Oregon Bound and Down... travel blog

Foot-pattering

Feasting on Amphipods

Amphipods...

Look like shrimp

Huge wild Rhododendrons in the park


Date: May 21, 2012

Tonight’s Location: Bullard’s Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon

Weather: windy, rain

Temperature: start 54º

High 56º

Wildlife count: Barn Swallow, Western Gull, Surf Scoter, Common Loon, Amphipods, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Wrentit, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Steller’s Jay, Crows, Robins, Brown Pelicans

We joined the volunteers for Monday morning breakfast and then hurried out to China Creek. The winds were gusting to over 30mph and it was pouring rain. It blew so hard that our truck rocked as we sat at the beach parking lot.

While we watched, we saw an unusual sight. Hundreds of gulls gathered on the beach and were ‘foot-pattering.’ They were hovering over the very shallow water of the swash line, quickly ducking their head under water and eating something. Next the gull would run on the water and fly at the same time. It looked like they were dancing, but it is called foot-pattering. A gentleman who walked the beach brought us back a sample of the amphipods on which the gulls were feeding. He said that it was a feeding frenzy clear up and down the beach. After a while, the gulls stopped, as I’m sure it was exhausting to fly against that wind, so they sat on the beach. When we looked again, they were back out feeding. What an interesting show!

When we got off at 2:30, we came home, grabbed the laundry and headed for the laundrymat. While there, the sun arrived, so we were able to sit outdoors before dinner listening to the birds. I saw a Wrentit for the first time, and was able to add it to our life list (our list of birds we have seen in our lifetime). It is an interesting little bird with a VERY long tail, which sings beautifully.

After our dinner of chicken and brown rice, we walked the loops, found some beautiful rodys and listened to the birds – a wonderful day.

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