June 30th - July 6th 2014

Daily Tides

Monday, June 30th
Low Tide: -0.2 @ 9:23 AM

Tuesday, July 1st
Low Tide: 0.1' @ 9:53 AM

Wednesday, July 2nd
Low Tide: 0.4' @ 10:24 AM

Thursday, July 3rd
Low Tide: 0.8' @ 10:58 AM

Friday, July 4th
Low Tide: 1.3 @ 11:37 AM

Saturday, July 5th
Low Tide: 1.8' @ 12:23 PM

Sunday, July 6th
Low Tide: 2.2 @ 1:18 PM

Notes from the week

Sunny, warm weather kept visitor counts high in the week leading up to and over the holiday weekend. Our highest visitor count was on Saturday, July 5th with 268 people exploring the intertidal at one time. The City of Cannon Beach offers visitors a relief from the craziness of the 4th of July, and helps to protect the nesting birds at Haystack Rock, by celebrating with a Fireworks Free holiday. Over the weekend, Friends of Haystack Rock participated in the festivities by sponsoring the Great Cannon Beach Puffin Watch. Volunteers were out with spotting scopes and binoculars Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings, educating the public about the unique habitat and birds that Haystack Rock hosts. Visitors were delighted to see our iconic Tufted Puffins perched in front of their burrows and out flying around the Rock. Other sightings included Pigeon Guillemots, Pelagic Cormorants, Common Murres, and even some fluffy Wester Gull chicks! Staff and volunteers we also out during our regular low tide beach shifts, guiding visitors around the intertidal and showing off some of the exciting tidepool creatures! HRAP also participated in the annual 4th of July parade in downtown Cannon Beach - strutting, hopping, and flapping down the road!

Friends of Haystack Rock board member Gary Hayes interacts with visitors during Puffin Watch. Photo by Susan Glarum.

Staff and volunteers decorating a City truck for the Independence Day Parade!
Photo by Susan Glarum.

Volunteer Bobby Skibber dons the rhinophores of an Opalescent Nudibranch - representing one of our iconic interstitial creatures for the 4th of July Parade!
Photo by Susan Glarum.

Creature Highlights

  • Common Murre (Uria aalge) - spotted flying with fish in its beak
  • Tufted Puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) - multiple sightings of adults returning to their burrows with fish, which means there are Puffin chicks at Haystack Rock!
  • Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) - chicks spotted in nests!
  • Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) - lots of chicks seen on the Rock and Needles
  • Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - regular sightings of adult and juvenile eagles hunting and capturing other birds at Haystack Rock
  • Brow Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) - seen at the Needles and flying over the Rock
  • Purple Sails (Velella velella)  - thousands of these jellyfish washed up along the North Coast of Oregon on Sunday, July 6th
Photos from Haystack Rock

Did you see the thousands of little, iridescent, plastic-like discs that washed up along the north coast of Oregon this week? Some may have been clear and others slimy, blue. Those discs are actually a type of animal commonly known as Purple Sails (Velella velella). These small jellyfish have a clear "sail" that protrudes above the surface of the water, catching the wind and pushing them across the ocean. A strong west wind will blow them ashore, stranding the animals on the beach. They'll become food for other animals or dry into the characteristic sails seen in the picture above and below - taken by staff interpreter Nadine Nordquist. Unlike many other jellyfish, Purple Sails do not sting but capture their prey in small, sticky tentacles. Reaching 4 inches in length and 3 inches in width, Velellas feed on fish eggs and small planktonic copepods. A stranding of this magnitude is uncommon but not unheard of.

Pigeon Guillemot adult and chick, photo by staff interpreter Susan Glarum

 Pigeon Guillemot chick, photo by staff interpreter Susan Glarum


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