Friday, October 12, 2012

Pelicans, Sea Lions, and Seagulls

Fall has returned to the beautiful Oregon coast.  The rain is gently falling, the skies are cloudy and gray, and the waves of the mighty Pacific crest and curl in an even and gentle rhythm.  It is the season of transition between the gloriously sunny summer (that has continued this year into October) and the wild, windy, rainy weather with the crashing surf of a coastal winter.

The wildlife of the beach also seem to be in transition.  Flocks--or a brief, pod, pouch, scoop, or squadron as I learned they are called--of pelicans follow each other evenly spaced in single file just inches above the cresting waves.  They wheel in unison then suddenly spy just below the surface of that mighty ocean a delightful dinner and fold their wings and dive, surfacing and joining the line-up once again with supper in that dinner pail of a beak pouch.

The sea lions have also been fishing in our waters.  Their sleek heads appear above the surface of the ocean as if to check their bearings, then just as suddenly they disappear looking for that elusive salmon.  Some mornings they seem to follow us up the beach keeping up with us or jaunting ahead and reappearing just to let us know they are still in our midst.
The seagulls gather in groups as if they are in school preparing themselves for the mighty winds that will rake our beach in the coming months.  The junior birds, our Jonathan Livingstons, have gotten their bright white plumage, have learned their distinctive call, and show off flying high in the air surveying the beach for miles around.

Fall on the Oregon coast--a time to be treasured!

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