Winter might not seem like a time to see wildlife at the coast, but you may be surprised when you start looking. Gray whales are migrating, Roosevelt Elk come to graze, birds are active and migrating and puffins start coming back to Haystack Rock.
Roosevelt Elk are majestic animals that can often be seen grazing in meadows or walking through the forest. Elk are best seen in early mornings and late evenings. Ecola State Park, the grassy areas of Les Shirley Park along the north side of Ecola Creek and Fort Stevens are good places to look for them.
One of the best places to view the gray whales migrating along the Oregon Coast is at Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach. You can see whales migrate south in the Winter from mid-December through mid-January and see them start to travel north in the Spring (late March through June) on their way towards Alaska. The next Whale Watching Week is at the start of the Spring migration, Saturday, March 25th through Friday, March 31st, 2017.
Starting in the spring, Brown Pelicans can be observed soaring just above the waves or diving into the water.
The iconic puffins arrive at Haystack Rock in late March or early April and leave sometime near the end of August. Learn more about the puffins here. Haystack Rock volunteers are often at the beach with binoculars to help you spot birds.
Here is a list of several birding sites in and near Seaside, OR such as Haystack Rock, Mill Ponds, North Gateway Park, and Seaside Cove. There are hiking trails and several waterfront platforms at Fort Stevens Park that give great opportunities for bird watching. There is a short Cannon beach Nature Trail that follows a creek and goes through a wetland area. Here is a link to the brochure that lists birds and other wildlife that can be viewed there. Here is a long list of shore birds to be found at the coast.
Get out and explore our backyard and stay with us!
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