Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Moolack Beach and Oyster Catchers

What a fabulous sunny, clear day on the Oregon Coast – late afternoon sunshine glinting on silver sand! Could not believe that it was December in the Pacific Northwest!  Taking advantage of a low tide, we scrambled down the steep hill trail connected to our hotel to take an afternoon walk on Moolack Beach.  Moolack is just a tiny speck of beach south of Beverly Beach State Park, great for beach strolling with not a lot of shells to pick up,  but you can find some agates and also  driftwood.

Incredibly beautiful!  Doesn’t take a whole lot to make me happy… holding hands with Tom and sharing a microbrew beer, clean salt and sea air, sunshine.   (Don’t worry, we DID NOT litter!) Blue sky stretched in every direction with not a cloud to be seen - sparkling sand, and the constant roar of the Pacific Ocean - for me, this is just about perfection.

After walking about 1/4 of a mile we came upon a really interesting  rock and clay formation, pitted with holes bored by some kind of sea worm, reminded me of black lava rock.  Tidepools galore in this display of rock, full of anemones and tiny little fish. A veritable feast for shorebirds with barnacles and limpets perched precariously everywhere!

Looked up from our perusal of sea life in the tidepools and  what did we see -- black oyster catchers running in and out of the incoming tide! Tom was a great tri-pod, hanging on to me so that I could get these pictures.  (I have a tendency to slip and fall, not exactly graceful)

It might be the way they hop from rock to rock, happily gorging on small sea creatures, calling with their distinctive voices to  each other to come join the party, or maybe it’s just the sight of their long, bright red beaks?  Not really sure what it is about  black oyster catchers, but I fell in love while watching these shorebirds scurry on the Oregon Coast rocks about 12 years ago.  Little black bodies, tall skinny legs, beady rimmed yellow eyes and those characteristic scarlet beaks…..

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