Creature Highlights


  • Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani) - Black oystercatcher still on their nest in the saddle.
  • Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - Bald eagles again made multiple appearances this week. 
  • Common Murre (Uria aalge)
  • Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)
  • Peregrine Flacon (Falco Peregrinus
  • Kelp Greenling (Hexagrammos decagrammus) - 2 greenlings were spotted
  • Striped Surfperch (Embiotica lateralis) - The body of the striped surfperch is a deep oval shape and is compressed from side to side. It has a copper background color with  bright blue and orange horizontal stripes below the high-arching lateral line. 
  • High Cockscomb (Anoplarchus purpurescens) - The High Cockscomb is a small, ray-finned fish that looks similar to a tiny eel. It can be brown, olive, purple, orange, or black. This animal can be identified by their long tubelike body and soft dorsal rays that cover the entire back. It is most likely to be found under an rock in the intertidal.
  • Flatfish (Order Pleuronectiformes)
  • Hermit Crab (Pagurus spp.) - Baby hermit crabs without shells were seen on Monday and Friday
  • Mossy Chiton (Mopalia muscosa) - Growing up to 2 3/4 inches, this chiton's valves or dorsal plates are brown, grey or black. The girdle is covered in stiff hairs, making it look somewhat fuzzy.  The mossy chiton does not hide under the rocks as most chitons do. It stays in once place until dark and then feeds on algae. 
  • Cooper’s Chiton (Lepidozona cooperi) - This chiton's color ranges from dull gray to olive of brown. Like most chitons, it is found under rocks, away from the sunlight and where it will not be easily seen by predators.

Photos From Haystack Rock

Cooper's Chiton on south side of Haystack Rock

Mossy Chiton on the south side of Haystack Rock

Juvenile Flat Fish; It's hard to see!

Striped surfperch; photos by Susan Glarum

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May 26th to June 1st 2014

Daily Low Tides

Monday, May 26th
2.0' @ 5:34 PM

Tuesday, May 27th
-0.8' @ 6:34 AM

Wednesday, May 28th
-0.9' @ 7:18 AM

Thursday, May 29th
-0.9' @ 7:59 AM

Friday, May 30th
-0.7' @ 8:38 AM

Saturday, May 31st
-0.5' @ 9:15 AM

Sunday, June 1st
-0.1' @ 9:51 AM

Notes from the week

This week featured 5 school groups and two other non-school groups at Haystack Rock. Three groups  were on the beach on Friday which featured an Aquaria station. There were also 2 additional visiting groups on Saturday. The highest count on the beach was 130 on Friday, followed closely by 117 on Saturday and 124 on Sunday.

The Black Oystercatcher nest in the saddle has eggs and the oystercatchers have started swapping 'nest duty'. On Saturday, swaps occurred at 7:20, 8:10, 9:30, and 11:00. Neal Maine was in the intertidal trying to get a pictures of the eggs, but was unsuccessful ... this time!

Black Oystercatcher on the nest in 2014; Photo by Susan Glarum

Black Oystercatcher on the nest in 2014; Photo by Susan Glarum

A harbor seal pup was spotted amongst the boulders on the south side of Haystack Rock. Mothers will leave their pups on shore while they are out foraging for food, then will come back for them. It is important for people to not disturb the pups and keep at least 50 feet away, which is the law under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The mother will not return if there are people present. During Monday's shift, HRAP staff and volunteers monitored the pup and using signs attempted to keep the public at a safe distance. They stayed after the shift finished to continue monitoring the pup.

Harbor Seal Pup on the south side of Haystack Rock

Harbor Seal Pup on the south side of Haystack Rock

Creature Highlights


  • Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani) - Black oystercatcher still on their nest in the saddle.
  • Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - Bald eagles, adults and juveniles, again made multiple appearances this week. 
  • Wandering tattler (Heteroscelus incanus) - Uncommon in Cannon Beach except during migration. This individual may still be migrating north or decide to forgo the journey this year and spend the summer here. See details on the Wandering tattler here.

  • Kelp Greenling (Hexagrammos decagrammus) - a male greenling was spotted

  • Frosted Nudibranch (Dirona albolineata) - Normally about 1 1/2 inches, thy live on rocky shores and the low intertidal to a water depth of 100 feet. They are opaque, with projections that are edged with a fine brilliant white lien. They feed on small snails, sea anemones, sea squirts, and bryozoans. 
  • Shaggy Mouse Nudibranch (Aeolid papillosa) - Spotted on a north boulder with eggs
  • Rufus Tipped Nudibranch (Acanthodoris nanaimoensis)
  • Leopard Nudibranch (Diaulula sandiegensis)
  • Pygmy Sea Cucumbers
  • Hermit crab - spotted molting on Sunday
  • Smooth Bay Shrimp (Crangon stylirostris) - A common species in the tide pool that buries itself in the sand. A lot of visitors stumble upon these when they are running their hands through or digging in the sand. They usually quickly rebury themselves.
  • Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) - Very small seal pup was spotted between the large boulders on the south side. The pup was sleeping and seemed unaware of the people in the intertidal
Photos From Haystack Rock

Something we don't see often: Tufted Puffin carrying nesting material ; Photo by Susan Glarum

Frosted Nudibranch; Photo by Lisa Habecker

Wandering Tattler; Photo by Susan Glarum

Kelp Greenling; Photo by Susan Glarum

Smooth Bay Shrimp; Photo by Susan Glarum