Tips to Help Preserve our Coastline

dumped-buttWe can close our eyes to the truth, but pollution effects all of us and if we don’t do anything about it, it will only bring us further trouble in the future.

Coastlines are especially sensitive, not only because of the constant coastal erosion, but also because of the diverse insects and animals, as well as the many different species of plants that are very sensitive to any kind of toxic pollutants. Continue reading

The Oregon Coast Birding Trail: An Experience Once Seen Never Forgotten

Oregon CoastBeing avid bird lovers we recently took a holiday to the Oregon coast in the USA to take in some of the amazing bird life there.

If you’re into bird watching and love the outdoors then the Oregon Coast Birding Trail should just be what the doctor ordered.

This part of the United States is one of the premier bird watching experiences that shouldn’t be missed by any true enthusiast who enjoys watching the
over 274 species of birds that can be seen in one of the few remaining pristine areas in North America.

If there is one thing you can’t forget to pack for this trip, it’s your best pair of bird watching binoculars.

The trail is divided into three parts the North Coast, the Central Coast, and the Southern Coast portion. In this article, we will look at some of the
sights you can expect to see when your journey to one of the most exciting birding places in North America.

Northern Coast

Oregon Coast

With over 41 scenic spots along the way, the north coast of Oregon offers a plethora of not only exciting venues and of course the various accommodations
restaurants and tourist attractions. It is also home to many species of bird that are rare, endangered, and rarely seen outside this part of the country.

Depending on the time of year, you may be also fortunate enough to see many of the species from other parts of the world as they pass through this area on
their annual migration flights.

One such site a former dairy farm now a protected sanctuary, “Adler Creek” is located just off the famous Highway 101 that runs along the length of
California’s coastline, Oregon, and Washington. This area has been restored to a natural Salt Marsh environment and is home to many species of coastal
birds Including the Bald Eagle, the American Kestrel, as well as the Purple Martin.

During the annual migration, flocks of shorebirds pass through and linger while resting on their way to their winter abodes.

Central Coast

Oregon CoastOne of the most popular IBA areas is around Lincoln city with two local IBA’s and three additional ones scattered throughout the county.

This enables the avid birdwatcher over 274 different species that can be observed and photographed.

In addition, there are many fine restaurants, lodgings are reasonably priced, and there are many other places and activities that your family will enjoy
while you are out communing with nature and the birds we all love to watch, paint or photograph.

But, this is only one of the many areas In the Central Coast venue of the trail.

Near to the coast, the city of Florence offers not only views of some the most beautiful seabirds and dune-covered beaches near Dune City along the coast.

It is also the home sea lion caves where not only can you combine birding but frolicking with the local Marine mammals as well. In this area, many seabirds
such as the Common Loon, the Osprey Eagle, and the Pacific Wren may be captured on film or video as they nest, flock, or hunt in the Osprey’s case over
beautiful blue water.

You will see towering sand dunes sprinkled with salt marsh vegetation and in the evening, you will be treated to some of the most gorgeous sunsets
imaginable.

Southern Coast

In this area one of the most beautiful parts of the southern coast trail is Gold Beach where beachcombers search for treasure, adventurers seeking
excitement, and where explores one strode. Along with them flock many of the coastal birds and annual visitors from other parts of the world as well as
North America as they travel to their winter nesting grounds.

Again, there are many varied species to be seen, photographed, and caught on video for the enterprising birdwatcher or nature lover. Lately many painters
have been taking up birding and come to Gold Beach where the birds seem to pose for you as you paint their likeness in their natural surroundings.

The Red Tailed Hawk, the Bald Eagle, the Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, as well as the famous Peregrine Falcon often seen in the heights of Chicago’s
skyscrapers and is the official bird of the city.

These birds and many other species are regular guests here at Gold Beach along with the many tourists, photographers, painters, and birdwatchers like you.

It’s often hard to tell which flock is bigger the people watching or the birds themselves. Overall, it is an experience that one should not miss in this
lifetime.

In closing

If you truly want to experience the ultimate in birding experience, on your next holiday take a trip along the Oregon Coast Birding Trail. You’re in for an
adventure you’ll never forget.

Life in a Sea Cave

Some of the most amazing life on the planet comes from the ocean. Unlikely partnerships, life cycles, much of it happens under the deep blue sea. On the edges of the ocean you can find some rather remarkable things as well.

Sea Caves are overflowing with animal life that many never get the chance to see. The caves themselves are formed over time by the power of waves crashing against the shoreline. Great care should be taken in exploring sea caves, the pull of the water is much stronger once you’re beyond the mouth of the cave itself. The inhabitants of such remarkable structures, both in the water and littering the walls, are just as remarkable, if not more so then the cave itself.

Porto_Covo_February_2009-2[1]Your typical tide pool creatures can be found milling about any shallower area’s leaving any shallow pools littered with anemone’s, starfish and sponges. The darker area’s of a cave are home to citizens not normally found in shallow water. Many of the animals and creatures found here are considered ‘troglobites’ or cave limited species. Due to the lack of light in the deeper portions of the cave, over time, many lose their coloration, eyesight and adapt to such by an elongation of appendages to allow for enhancement of other senses.

Young Leopard Sharks often make home in the darker corners of sea caves. The caves provide shelter to the growing marine life and allow for growth while allowing the shark to hunt for it’s prey; mainly clams, spoon worms, crabs, shrimp, bony fish, and fish eggs. Unlike most sharks Leopard Sharks tend to remain in a particular area instead of constant travel which has led to a drastic genetic divergence between populations. As a slow growing species Leopard sharks can reach a maximum of 6 feet but generally average 4-5 at adulthood.

greenanemone[1]Giant Green Anemone are commonly found in sea caves. Growing over 10 inches in diameter, these Anemone are usually a solitary animal but some clusters can be found around mussel beds and places where food is abundant. With a diet consisting of starfish, mussels, crab and sea urchins a Sea Cave is the perfect place for them to remain safe, hidden and still have an ample supply of food. Often the anemone in these caves loses it’s typical green pigment. The algae living inside a Giant Green Anemone is what gives it it’s green coloration and those on the shoreline get enough light for the algae to grow and flourish. Those who reside in caves where there is no light tend to remain white to translucent.

To get better access to my local caves I needed to get some appropriate transportation. Inflatable kayaks are becoming very popular with advancements in technology meaning they are incredibly stable and will last a long time. I spent an age reading all the reviews (here) and ended up purchasing a kayak called the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak.

I plumped for the two person inflatable kayak because sometimes I will have the need to take a lot of equipment out with me, and the extra internal room can really be put to good use.

All in all Sea Caves are remarkable places filled with adaptable, unique animals that differ from those found upon the shoreline. Adaptations in sight, appendages and even pigmentation can all be observed in these amazing naturally occurring formations.