Saturday, December 2, 2017

Extreme Low Tides!

During the 2017 summer, the tides gave us the privilege of letting us go explore the backside of Haystack Rock four days in a row. It was a truly magical and life changing experience. As I find myself getting more and more excited for the 2018 summer season, I want to remind everyone who is planning a trip to Cannon Beach, specifically Haystack Rock, remember to check the tides first. If it is at anyway possible, try to come during a string of daylight low tides or even better negative tides. That way, you and whomever come with can see all of the coolest things in the tide pools, with us to explain what you are seeing. Here are some pictures from the days we were behind the Rock! 

All photo credits to: Annuka Brown (2017)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sunfish and Trash?!?!?

Even though our official time of the beach has come to an end, we are still plenty busy. Last week a giant Mola Mola (a.k.a. a Pacific Sunfish) washed up onto the beach. A few of our staff members went down to see it and take pictures. They even dissected the one of the giant eyeballs...for educational purposes of course! Come see us on the beach next summer, and hopefully it will be on display! If you would like to know more about the Pacific Sunfish, go read the Tidepool Tuesday post on Facebook. 

Now onto trash! In August, HRAP partnered with Sea Turtles Forever/Blue Wave to remove micro-plastics from the beach in front of Haystack Rock. We did not want to just put the plastic we removed back in the trash, luckily our outreach coordinator, Pooka, had an idea. She is turning the pieces into the most beautiful pieces of jewelry for people to wear. It started with a Discover Haystack Rock event, where we just filled glass bottles with them and tied a string around it. 


Since, then Pooka has created hand made bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. All of the pieces are one of a kind. None look exactly the same! We call this new project the Haystack Rock Trash Talk Project. Very soon, the Trash Talk pieces will be in some Cannon Beach Stores and even online. To keep up with updates on the project, go check out the Haystack Rock Trash Talk Facebook page. This is another super easy and fashionable way to support the program. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

And That's A Wrap!

Just like that the 2017 beach season is officially over! We did it! HIGH FIVE! After a summer full of educating visitors, rescuing injured birds, putting out educational materials for visitors to see, protecting the Black Oystercatcher family, spotting birds of all sorts with scopes and binoculars alike, participating in citizen science, building sandcastles, and having sooo much fun....the summer has come to a close. As we leave, there is little to see at wildlife refuge. Most of the pelagic birds, have long since returned to sea for the winter and will be back around April 1st! The majority of the Marine Garden is covered up with sand, so there is little to see in the tide pools!  I have already set my countdown for the beginning of the 2018 beach season!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Stormy Season!

With the beginning and ending months of our season, there tends to be a lot of canceled shifts due to storms! As a beach program, safety is one of our main focuses. So therefore anytime, there is a high surf, high wind, or anything of that nature-we cancel the shift. Sometimes, if staff gets to the beach and the ocean is surging a lot and they feel it is dangerous to be on the beach, the shift will be canceled at that time. Storms on the Oregon Coast are a mind blowing. If it is not something you have experience, I FULLY recommend visiting during one! Please remember to check our facebook page for updates on whether or not the shifts are cancelled! I know this only pertains for another few days this year, until we officially have out last beach shift, but shifts will most likely be cancelled at the beginning of next season too!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Farewell Puffins!

Well we have said goodbye to the puffins for the summer! They left us about the middle of August! Although we are sad to go, we know that they will return next summer to have more adorable pufflings. With the departure of the puffins, also led to the departure of all the other seabirds such as the Common Murres! We bid them happy winter sailing! If you need a puffin fix in the time being, we have Protect the Puffins Sweatshirts available today. Go see them on the beach to get yours!
A visitor with her brand new Puffin sweatshirt!
 You do not need me to tell you what this is! 
Pigeon Guillemots-a type of seabird that nests at Haystack! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 21st-ECLIPSE DAY!!!

So it officially has come and gone. The eclipse that was to pass through Oregon on the morning of August 21st passed through and people are now making travel plans for the next one in eight years. It was a very special morning at The Rock. I woke up early and was excited to see clear blue skies and the sun shining bright. As the staff got onto the beach it was a normal morning, with the same routine, same signs, and the animals were all acting completely normal; except this morning was special. Cindy-one of our wonderful environmental interpreters- was on the beach giving a huge demonstration about the eclipse and how it affects the tides and the birds. She was awesome! Visitors and other staff all enjoyed her presentation. There was two visitors that listened to her little presentation probably five times. They couldn't get enough, it was awesome!
As we reached the peak of the eclipse, it was magical! The small amount of people on the beach were all standing with their backs to the ocean looking up into the sky, no one's focus was on the Rock. Everyone was focused on the same thing, and was astonished by what they were seeing! Then very quickly the fog rolled in, it got really really cold, and then it got just a little bit darker. Dark enough where on of our interpreters thought she was going to be able to see a Rhinoceros Auklet-a type of nocturnal bird that nests at the Rock. Finally, as quickly as it began, it ended! The sun came back out in full force, it warmed back up, and the fog rolled back out to sea! Even though, we only had around 98% totality in Cannon Beach, the eclipse was still a completely magically event!!! Thanks to all who came out to watch it with us!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Where are the eagles?

Lately, a lot of visitors have been asking about the eagles. More specifically why we haven't been seeing them around the Rock causing chaos lately. The answer to that question is...PEREGRINE FALCONS!!! The last three weeks almost everyday there has been a falcon sighting. It is typically relatively calm, maybe just some extra noise from the nesting birds. Peregrine falcons are significantly smaller than eagles, but are still considered a prey bird. They look really similar to juvenile gulls when in flight, so to identify it is important to look for the more prey-like wing beat.To me the coolest part of a falcon is that when they power dive, they can reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour. Isn't that completely crazy?!?!?!? Keep your eyes out for one next time you are at the Rock! 

*I will post picture of falcons later, but this morning I couldn't find one I loved*

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sunshine, Warmth, and Lots of Visitors!

When most people think about the Oregon Coast, they think about the Pacific Ocean, overcast, and rain. Typically, that is normal but last week was different. Every morning we woke up to sun shining in through the windows and our staff could not wait to get to the beach each day. There is a trend that occurs in Oregon when there is a heat wave-people who live inland, where last week the temperature was in the triple digits, take a day trip to the coast to escape the heat. For the Portlanders, Cannon Beach is any easy jog over Highway 26. This means that it was a busy week at the Rock and our staff got to talk to and educate tons of visitors! Good thing that is our favorite thing to do!!!

On August 2, 2017, the temperature recorded at Haystack Rock was 93 degrees fahrenheit. THAT IS ASTONISHING! I almost do not even believe it. This spurred my curiosity and I looked into the highest recorded temperature ever at Haystack Rock. It was July of 1961 recorded at 105 degrees fahrenheit. That is mind blowing because its so far from normal.

Here is a few pictures from last week:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sand Bars are AMAZING!

OMG! OMG! OMG! All my dreams have come true! The stars have all aligned! We got to go to the BACK SIDE of the Rock three mornings in a row!!! It is was absolutely amazing! There was a -1.7 and -1.9 tide, a sand bar connecting the first needle and the Rock, plus the surf was small! There was creatures to discover everywhere you turned!
Lets just make a list off the things:

  • SOO many Sea Stars, including Ocre, Six-rayed, and Red Brittle
  • SOOO many Chitons (Leatherback, Mossy, and Lined)
  • Skeleton Shrimp
  • Lemon, Opalescent, Janolus, Rustanga, Frosted  Nudibranchs
  • Olive Snails and their maze of paths
  • Sea Urchins
  • Decorator, Red Rock Crabs
  • Sea Anenomes
  • Muscles
  • Barnacles
I definitely missed some of the things people found, it was impossible to see everything, but something so special. There was two moments that stood out to me. The first one was all of sudden I turned around and realized I was not surrounded by tourists. All of the people who got up early to come out were locals, who love the ocean and understood how special it was to be on the backside of the Rock. The second was a different day when one of our interpreters-Kari- was standing at the base of the first needle looking at the Common Murre colony looking for chicks, when an adult Common Murre dive bombed her. It was really close to colliding straight into her. It was terrifying and hilarious at the same time. All of us had so much fun exploring and nerding out back there!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Manzanita Music Festival

This weekend was the second annual Manzanita Music Festival in downtown Manzanita! Two HRAP staff members-Alanna and Jesse- went down and represented the program with a booth. Alanna is not on staff this year but she has been for the last five years and is now off studying the ocean at Oregon State University but she came home to volunteer her time at the festival for the program. It was an AWESOME weekend with great music and fun people. Alanna and Jesse made more fun puffin puppets and colored lots of pictures with kiddos and even some adults who took the puffin to the next level with extra details and teeth(do puffins even have big white square teeth?). They both had so much fun representing the program off the beach! Thank you Manzanita Music Festival for allowing us to be part of your awesome event. We can not wait for next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Guess what? Guess what? THE BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS HAVE BABIES!!!! THREE OF THEM!!!!!! AND THEY SURVIVED THEIR FIRST WEEK OF LIFE!!!!     We are REALLY excited about the little fellas. It has been a week and a half of a lot of excitement and a little added stress. We are working hard to ensure that the parents are happy and that the babies are protected. Please help us do that by understanding why there might be more area closed off than normal. Black Oystercatchers are extremely special birds and we are lucky to have a pair that nests at the Rock.

Ready for the quick and dirty story of Black Oystercatchers: They are shore birds who are considered a species of concern because their population is so low. It is estimated that there is only 400 on the entire coastline of Oregon, approximately one for every mile. They are territorial and will loudly chase off any other Oystercatcher that comes to close. At the Rock, there has been a pair nesting for a while. Unfortunately, it has been three years since they were successful in their nesting, even though they have tried relentlessly.

This year that changed, there was a successful nest. We suspect that the reason for the somewhat sudden change was that there is a new pair of Black Oystercatchers nesting at the Rock and that one of them is the off-spring from a few years ago. And that the old pair has simply moved over to the Needles as happy “grandparents”.

Never the less, there is babies running around the Rock!!! 

© 2017 Diana Robinson.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Photos: A Happy Update from Us to You!

❤ Here is an update of our magical moments from Haystack Rock! ❤

One of our favorite visitors, Barbara Hauser, wearing the latest fashion in Puffin! Puffins line down alongside the center of her coat's zipper. Don't we all wish we had one of these? 🙋🙌

This is what our inter tidal area of Haystack Rock's Marine Preserve looks like once the tide starts coming up quick! Be aware and don't forget, the ocean comes up really quick (after hitting low tide)!💧💦

A beautiful, healthy sea star enjoying some underwater sun!😁

The sunset frames Haystack Rock in pink from sea to sky! 💗

All Photos by: Brianna Ortega