Tuesday, October 14, 2014

September 22nd to September 28th

Daily Low Tides

Monday, September 22nd
0.4' @ 6:11 AM
0.9' @ 6:28 PM

Tuesday, September 23rd; both sessions cancelled due to no one on the beach and rain
0.5' @ 6:55 AM
0.6' @ 7:06 PM

Wednesday, September 24th
0.7' @ 7:15 AM
0.3' @ 7:43 PM

Thursday, September 25th
0.9' @ 7:45 AM
0.1' @ 8:17 PM

Friday, September 26th
1.2' @ 8:15 AM

Saturday, September 27th
1.5' @ 8:46 AM

Sunday, September 28th
1.9' @ 9:20 AM

Thats A Wrap!

The last week on the beach saw a turn in the weather and the seas. Rain on Tuesday kept visitors from the beach and both the morning and evening shifts were canceled. Heavy surf and huge surges were the order of the day on Wednesday; the morning shift was ended 30 minutes early to ensure everyone made it safely off the beach! But by Saturday it was clear and sunny again making for a fabulous last weekend of the season!

Notes from the week

A Rufus Tipped Nudibranch was seen in the tidepools. This nudibranch has a white or gray body that is covered with projections with yellow tips, except for the gills which have red tips. It lives in the low intertidal zone and typically grows to just over 1 inch long. The diet of the Rufus Tipped Nudibranch is bryozoans.

Rufus Tipped Nudibranch

The highest visitor count for the week was on the 22nd with 64 in the late afternoon.

Creature Highlights

  • Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)
  • Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)
  • Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani)
  • Great Blue Heron (Ardea hernias) - The heron fly over on the last day on the beach!

  • Opalescent Nudibranch (Hermissenda crassicornis) - feeding on aggregating anemones
  • Skeleton Shrimp (Caprella sp.)
  • Kelp Crab (Pugettia producta)
  • Stalked Tunicate (Styela motereyensis)
  • Rufus Tipped Nudibranch (Acanthodoris nanaimoensis)
  • Dungeness Crab (Cancer magister)

  • Striped Surfperch (Embiotica lateralis) - spotted in the south tidepool

Photos from Haystack Rock

Final Weekend of the Season - Bird Watching HRAPers! 


Harlequin Duck 


Sept, J. Duane. The Beachcomber's Guide to Seashore Life in the Pacific Northwest. Madeira Park, BC Canada: Harbour Publishing, 1999.

September 15th - September 21st

Daily Low Tides

Monday, September 15th
2.4' @ 11:47 AM

Tuesday, September 16th
2.8' @ 12:51 PM

Wednesday, September 17th; shift cancelled due to high water
2.9' @ 2:03 PM

Thursday, September 18th
2.7' @ 3:12 PM

Friday, September 19th
2.3' @ 4:12 PM

Saturday, September 20th
1.8' @ 5:03 PM

Sunday, September 21st
1.3' @ 5:48 PM

Notes from the week

Leather Stars (Dermasterias imbricata) are not seen frequently seen at Haystack Rock, although they are a common species from Alaska to southern California. They can range in color from red-brown to orange and their surface is covered with a slippery secretion. The leather star can reach diameters to 10 inches and reside on rocky shores in the low intertidal zone to depths of 300 feet.  As the name suggests, this star feels like wet leather. It feeds predominately on anemones and urchins which it swallows whole and then digests!

Leather Star (Photo from 2005)

Leather Star; reference the boot in the photo for scale.
Photo by Emily Meshke

A Lined Chiton (Tonicella lineata) with unusual coloring was spoted in the tidepools. This chiton is typically pink as they feed on pink encrusted algae, but the one spotted was more red indicating it may have by feeding on red sponge.  This chiton can be up to 2 inches long but is typically shorter. The Lined Chiton lives in the low intertidal zone, primarily on rocks encrusted with algae. 

Lined Chiton
Photo by Katie Corliss

The highest visitor count for the week was on the 20th with 100 in the late afternoon.

Creature Highlights

  • Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)
  • Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani)

  • Leather Star (Dermasterias imbricata)
  • Lined Chiton (Tonicella lineata)
  • Sea Lemon Nudibranch (Anisodoris nobilis)
  • Opalescent Nudibranch (Hermissenda crassicornis)
  • Hermit Crab (Pagurus spp.)
Photos from Haystack Rock

Leather Star

Leather Star

Sept, J. Duane. The Beachcomber's Guide to Seashore Life in the Pacific Northwest. Madeira Park, BC Canada: Harbour Publishing, 1999.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

September 8th to September 14th

Daily Low Tides

Monday, September 8th
-0.9' @ 6:33 AM
0.2' @ 6:50 PM

Tuesday, September 9th
-0.8' @ 7:17 AM
-0.3 @ 7:41 PM

Wednesday, September 10th
-0.5' @ 7:59 AM
-0.6 @ 8:30 PM

Thursday, September 11th
0.0' @ 8:41 AM
-0.6 @ 9:19 PM

Friday, September 12th
0.6' @ 9:22 AM

Saturday, September 13th
1.2' @ 10:06 AM

Sunday, September 14th
1.8' @ 10:53 AM

Notes from the week

Plumrose Anemone (Metridium senile), an infrequent sighting for Haystack Rock, were seen on the north wall of Haystack Rock.  This anemone is typically 2 inches high and can grow to a 2 inch diameter at the base. It feeds on inverterbrate larvae and copepods.  The anemone produces asexually and the new individual is a clone of the original.

A large colony of Plumose Anemones on the north side of Haystack Rock
Photo by Katie Corliss

Another infrequently sighted invertebrate, the Swimming Scallop (Chlamys rubida) - also called the Smooth Pink Scallop) was spotted this week. The scallop's habitat is rocky areas at depths of up to 660 ft. They have pink, purple, or orange shells and can grow up to 2 1/2 inches.

Swimming Scallop
Photo by Katie Corliss

The highest visitor count for the week was on the 14th with 150 in the late morning.

Creature Highlights

  • Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani)
  • Common Murre (Uria aalge)

  • Swimming Scallop (Chlamys rubida
  • Plumose Anemone (Metridium senile
  • Stalked Tunicate (Styela motereyensis) - also called the long-stalked sea squirt; lives in the low inter-tidal zone to depths of 100 feet. They grow up to 10 inches.
  • Granular Claw Crab (Oedignathus inermis) - a soft-bellied crab that grow in rocky crevices in the mid-intertidal zone up to depths of 50 feet. 
  • Opalescent Nudibranch (Hermissenda crassicornis)
  • Rufus Tipped Nudibranch (Acanthodoris nanaimoensis)
  • Red Rock Crab (Cancer productus)

  • Sea Lettuce (Ulva fenestrata)

Photos from Haystack Rock

Granular Claw Crabs 
Photo by Katie Corliss

Stalked Tunicate
Photo by Susan Glarum

Opalescent Nudibranch
Photo by Katie Corliss

Rufus Tipped Nudibranch
Photo by Kaite Corliss

Haystack Rock at Low Tide on a beautiful sunny day!
Photo by Susan Glarum


Sept, J. Duane. The Beachcomber's Guide to Seashore Life in the Pacific Northwest. Madeira Park, BC Canada: Harbour Publishing, 1999.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September 1st - September 7th

September 1st - September 7th

Daily Low Tides

Monday, September 1st
2.1' @ 11:09 AM

Tuesday, September 2nd
2.6' @ 12:07 PM

Wednesday, September 3rd
2.8' @ 1:24 PM

Thursday, September 4th
2.7' @ 2:46 PM

Friday, September 5th
2.3' @ 3:58 PM

Saturday, September 6th
1.6' @ 5:01 PM

Sunday, September 7th
-0.8' @ 5:47 AM

Though our nesting birds have left us, there was still lots to see in the intertidal last week.  HRAP interpreters stumbled onto some kind of sea slug party when they came across ten opalescent nudibranchs all gathered together on one rock-- and the next day they found even more.

One of about ten nudibranchs all found on the same rock. Photo by Donna Lenius

On the north side of the Rock, interpreters spotted about a dozen healthy-looking sea stars, including several juveniles.

As for what the humans of Haystack Rock are up to, HRAP added a sustainable seafood display to the big red truck this week. Stop by for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate by answering a trivia question about sustainable seafood!

Creature Highlights
We've seen anemones take on a lot of ambitious meals here at Haystack Rock. Do you remember when we caught an anemone in the act of consuming a cormorant chick?

While some species of jellyfish are dried and eaten by people, most of us would probably shy away from the idea of ingesting a full, live (or recently alive) jellyfish. Not this intrepid Giant Green anemone (pictured here with a Lion's Mane jellyfish).

Wandering Tattler
Common Murre (Uria aalge)
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis)
Black Turnstones (Arenaria melanocephala)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias)

Dungeness crab (Cancer magister)
Opalescent nudibranch (Hermissenda crassicornis)
Ochre star (Pisaster ochraceus)
Starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus)
Cellophane worm (Spiochaetopterus costarum) tubes
Sand shrimp
Giant green anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)
Lion's mane jelly (Cyanea capillata)
Stalked tunicate (Styela montereyensis)