Shoreline Education for Awareness has once again had dedicated volunteer coastline wildlife interpreters at Face Rock and Coquille overlooks this summer. They set up telescopes from the end of May through the end of July so that visitors could get a better look at the “miracles on the rocks” – birds and seals bringing forth new life.
Our volunteers devoted 246 hours and contacted 1,763 visitors from many other states and countries. Perhaps the largest share of visitors came from the I-5 corridor seeking refuge from the searing heat of the Willamette Valley! (We like to think of Bandon as the place with the perfect climate – at least in the summer!)
Our visitors were able to view migratory seabirds such as Common Murres, Cormorants, Black Oystercatchers, Surf Scoters, Pigeon Guillemots and Tufted Puffins. Visitors were privileged to observe newborn chicks being cared for by their parents and learned about the offshore rocks and islands that provide habitat for seabirds and marine mammals. May and early June presented us with close up views of harbor seals giving birth to pups and raising them from total dependence on mother’s milk to healthy independence, successfully replenishing our marine mammal population.
SEA volunteers will continue be at the Simpson Reef marine mammal haul out site near Charleston , OR on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through the Labor Day Weekend. In addition U.S. Fish and Wildlife volunteers will continue conducting tidepool walks and providing coastline wildlife interpretation in the Bandon area through the month of August.
But for Bandon the summer birthing season has come to an end. While the numbers of nesting birds appears to have been significantly lower than previous seasons, we rejoice in the new lives we watched grace our rocks and islands for a while.