Mile 172 Report

June 10, 2017
by oldMGguy

Heceta Beach North, Driftwood Shores
Saturday 8:00 PM
65° F
Calm/Light from the SW
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
Disturbance/harassment of marine mammals
Cars/Trucks parking:
Activity Comments:
People too close to baby harbor seal on wet sand beach.
Notable Wildlife:
Baby harbor seal resting on wet sand beach, just above wash line.
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
Shells·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)
New Development:
Natural Changes:

Beautiful evening for a stroll on Mile 172 (north of the Driftwood Shores Resort.  Looks like a bumper crop of "Beach Hopper" amphipods (Traskorchestia traskiana) this summer, as they were hopping all over the wet beach sand.  Most were 1/4" to 1/2" in length.

A baby Pacific Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina richardsi) was parked on the wet sand a few hundred feet north of the resort restaurant.  An adult harbor seal was in the near surf.  The pup looked healthy, alert, nice coloration, no entanglements observed.  I headed off two women who were heading out to "save" the pup.  As a volunteer naturalist up at Cape Perpetua, I've attended a number of marine mammal seminars, so I stayed near the pup for about 30 minutes educating several dozen curious beach walkers on harbor seal behavior and their environment.  Basically "The kid's OK, this is normal, stand back and leave it alone".

  • Two women too close to a baby Pacific Harbor Seal (center of photo)
    200 feet north of the Driftwood Shores Resort restaurant building
    June 10, 2017
Other Mile 172 Reports (53)


February 11, 2022 - Lyndell
There were two dead sea lions in a 1 mile stretch between Driftwood Shores and the north jetty. 
February 6, 2022 - MooreC
A 60-degree weather report brought out lots of people on the beach.  A beautiful day with no wind; plenty of room on this long beach. People were strolling, playing with their dogs and children,...


December 6, 2018 - Lyndell
Jelleyfish for a quarter mile.
May 19, 2018 - oldMGguy
Took the missus out for a trial walk with her new walking sticks, initially heading north into the wind from Driftwood Shores Resort up to Sutton Creek and return with a nice tailwind.  The on-going...
March 31, 2018 - Ariana172
A partially cloudy and cool day. Fewer people and fewer dogs than typical on the beach and in the water. Fewer gulls than I usually see or encounter here. Maybe a total of 12 Gulls in all. Fewer dogs...


May 1, 2014 - BCtoOR
Lots of debris with Japanese and Korean writing seen high up on the beach at the end of April. We went back with bags and cleaned up debris including many floats off the beach on May 1st.
April 28, 2014 - [email protected]
Spring shorebird migration underway. Several flocks of up to 200 birds feeding on beach. Mostly western sandpiper and dunlin, with a few semi-palmated plovers. One Bald Eagle.No sign of Tsunami...
March 24, 2014 - [email protected]
Lots of people for spring break.Very little material in the drift line
February 24, 2014 - BCtoOR
The mouth of Sutton Creek has moved North in the past month.The creek comes in at a Southerly direction and hits the man made berm near the gated community and then veers back in a Northwesterly...
  • The mouth of Sutton Creek has changed significantly in a months time.
January 20, 2014 - BCtoOR
The mouth of Sutton Creek was rapidly moving south as the sandy edge breaks off in large clumps making audible and visible splashes.Creek is moving in front of homes North of Driftwood Shores Resort...
  • Sandy edge breaking off and splashing into creek as the rushing water pushes south in front of Shoreline Drive homes.
  • Large clumps of sand break off in constant erosion falling into creek with loud splashes.Stand back from the edge!!!


March 18, 2013 - [email protected]
Very few people or birds. Very little debris in driftline. Strong north wind on beach, light wind inland a few blocks. Evidence of normal sand loss during winter with some erosion at base of...


December 31, 2012 - [email protected]
Quite a bit of small bull kelp pieces, mostly from holdfasts of bull kelp. Very little plastic, a few very small pieces only. Very few birds, only a few gulls.Usual winter erosion of beach sand...
September 28, 2012 - [email protected]
Noticable absence of plastic, beach very clean, very little driftline deposit - manmade or natural.
May 28, 2012 - oldMGguy
Beautiful afternoon for barefoot walking in the wet sand. A pair of osprey were putting on quite a show for the many holiday weekend visitors.Since yesterday, there has been a pickup truck sized...
April 24, 2012 - [email protected]
Horse tracks on north end of this mile.A lot of plastic in driftline. Also lots of beachgrass in driftline which has eroded from dunes during recent heavy storms.
January 31, 2012 - [email protected]
A lot of plastic in driftline. Also lots of beachgrass in driftline which has eroded from dunes during recent heavy storms.


November 25, 2011 - [email protected]
Busy day for humans on the beach - the day after Thanksgiving. A notable lack of birds - a few gulls, no crows, no shorebirds.
October 18, 2011 - [email protected]
This was a very warm, sunny, low wind, and generally beautiful day! There was extensive evidence of shorebirds feeding in the wet sand in the past few hours. Only crows and gulls were present when...
August 29, 2011 - [email protected]
Migrating shorebirds feeding in flocks of up to 200, predominately Western Sandpiper with some Semi-Palmated Plover and Sanderlings. One dead bird on beach with many feathers in driftline. Very...
May 1, 2011 - [email protected]
Spring shorebird migration in full swing!Shorebird migration in process. Minimum of 1100 shorebirds on this mile of beach. They were primarily Western Sandpiper, with some Dunlin, Sanderling, Semi-...


December 31, 2010 - [email protected]
A large concrete block that had been on the north part of mile 172 has been transported to the south end of mile 172 near Driftwood Shores.The pieces of plastic in the driftline are substantially...
November 2, 2010 - [email protected]
Massive amounts of Jellyfish on the beach in the southern portion of Mile 172. Also many fresh large piles of Bull Kelp. People reported hundreds of Sea Stars washed up yesterday. Observed one...
  • Several Large Masses of Bull Kelp recently deposited on the beach.
October 22, 2010 - [email protected]
Lots of jellyfish on beach - 3 species. Abundant green foam on beach and in surf.Birds - Mixed flocks of shorebirds. Observed 300+ birds. Primarily Sanderling with some Dunlin. Occasional small...
July 22, 2010 - [email protected]
Survey conducted by Mark and Aidan. Numerous people, few birds, and high winds. Quite a bit of small plastic in driftline. Large concrete block base has been exposed by wind erosion revealing...
May 26, 2010 - [email protected]
Unusually high amount of small plastic and crab shells in driftline. Lack of migrating shorebirds, only 1 Whimbrel present.
April 23, 2010 - [email protected]
Shorebird migration in progress with 1000-1200 shorebirds seen feeding on the beach in large flocks at one time. These feeding birds were predominately Western Sandpiper with some Dunlin, and a few...
January 31, 2010 - [email protected]
Evidence of European beachgrass eroding out of foredune in front of portions of the Kla Ha Nee development. Noticeable amount of dead beachgrass in drift line.


September 22, 2009 - Jackie
This is not our mile, but thought we needed to report that there are 9 dead Humboldt Squid on the beach at the high water line between the southern entrance to Kla-Ha-Nee subdivision and Sutton...
September 3, 2009 - cheshire
There is quite a bit of standing water on the beach right now, which seems to be coming from the creek just south of Driftwood Shores. Has something gone awry with the drainage in this area? The...
February 3, 2009 - Oyster
Beach clean of land based debris. Lots of drift tree & branches and broken sand dollar shells in mid-M172 area. Cement block in relatively (4x4x10 ft) same location, but shifted to east/west...
  • Murrelet seems recently dead. No bands, no bleeding or wounds.  Good condition of feathers, feet, plumpness, and beak seems to indicate a youthful age.
  • Red/orange alga-like growth in water draining to ocean from same drainage pipe of  Nov. '08 sewage leak.
  • Large drift trunks, roots, and branches.
  • Large tree jutted against south side of cement block and stopping block from traveling southward.  Orientation shifted from north/south to east/east/west direction.
  • 4x4x10 cement block remains in current position, held in check by drift tree; but shifts from n/s direction to e/e/w orientation.
  • Ongoing slumping of Sutton Creek edge, north edge of Klahanee Development. Note rip rap at property-side bend of creek.
January 13, 2009 - Oyster
Except for surf/wind blown wood drifts, beach is clean. The 4x4x10 cement block seems to have shifted its position south about 10ft., with more sand beneath it. N44.04760û W124.13124û(See 12/23/08...
  • 4x4x10 cement block, possibly floated in from sea, shifted south about 10 ft.  Large tree w/root has prevented block from moving further south.
  • Photo of 4x4x10ft.  Angled more no/south and located about 10ft north of 1/13 location.Wood planks bolted to bottom.


December 31, 2008 - RPurscelley
Lots of driftwood from recent storms. Nothing significant or unusual. Gorgeous day.
December 23, 2008 - Oyster
Clean beach, excepting 30 plastic strapping tapes (seems like boxes were opened out at sea) and about 12 sandwich-size wax papers & plastic bags. Re report by 173, Sutton Creek meandered back...
  • 4x4x10 ft. cement block has moved south about 1/8th mile south of Sutton Creek mouth.  According to 173, cement block was first cited 11/17 at the last bend in the creek before the ocean.
  • After storm, Sutton Creek overflowing bend at the mouth.
  • Sutton Creek meandering back north.
  • Close up shot of cement block.  Notice my glove on top at the closest corner.  Block is bolted to wood beams.
November 28, 2008 - Oyster
Good weather invited over 100 to visit beach. Generally clean beach; tide just turned around to ebb. Nothing unusual. Sand is returning (see photos); as reported by #173, Sutton Lake outlet is...
  • Compared to 2/08 sand level increased by 4 ft.
  • Sand level increased by 4 ft.
  • Regular location of outlet.  Outlet to the south allowing foot traffic.
  • outlet meandered north up to ripraps of Klahanee. Howard was unable to go beyond rocks.
  • wind blew in sea foam.  Bubbles captured light dispersion.
November 15, 2008 - Oyster
1) Unlike 11/01 with literally thousands of seagulls coming in swarms and eating like sand pipers from the bubbly receding surf. Two days later just a couple hundreds remain; and now 15 days later...
  • Many pieces of disintegrating toilette paper seem to be among liquid draining from Driftwood Shores Inn.  No odor.
July 31, 2008 - Oyster
Clean beach. Appearance of water leakage surfacing from ground between south end of Driftwood Shores Inn and homes on other side of dry storm drain.
May 31, 2008 - Oyster
Rip Rap N/W corner of Driftwood Shores.Sand coming back. Clean beach. A grouping of natural, little sand sculptures
  • Seems like natural little sand sculptures near top of sand dune. Not size of leaf
  • 500 ft. no. of Driftwood Shores Inn
March 2, 2008 - RPurscelley
Realize we need to take clean-up action more often. A bit suprised with the amount of garbage.
January 17, 2008 - Oyster
Sand have been storm eroded by about 3 ft. exposing old logs and shells. Recent long periods of rain have caused water to surface and create creeks and rivulets near foot of dunes, draining toward...
  • Red eyes still whole and moist. Body has not been disturbed.
  • Eyes moist and whole.  Seems to have come in on last flood tide.
  • Recent rains may have raised water table to encourage spontaneous rivulets, forming larger creeks, to form at foot of foredunes or simply in middle of open sand.  These mini creeks have enough continuous flow to make their way down to the sea.
  • Sand seems to have washed away by about 3 feet.No apparent threat or damage to homes.


December 9, 2007 - Oyster
November 26, 2007 - Oyster
Clean beach, sand seem to be accumulating slowly as usual outcrops seem to be buried more. Many 3-4" crabs casing. Many small clumps of kelp laced with feathers. Large kelp plants ashore. All...
September 17, 2007 - Oyster
From July to current date, beach occupation ranged from 9 to over 200 depending on day and temperature. generally, summer watch was calm, non destructive, and enjoyed via surfing, sitting, surfing,...
August 5, 2007 - Oyster
Sand seems to be accumulating at foredune. Sea grass, hair, sea palms and kelp in abundance. Unleashed and leashed dogs are leaving droppings. Children unknowingly playing near. 7/19 temp was 72...
  • Many clusters alon drift line of sea debris comprised of reeds, what looks like packing strips, feathers, shells, twigs.
  • Bones of, I think, a seal.
  • Many clusters along drift line comprised of sea palms, kelp, and "hair" held together with long strands of seagrass-like strings.  Note ~10" jelly fish near front cluster.  I don't know names of plants.
July 2, 2007 - Oyster
Seems sand are accumulating a little. Many people, most dogs on leash, trash free beach. Saw no animal carcases. No crows, seagulls, vultures, or sandpipers present. Fog made entrance by 6:00 pm.
June 7, 2007 - Oyster
1500 hrs 6/7/07. Imminent showers.4 of 6 telephone poles still remain. Fresh octopus located at high tide line. 100s of crab casings and dismembered legs. Large sand flea casings. See photos....
  • Fresh, soft, 4' octopus.  Skin still wet and pliable.  Mostly buried except for 1 arm and head portion.  Eye seemed to be looking at me.  Body cavity of fresh organs feasted on by vultures.  Located high on high tide line.
  • I returned 10 minutes later and pulled up its arm.  By then the vultures or gulls took its eyes.  Approx 4' long.  It was too soft to pull up the rest.  Arm looked like it had paddles for hands.
  • Drift line lined with 100s of approx 2-6" crab casings and recently cannibalized body.  Also large sand flea casing among crabs.
  • Many crab cases along with many crab legs/bodies. Example of size.  Flesh cleanly picked.
  • vultures feasting.  Photo shows how high up on beach octopus is located (half buried).
May 7, 2007 - Oyster
All is clean and windy. Very flat beach sand.Enclosed are 2 photos from 4/26. 1) Driftline of beautiful, purple-colored, tiny jelly fish. Size 1/16 x 3/16" and firm to the touch. Too small for me...
  • 1/16 x 3/16 firm jelly fish, or the like.  Too small to determine if they were still alive.
  • Red slimy, but gritty substance in sand within drainage.
April 23, 2007 - Oyster
Clean Beach, calm day. No dead fowl or mammals. Many shells, small rocks and wood pieces. Nothing unusual or problematic.
March 5, 2007 - Oyster
large drift trees are gone, many small rocks, shells, pieces of wood. Sutton Creek meandered back south and removing sand piled on during storm. See photos.
  • rip rap sitting on sand
  • Sutton Creek eroding sand on which rip rap sits and appears to be dragging a couple toward sea
  • An orange beak, black back, white belly bird.. don't know name.I understand many puffins were found on M173 & 174.  Could this be another?
February 11, 2007 - Oyster
High water, high wind equals beautiful drifts of foam. No debris present. Lots of logs, lumber, and shells. Ocean & beach very clean. Sutton Creek, at the bend entering the ocean, is more like...
  • "clean" foam & beach.
  • Post high tide, but tide level still topping over the bend in the creek to make it look more like a bay.  Where's the sand?
  • What started out as a hand-span wide creek is now about 4 ft across. It's uncovering some pretty driftwood.
February 8, 2007 - Oyster
Locals mentioned seeing unusually high number of dead "birds" but didn't know what kind. Storm swept drift wood and trees abound. Sutton Creek exit to ocean seem to be meander north. Bluff erosion...
  • On tide line
  • Black back & head, green underneath, black webbed feet.  Recently died.
  • Black black, black & white mottled below.  Beaked bill.  Red webbed feet.  Died some time ago; decomposed or eaten head and neck.  Can't tell what it is.
  • Development drainage into ocean after long period of storm seem to have eroded drainage area and now protected by rip rap.  Rip rap may have there for a long time.  I've not noticed it before.
  • Almost 13" round with apparent flat teeth.  Large eyes and fins may have been eaten or decomposed.  Low outgoing tide.
  • New home with rip rap at base
  • Same home; rip rap up close.  No perceived addition.
January 16, 2007 - Oyster
Dogs off leash ran after "sandpipers" and seagulls. Generally clean beach, sand is gone compared with last week.
January 8, 2007 - Oyster
Storm waves bringing in many drift trees; as well as wood, shells, wood debris. Very little sand to walk on (end of high tide.)One Murrelet freshly dead.


November 16, 2006 - Oyster
Home being built on dune edge. Possible Sun Fish. Immature Murrelet. Large piles of kelp.
  • Fish with straight teeth -- probably a small sun fish
  • Residence under construction at edge of foredune. Note riprap hardening.
  • One of the huge piles of bull kelp (Nereocystis)
  • Immature murrelet