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Bird watching in Tillamook

BIRD WATCHING IN TILLAMOOK

Put on a coat, don't forget the binoculars and grab a chunk of cheese — it's time for some serious bird watching on the Oregon Coast at Tillamook.

Of course you'll always find flocks of birds on the coast any time of the year, but in Tillamook Bay the best time is August through March.

You don't have to wait until spring when dozens of species find their way back to town for a little nesting near the tree-lined bay. Birds are arriving every day, but there are plenty of longtime residents, such as bald eagles, gulls, falcons and blue herons, that prefer to stay near Tillamook all year long.

The wide-open wetlands and nearby flooded pastures offer an unobstructed view for birdwatchers. Even a short walk on the gravel dike is likely to reveal even more feathery friends.

Don't miss the Bayocean Spit, a several-miles-long finger of sand that pushes northward along the bay. Experts say this is one of the best bird-watching spots along the Oregon Coast.

The Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce is ready with the latest information. Call the chamber at 503-842-7525, or check out its Web site, www.goTillamook.com, for more details and area contact information.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.

Bird watching in Tillamook