[Tweeters] murremurreations

dennispaulson at comcast.net dennispaulson at comcast.net
Mon Apr 2 19:28:24 PDT 2018

Hello, tweets.

Netta and I just spent much of the day at Yaquina Head, Lincoln Co., Oregon, watching the Common Murre colony. Two days in a row the murres were out on the ocean in huge rafts of thousands of birds. Today they came ashore on the nesting islands just off the lighthouse. They decide to come to one of the islands, and boy do they come. They flew in dozens at a time, landing and little by little filling up the two small islands to the south of the light until it looked as if there wasn't room for any more. Twice as we watched they all left the islands en masse, once because two eagles flew over and the other time I don't know why. But it was spectacular, as if a whole hive of bees decided to leave at once. The larger island to the west of the lighthouse remained uninhabited.

We also saw large rafts of them off the Sea Lion Caves farther south. The Sea Lion Caves are worth it just because both species of sea lions are common there. Gray Whales were moving past offshore, spouts visible every few minutes. Eagles and Turkey Vultures flew by below us while overlooking the sea lions.

The northern coast of Oregon is surprisingly unbirdy, very much poorer than the coast of Washington as we saw it, but the murre spectacle more than made up for it.

Dennis Paulson

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