Went to the Oregon Coast yesterday and checked out a few of our favorite spots. I was worried when I couldn’t find any pelagic cormorants nesting at Bastendorf Beach, but then I found at least 14 nesting on Shell Island’s rocks.
“‘Ark, ark, ark’ .... the voices of hundreds of Calif sea lions fill the breeze. Gulls float past. I’ve even seen a couple of grey whale spouts. Mixed in amongst the California sea lions are 18 elephant seals and several Steller’s sea lion bulls. A gull preens in the bright sunshine. At least 14 pelagic cormorant nests are tucked on the shady side of Shell Island, clinging to every possible shelf"
Once I looked carefully at one of the pelagic nests I was struck at how I could see the new and the old. We haven’t had our normal amount of rain. As a result last year’s white wash (the bird’s droppings) hasn’t been erased. So the nests show white wash from last year capped with this year’s refurbishing of the nest -- a greenish cap of bits of sea weed. Each nest had an adult snug on the nest and no new white wash. It is safe to assume the birds are still incubating and the chicks haven’t hatched yet.