Date: 4/1/17 1:13 pm From: Roy Lowe <roy.loweiii...> Subject: [obol] Lincoln County
Out and about yesterday in the glorious sunshine I came upon large slicks of tiny Velella velella at the mouth of Alsea Bay. Curiously, a flock of mew gulls was actively feeding on the jellies. I've never seen that before. The mew gulls were joined by a few juvenile white-headed Larids but it was obvious they didn't have a taste for the jellies. On my way to Newport I could smell the stranded Velella from Highway 101. At the Alsea Bay jaws I observed and photographed 28 pigeon guillemots with lots of courtship displays occurring on the water and on the wing. A red-throated loon mostly in basic plumage was also present. A flock of 37 double-crested cormorants headed north at high altitude was likely headed to the mega colony on East Sand Island. More than 10,0000 common murres were present yesterday off Yaquina Head but only small numbers were coming ashore on some of the pinnacle rocks. Another sign of spring yesterday was the first bud brake of a Rhododendron flower in our yard and in the time it took me to type this email the band-tailed pigeons cleaned out the feeder in the backyard!