South Jetty, Yaquina Bay
Sandy shores, a long rock jetty, and bordering dunes, where the Yaquina River meets the Pacific Ocean, promise a satisfying birding day. Keep eyes peeled at the first-right pullout, where a row of rocks extends into the bay, for common and Pacific loon, and occasionally yellow-billed loon. At low tide, harlequin duck like to rest on the rocks. Herring may spawn in eelgrass beds, which draw thousands of gulls and scoters from February through March. In the channel, pairs of young common murre and their doting fathers call to each other from mid to late summer. Farther along the jetty in winter, look for longspur and snow bunting in the short grass. In addition, spot northern harrier, white-tailed kite and, during years of increased numbers, snowy owl in the dunes south of the jetty. At the largest right pullover, where gulls gather at a rainy-season puddle, birders can discriminate among glaucous, herring, and Thayer's gull. Sweep the rock-strewn water's edge with binoculars for black turnstone and surfbird, occasionally accompanied by rock sandpiper. Such pelagic birds as black-winged kittiwakes can be spied at the jetty's mouth.
In Newport from Highway 101 S, take the first exit to the west after crossing the Yaquina Bay bridge. Proceed two blocks, then turn left onto 26th Street, i.e. the South Jetty.
Newport Oregon 97365
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