Monday, June 4, 2012

Transition from Coquille River Lighthouse to Cape Blanco Lighthouse May 29–June 4th

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

This is a picture of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse taken last year before it was painted this past fall.

Date: May 29 – June 4th, 2012 

Location: Bullards Beach State and Cape Blanco Lighthouse State Parks

If it’s Tuesday it must be Birding Day with John & Sue. They picked us up and we headed to the Great Egret rookery on the Coos River that I wrote about back on May 6th. This time however, we stopped at wide spot in the road behind but much closer to the rookery. There were still several pairs sitting on eggs and also a few baby Great Egrets that had hatched. The beaks are amazingly big for such a small bird. Unfortunately, we were looking through a lot of leaves and just could not get any decent pictures. (Who brought the pruning shears?!)

Our next stop was Millicoma Marsh near Coos Bay. We had fantastic weather and great birding. John & Sue were able to add two birds to their Life List. We ended up with 29 species for the day and most of them were from Millicoma Marsh.

Wednesday and Thursday we worked the afternoon shift at the Coquille River Lighthouse. As expected after a 3 day weekend, the mid-week crowds were small. Wednesday was a continuation of Tuesday great weather and Thursday started out the same. However, as we drove out to the lighthouse we could see the fog bank coming up the river. We were shocked by how foggy it was at the lighthouse. It was undoubtedly the foggiest we had ever seen at the lighthouse. The fog was so thick that we could not see across the river, nor to the end of the jetty. No doubt this was one of the reasons that the number of visitor on Thursday afternoon was very light.

Friday was the 1st of the month, the day when Volunteers are on the move. It is a sort of choreographed thing. We had to move out of our site so that our replacements can move into it and still have time to get to their orientation.  Then we had to get to our next site in Cape Blanco State Park and hope that whom ever we are replacing has moved out. Then get unhitched and everything connected in time to get to our orientation.

When we arrived at Cape Blanco State Park it was the warmest we have ever experienced here. It was T-shirt weather!! When we were here last July it never was T-shirt weather and it usually was sweatshirt and down vest weather.

Orientation lasted most of the afternoon. First there is all of the general park volunteer things to go over. Then all of the Lighthouse Host Volunteers go out to the lighthouse to go over the lighthouse specific orientation. The fog started rolling in about 3 PM and by the time we got out to the lighthouse the rain had started. So, the new volunteers that had never been here before, first view from the lighthouse was fog and rain.

We had the morning shift for Saturday, it was a light crowd, so we had time to settle back into Cape Blanco Lighthouse routine. Fortunately the weather had improved from Friday evening, what fog there was moved off quickly and we had high overcast clouds, However, underneath the clouds we could see for miles. One thing for sure is that Kathy, definitely spent too much time at the Gatehouse at Kartchner Caverns State Park. Twice she welcomed people to Kartchner. LOL (Editor’s note: she was getting hungry and punchy! Where are we now?!)

What a job! Work a day and then get 3 days off! Just the way the schedule happen to work. Sunday as we were getting into the truck after church in Port Orford we saw our friends Gordon & Juanita’s truck go by. They saw us as well, Gordon did a U-turn and they stopped to chat. As I have written in the past Gordon’s other name is The RAIN MAGNET! It started to rain while we were talking and continued to rain all of Sunday and all of Sunday night. Yes, if your are wondering it is STILL RAINING so far all day on Monday.

Rain or shine if it is Monday morning it must be the Volunteers Breakfast at a local diner. This morning we had 17 people show up for breakfast. These are most of the volunteers from the several Oregon State Parks in the area around Port Orford. It is always great to meet other volunteers and compare notes on places they have or plan to volunteer.

Bird List: Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Wild Turkey, Western Gull, Band-tailed Pigeon, Rufous Hummingbird, Western Wood-Pewee, Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Cedar Waxwing, Marsh Wren, American Robin, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Steller's Jay, American Crow, Yellow Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch

Wildlife Count: Deer, Rabbit, squirrels, chipmunk


  1. More great times! Have fun you two! ((HUGS))

  2. raining here too!..enjoy your stay at Cape Blanco!..the sun or the fog will come out eventually!!

  3. We loved that campground and area. How cool that you're volunteering at the lighthouse!

  4. In spite of the chilly wet weather you shot a great opening picture and evidently the birds don't mind the weather your list is growing.
    Hugs Madi and Mom

  5. Madi,

    The opening picture was taken when we were here last year.

    Grant aka BirdingRVer

  6. Woof! Woof! Lots of Golden Thanks for sharing. Lovely. Lots of Golden ALOHA n Woofs, Sugar

  7. Hi there. Several of my blog readers linked me to your blog regarding work amping at Cape Blanco. We're scheduled to start there in July & Aug. It's our very first workamping post and we are really looking forward to it!! Will you guys still working at that time?
    Nina & Paul

  8. Nina & Paul,

    For July we will be moving back to Coquille River Lighthouse. In August we will be back here at Cape Blanco Lighthouse. So we will see you in August.

    Things are very well organized here so it is a very good spot for a first volunteering experience.

  9. Hi Kathy and Grant.....I have finally read all of your Blog, right from the beginning and have enjoyed it so are amazing! I sure wish I had read the Blog before I met you at Kartchner! If you are ever in Eastern Ontario, we have lots of room for you to stay. We are enjoying our summer at home with the family and will be heading to Florida to volunteer for the winter.
    Enjoy your travels and thanks for sharing them with us
    Judy Pollock