Of all the excellent activities to be found in Ocean Shores, birding has become a staple of year-long excellence for the avid birdwatcher in the United States.
If Ocean Shores is a new place for you, prepare to be taken in by the myriad beauty of nature. And if the surrounding coastlines, endless shores, parks, trails, and views aren’t enough to capture your attention, here’s a peak into the aviary excellence of Ocean Shores.
Start On the Shores
If you’re going to go to Ocean Shores to birdwatch, let’s start your adventure on one of the few drivable Washington State beaches. So assuming that you’re driving into our beautiful city, come right on down State Route 115 as it becomes Damon Rd, spot JB’s RV Park on your right, and drive straight into the beach access area.
Out to Sea
Of course, when you’re birding by the water, there is no canvas to gaze upon quite like the ocean. And right off the coast of Ocean Shores, there are plenty of beautiful species of birds to watch as they hunt, rest, swim and fly. Enjoy spotting a gull for every season! The Olympic Gull is generally found year-round, while other gulls migrate in and out seasonally. The Heerman’s gull appears from summer into fall, while the Mew, Ring-billed, Herring, and Thayer’s grace our waters in the winter. The California gull visits the Shores in the fall.
Additionally, sanderlings are always chasing the waves, brown pelicans fly nearby, and several breeds of sandpipers can be found during the migration of large flocks.
Drive to the Jetty
From the shoreline of Ocean Beach, head straight south to the North Jetty. We could write whole articles on the spectacular beauty of the Jetty, it’s views, the rock faces, and the sound of the tides crashing in. But we are talking birds here, and in addition to the gulls and smaller shorebirds lining the Pacific Ocean coastline, prepare to see birds prepared for a much rockier shoreline down at the Jetty.
The Wandering Tattler can be found in the late summer and early parts of fall, while the Rock Sandpiper comes in the fall and stays around well into the spring. You might also catch glimpses of the Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Herring, and Sooty Shearwater, depending upon when you visit.
Swing Around the South End
If you are still getting around by car, then you’re a mile’s drive down E Ocean Shores Blvd SW from your first glimpses of the Oyhut Bay and the adjacent Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area. And there begins some phenomenal birding spots scattered all over southeast Ocean Shores.
Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area
This is a 683 acre area that truly stands out as a thing to see in Washington State. Dedicated to the preservation of indigenous wildlife, the Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area is one of Washington State’s best spots for birding.
In amongst these wetlands and tidal flats, this area also boasts several salcornia marshes and a sand spit that makes birding on this portion of the Washington coast truly unique. Several species of rarer birds can be found nesting here, including the Snowy Plover and the Streaked Horned Lark.
While many of the beautiful birds available across Ocean Shores, the adventurous birding enthusiast will consider Damon Point a must-see. A four mile trail is the primary mode of transportation around the point, that features coastline at nearly every turn. Vestiges of a washed away road can lead the avid birder to the occasional spotting of our nation’s beloved bald eagle, the beautiful peregrine falcon, and a host of gulls, shorebirds, and maybe even an endangered bird or two.
This is not the entire list of birding spots in Ocean Shores, but many of the birds we’ve mentioned here can be spotted all over our city. Imagine doubling up on the fun of your next birdwatch with a kayak ride through the miles of canals, or catching a round of golf at the Ocean Shores Golf Course. You could make it a day of relaxation and picnicking at Perkins Pond or Lake Minard. And we have barely even mentioned the eastern shoreline that faces the North Bay! You can always hike the Weatherwax Trail or scope out the Inner Bay and see what you can find there.
There are so many beautiful opportunities for birdwatching in Ocean Shores, that trying to create a complete list seems nearly impossible. So what we have tried to offer you here is a look at the birds you might find, and the best places to visit on the Shores. Have we missed anything? Let us know!
We cannot wait to host you and your bird-loving friends any time of the year! Come explore the shores with us soon
‘Fall’ for the Shores
Imagine catching glimpses of several species of shorebirds as you drive down Ocean Beach, seeing the Brown Pelicans soar across the bay as you stand by the jetty, on your way to catching a Peregrine Falcon stoop in for a meal nearby Damon Point. This is the birding destination that is Ocean Shores. And this Fall, we hope you come and catch a glimpse of the beautiful Western Palm Warbler, nestled in our southernmost points, as it rests from its busy breeding season.