Mile 118 Report

August 21, 2008
by D Bone

Cape Arago, Simpson Reef, Shell Island, Sea Lion Viewpoint
Thursday 11:21 AM
60° F
Calm/Light from the NW
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
11 watching wildlife
Cars/Trucks parking:
Activity Comments:
Notable Wildlife:
Mammals:The California Sea Lions have started returning from their breeding grounds in just the last 1 1/2 weeks.Tagged CSL 319 C.1 male elephant seal is still here molting. Also large numbers of Stellar Sea Lions and Harbor Seals. About 2,000 total sea mammals.Birds: 3 female harlequin ducks,1 redthroated loon,9 black oystercatchers,100 plus brown pelicans,1 osprey,1 great blue heron,1 American egret flew by, many pelagic and double crested cormorants,2 turkey vultures,and assorted gulls.Seaweed:Kelp forests are in good shapeMisc:Detritus present
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
Kelp or Algae·Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.)·Wood pieces
New Development:
Natural Changes:
1.The south restoration site for the bog lily is becoming over grown again.2.Many types and numbers of wildflowers on slides that have occurred in the past.3.Grafitti has been cleaned off the remaining bench on this mile.There was only one bottle at the bench,the only piece of litter on the trail.4.Two of the telescopes have been replaced on the sea lion overlook platform.They do not take coins,operate all of the time for public use.5.See midden materials along the north end og the mile.
Wildlife again dominates the scene. Male California Sea Lions are returning from the breeding grounds.The last molting male Northern Elephant Seal is on the beach of Shell Island.I did see a California Gray Whale along the reef 2 times the second and third day after my hike.With all of the Stellar Sea Lions and Harbor Seals added in, there were probably 2,000 marine mammals in the area. Bird species were well represented.Some of the more unusual were 3 female Harlequin ducks,1 Red-throated loon, 1 Osprey, 9 Black Oystercatchers, 1 Great Blue Heron and 1 American Egret. There was over 100 Brown Pelicans as well.It was great to see 2 of the telescopes have been replaced on the viewing platform.They operate without having to put coins in them. Hopefully this will keep them from being stolen again!!! Litter and vandalism was down as well. Moderate human impact (13)-2 walking and 11 watching wildlife.
Other Mile 118 Reports (18)


July 14, 2016 - D Bone
Thirty-seven people were observing wildlife at Simpson Reef. Another 8 were hiking the trail. Shell Island and Simpson Reef had molting Northern elephant seals, good numbers of Stellar sea lions and...


July 31, 2015 - D Bone
Wildlife was a major feature of this trip, as usual. California sea lions are returning in numbers from their annual trip to their breeding grounds on the Channel Islands of Southern California. In...


July 29, 2012 - D Bone
I saw a total of 5 people. Two were hiking with 3 dogs. The other two were watching wildlife. In addition there were 10 sport fishing boats.According to Shoreline Education for Awareness wildlife...
June 10, 2012 - D Bone
Human Activities; 2 people walking their dogs and picking up trash, 2 people fishing, and 2 people watching wildlife. Shoreline: What little of this mile that is accessable beach is closed until the...


June 2, 2011 - D Bone
The little available beach on this mile is still closed for Harbor Seal birthing. I have seen 2 born this last week. A total of 15 female and juvenile Northern Elephant Seals are on the Shell...
March 25, 2011 - D Bone
Not much happening. Some erosion at the south end of the mile where there usually is during the winter. Few sea lions of any type. A lot of Harbor Seals including the first pups of the year(The...


December 31, 2010 - Pat&RobertaSmit
A lady sketching seals and sea lions from the Simpson's Reef Viewing Area pointed out an Elephant Seal with two pups. I did not realize it was pupping season for Elephant Seals. As we watched through...
September 28, 2010 - D Bone
About 2,000 marine mammals were on Shell Island. Over half were Steller sea lions,a few Harbor seals,and the rest were California sea lions. Saw 4 Black Oystercatchers,8 Harliquin Ducks(7 males,1...
June 26, 2010 - D Bone
Area is as expected this time of year. Migration of Ca Sea Lions doesn't seem to be in full swing because of the numbers that are still here. Stellar Sea Lions have moved into the area. Many...


June 9, 2009 - D Bone
What little accessable beach on this mile is closed at this time of the year for protection of harbor seals that might be giving birth.All 4 usual species of marine mammals were present. I would have...
March 26, 2009 - D Bone
There was the usual wet &/or muddy sections on the trail, streams and waterfalls, and erosion in the areas where I would expect to see them at this time of the year.There was new vandalism in the...


December 30, 2008 - D Bone
A total of 25 people were observed.17 were at the Simpson Reef Overlook watching the marine mammals below and looking for whales. Two of the 7 hikers had 2 dogs on leashes. One of the hikers was...
March 30, 2008 - D Bone
Variety of wildlife species was abundant although numbers of some were not great (California and Steller Sea Lions). Cycles of the season were in effect with the Gray Whale migration (100 observed...


December 9, 2007 - D Bone
About a week before this observation, there had been sizeable storms in the area. This was evidenced by downed branches and trees as well as slides along the bluff(none were too serious). There was...
September 22, 2007 - D Bone
The mile had a good summer. Tree cone production was plentiful, and parts of the trail had good moisture content. The kelp forests were thick. This summer there were usually 4-6 summer Gray Whales in...
March 29, 2007 - D Bone
There were more land slides and larger ones than the last several years. Wildlife was as expected for this time of year. 7 Elephant Seals, many pregnant harbor seals, less than 1000 California Sea...


December 20, 2006 - D Bone
A 3ft. Santa Claus in driftline south of Sea Lion Overlook. 1 decomposed sea lion. Beach and trail free of litter. Benches free of vandalism. Wood chips placed on trail but still has a water”...
July 1, 2006 - D Bone
Two dead California Sea Lions and 1 dead Harbor Seal. Most California Sea Lions left area for breeding season. Large number of Stellar Sea Lions. Bog Lily restoration sites becoming overgrown with...