Loren Needs a New Camera

I don’t carry my Canon SLR’s or a birding lens unless I’m going “birding” because they are so heavy.  So far I’ve relied on my Canon SX 60HS for taking general pictures because it’s much lighter than the other choices. 

The SX is a lot better than my iPhone for most pictures.  It certainly captures as hight of quality shots as I can use of people, like this shot of Tyson, Sydney, an obscured Jen and their two dogs.

If you just want a long shot of animals, like these Harbor Seals

lounging on the rocks at low tide it seems more than adequate.

It even managed a better shot of these two Common Common Murres 

than I imagined it could do.  Of course, I couldn’t get a shot of them flying.

However, when it came to capturing a shot of the Humpback Whales

it was nearly a complete failure.  We watched the whales for nearly a half hour and I attempted dozens of shots, but this is the only one that turned out.  The Canon SX was simply impossible to focus between the time a whale surfaced and it sank out of sight again.  

As a result, I returned the next day, but you never get quite the same opportunity twice, particularly when it comes to photographing wildlife.

Yaquina Head, Newport, Oregon

Leslie and I had barely recovered from Logan’s visit (especially the early-morning trips to the airport and the early start on his fishing trip) when we headed out to visit with his family for a five-day visit at Newport, Oregon.  After 30 years of exploring the Oregon coast, I’d come to believe that there wasn’t a place left that I hadn’t visited, but as it turned out Jen discovered a huge campground I didn’t even know existed. 

The next day we visited the Yaquina Head an area I’ve seen many time from nearby beaches but had no memory of actually visiting.  Turns out the visitors’ center was built by BLM in 1997, about the time we started moving further down the coast to avoid Portland crowds.  I was quite impressed by the site and went back for a second look the next day.

The walk from the visitor’s parking lot to the lighthouse featured hillsides covered with Fireweed.

The Yaquina head juts out into the ocean for nearly a mile and the islands formed by erosion are as striking as any I can remember on the coast.

I was more interested in collecting Agates and other rare stones from nearby beaches than seeing birds when I vacationed here in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, but I was blown away by how many birds I saw on this visit.

We were too late to get on a tour of the lighthouse, but I’ve seen enough of them over the years that I was satisfied to just get a quick shot of it.

Unexpected

While waiting for Logan to return from his salmon trip, we talked to a ranger counting boats as they returned who told us that it would probably be closer to 5:00 PM than 2:00 PM before Logan got back.  Not wanting to spend three hours photographing Brown Pelicans, I decided to take a quick run up to Bottle Beach though it was nearly high tide, far later than I would usually get there if that had been my goal.

I was shocked to find hundreds, if not thousands, of shorebirds feeding on the beach when we arrived.

Although it seemed far too early for the Fall migration, it certainly seemed like that was what we were seeing first-hand.

Most of the birds were Western Sandpipers in various shades of breeding and wintering plumage.

Further down the beach, were a few Dowitchers, 

a few Black-Bellied Plovers, 

and two or three Ruddy Turnstones.

It’s always special to see large numbers of shorebirds, but it’s even more of a treat when it is totally unexpected.