Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

Musings about birds, nature, and our meanderings on the Central Oregon Coast

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cutler City Wetlands Nature Trail

The weekend before Thanksgiving, (11/20/2010), we decided to explore a couple of places we hadn't visited - the caveat being they had to be short, easy walks.  One of the places we chose was the Cutler City Wetlands Nature Trail.  The trail is actually a maze of intersecting trails through a designated Lincoln City "Open Space", planned in the late 1990's and enhanced over the past decade.   Total distance if you walk the whole thing appears to be about a mile and a half.

There was little parking, just a pull-off on 63rd across from the trail head.  It was full of piles of cut brush, but there was room for our small car.  Crossing the boardwalk, we found a sign with a large map of the maze and chose our route.

We saw few birds, but several beautiful, varied mushrooms caught our eye along the damp, cool trail.  As I've mentioned before, I am not an expert on mushrooms or any type of fungi, so I welcome you to educate me by identifying the mushrooms we saw along the trail.  This large rain-catcher was the first we saw.

Small mushrooms scaled the sides of a damp stump.

This large leathery mushroom caught our eye at the side of the trail.

At Turtle Lake, we didn't see any turtles, but we did decide to come back in February or March to see if there are any Pacific Tree frogs (one of our favorites) - it seemed like a ideal frog pond!  And of course, we found more mushrooms - including these little beauties next to the boardwalk.

A tree along the trail had this interesting specimen at about eye-level.

These tiny cone-heads were probably my favorites, gracing the side of a fallen log.

The only birds we saw were toward the west side of the open space near some backyards (a song sparrow and a fox sparrow), but we plan to go back at various times of the year and follow up as I understand it really is a good place to see them!

The trails had few markings after the first couple of signs, so we ended up walking the entire perimeter, which was a little too much for me that particular day.  The path is all natural, which meant alot of mud and puddles, but we expected that - and the larger wet areas have really nicely maintained boardwalks.

All in all a nice discovery and worth checking out again.  Cutler City Wetlands is south of Lincoln City - the trail head is off SW 63rd.

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