On the southern Oregon coast there are numerous opportunities for viewing wildlife. The more significant ones where SEA wildlife interpreters assist the public are Simpson Reef and Shell Island on Cape Arago near Charleston, OR and Face Rock, a part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, in Bandon, OR.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions against strangers getting to close to one another, SEA will not be having any volunteers with spotting scopes at the points in Bandon or Simpson Reef. We are very sorry to miss meeting and talking with the many thousands of folks who take time to let us show off our “miracles of the coast.” Stay safe and be well! Look forward to being able to spend time with you and to enhance your visit to the Oregon Coast in 2021.
Simpson Reef & Shell Island – California sea lions, harbor seals, Stellar sea lions, and elephant seals congregate at mid-to-low tide to rest in the sun as well as escape predators. Harbor seals and elephant seals breed there. SEA provides wildlife interpreters through the summer at the Simpson Reef Overlook parking lot about one mile south of the entrance to Shore Acres State Park on the Cape Arago Highway.
Face Rock– Breeding sea birds nest on these rocks in the spring. Brandt’s, double-crested, and pelagic cormorants, common murres, pigeon guillemots, tufted puffins, black oystercatchers and the ever-present western gulls are among the species that come by the thousands. SEA provides wildlife interpreters during the spring and summer on Saturdays and Sundays at the Face Rock Wayside or Coquille Point in Bandon.
Intertidal Zone – Opportunities for exploring tide pools exist at Face Rock Wayside and Coquille Point in Bandon, Sunset Bay near Charleston, and other nearby locations. The best opportunities for viewing intertidal wildlife are in the spring and summer when tides are at least -1.0 foot. Refer to our tide pool page for more information.