Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fogarty Creek State Recreation Area

Once a week or so we drive by Fogarty Creek and comment that we really ought to stop there one of these days.  Today was the day.  We drove down in the rain - it was cool (low 40's) and drizzling, but not windy.  We stayed on the East side of the highway (Fogarty Creek runs under Highway 101, with easy access to the ocean side along the creek).

Before we were even parked, I saw a tree full of VARIED THRUSH - we parked, and in my excitement, I immediately stepped in a puddle (and spent the rest of the walk in soggy shoes).


A HERMIT THRUSH flashed past us, then reappeared several times, posing on various stumps, branches and posts.  We commented that he sure seemed to want to have his picture taken (I obliged).

Three wooden bridges cross the creek at various intervals, the habitat is lush and quite diverse.  Paved paths curve through the terrain, making the walk easy.

We followed the small flock to a grassy area with picnic tables.  Two large white flashes announced the presence of NORTHERN FLICKER.

Around the same area, we saw SPOTTED TOWHEE - first one appeared out of some tall grass, then two others joined the birds in the grass. 


We heard the flock of chickadees before we saw them, high in the fir trees flitting from treetop to treetop.  The majority appeared to be CHESTNUT BACKED CHICKADEE, but I'm sure there were other visitors in the large flock.

A shy BEWICK'S WREN worked its way around the back of a tree in dense underbrush - my very blurry shot was enough to verify ID, but not good enough to post - wrens are always a treat!

As we neared the last bridge before the parking lot, my husband stopped me in the path to keep me from stepping on this colorful salamander.
As we crossed the bridge, a flock of DARK EYED JUNCO and a couple of SONG SPARROW entertained us.  Our last treat was a DOUGLAS SQUIRREL, rounding out a delightful, albeit damp, walk.

Paved trails wend throughout the park, making walking easy (and would've kept my sneakers dry).  We walked less than a mile, and never did get to the ocean side.  A treat we saved for another day.

Fogarty Creek Recreation Area is a State Park, offering picnicking, hiking, and good bird-watching.  Easy access to a beautiful stretch of beach, with the creek flowing into the ocean, results in a variety of tidepools and interesting fresh and salt water lifeforms.  The park is mid-way between LINCOLN CITY and DEPOE BAY.  There are two entrances on the east side of the highway, "North" and "South" Fogarty Creek.


  1. Thanks for the post on Hatfield Marine Science Center. I saw my first Horned Grebe there this past Friday.
    I think that salamander is a Rough-skinned Newt.

  2. We were there (HMSC) Saturday and saw our first horned Grebe too - maybe the same one! Thanks for the ID on the salamander, I googled the rough-skinned newt and it sure looks like the guy we saw!

  3. Hi Dawn: Beautiful photos. I was looking for the name of the squirrel that hopped on our deck yesterday. A Douglas squirrel. Really cute.

  4. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them - and found your squirrel - they are cute little fellows!