Date: 7/5/18 4:00 pm From: Gerard Lillie <gerardlillie...> Subject: [obol] Re: Fwd: Birds fishing in the surf
About three weeks ago Alice and I went to the south coast for a few days and stayed at Ireland's in Gold Beach. While sitting on the deck overlooking the ocean one afternoon I saw a bird in the distance flying up from the south. I became excited as it looked like it had a long tail and I thought it might be a tropicbird. As it came closer and I watched in my binoculars I realized it was an Osprey. As it flew past us I saw it was carrying a Pacific Lamprey which dangled and trailed below it. I am sure of the id as I clearly saw the tail fins.
As a Pacific Lamprey aside: if you ever have a chance to see the Anthony Bourdain (I can't believe he is gone) episode about lampreys, watch it. He goes along with native Americans to Willamette Falls in Oregon City after lamprey. They go into the falls and fish for them by hand by reaching into crevices in the rocks feeling for them. They then grab the lamprey behind the head and yank them off the rocks all the while with water crashing down on and around them. It is death defying.
From: <obol-bounce...> <obol-bounce...> on behalf of Roy Lowe <roy.loweiii...>
Sent: Thursday, July 5, 2018 3:13 PM
Cc: Lars Norgren; Wayne Hoffman
Subject: [obol] Re: Fwd: Birds fishing in the surf
Iíve seen osprey capture surfperch and rockfish in the ocean. There is an osprey nest on an offshore rock south of Port Orford. With no estuary nearby the adults must be spending the majority of their time fishing in the ocean.
Ospreys along the coast commonly fish in the ocean, in or just beyond the surf. In the past 2 weeks several Ospreys from nests near lower Yaquina Bay have been fishing between the jetties and off the adjacent beaches. I have been able to identify several of the fish they have caught. All but one were Jacksmelt, lengths 8-14 inches. The other was a surfperch, but I am not sure which species.
Belted Kingfishers commonly fish in the estuaries, but fishing off the beaches is much less common, in my experience.
When there is a concentration of food, birds tend to take advantage. There is something called a surf smelt, and I imagine other species as well. There are probably dozens of people in the Newport area that know quite a bit more. Audubon Society of Corvallis did a bird survey for BLM in the formative stages of Oregon Dunes NRA on Memorial Day weekend about 1973. I recall Wayne Hoffman describing a similar scenario occurring near the mouth of Tahkenitch Creek. Lars