Cheri Speak

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A Mutual Fascination With the Neighbors

Each morning I begin my day sitting quietly on our redwood deck overlooking the Siletz River between Lincoln City and Depot Bay, Oregon. The wildlife here is phenomenal and much of it is at our front door, literally. The land across the river is part of the Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Our side of the river is just as lush and rife with animal life and we have had several interesting encounters.

I made bird feeders and attached them to the deck rails. We fill them with wild bird seed twice a day. The Reserve boasts nearly 2000 different species of birds and water foul. We haven’t seen them all, but many are our daily companions who have no problem getting mouthy with us if we fail to provide. Personally, I have never been much of a bird person. Michael on the other hand has a Zoology degree and is an avid ‘birder’ as well as an ‘under water gardener’ and aquarium junkie. Although I’ve always enjoyed hearing birds sing, that has been the extent of my previous appreciation of our feathered friends, until now. They are quite pretty and fun to watch when there are so many that are so flamboyantly decorated.

Here are a just a few from my camera …

The Siletz is a tide river which means it flows in both directions according to the Pacific’s tide schedule. My house sits just 4 miles up river from the coast and the river water is fresh water however a little brackish; or at least brackish enough that Harbor seals, Stellar Sea Lions and even a Lemon shark can live in it, and some do. There are two Harbor seals that fish in front of my dock daily. They may be different seals each day, but I pretend they are the same; a ‘couple’ I have named Starla and Moony.

Here are a couple from my camera …

In addition to the ocean pinipeds, the Siletz is home to river otters. Since I was a kid I have wanted an otter as a pet, now I have an abundance of them without taking them out of nature. They are adorable to watch and are fascinated with playing with pebbles. The video below, although not mine, shows an example of what I mean about the pebbles. They are like an otter’s favorite ‘toy’.

Here are a few otter pics from my camera …

Here is a video from YouTube that shows how the otters love to play with rocks and pebbles. there are countless vids available if you’d like to see more. Thus far, I haven’t videotaped anything. I did get a GoPro camera and will be doing some underwater filming soon.

There are a lot of fish swimming around and the Siletz is a popular river for coho and Chinook salmon, Steel-head and Cutthroat trout. I haven’t cast a line out there yet, but I will soon enough. I need to get my fishing license and some gear. I did however create a ‘fish pond’ on my deck. See?


For general interest here are some other popular rivers in Oregon: 

Alsea River
Applegate River
Big River
Blue River
Breitenbush River
Bull Run River
Butte Creek
Calapooia River
Columbia River
Coos River
Coquille River
Crooked River
D River
Deschutes River
Dog River
Donner und Blitzen River
East Fork Hood River
East Fork Little Applegate River
John Day River (north central Oregon)
John Day River (Clatsop County)
Johnson Creek
Kilchis River
Klamath River
Klaskanine River
Lewis and Clark River
Link River
Little Applegate River
Middle Santiam River
Minam River
Mohawk River (Oregon)
Molalla River
Multnomah Channel
Necanicum River
Nehalem River
Nestucca River
New River

Now it's my turn to listen...

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2015 by in Birds, Nature, Oregon, Pinipeds, Rivers, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , .
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