Mile 202 Report

August 20, 2020
by Jon French

North Spit Alsea River
Thursday 8:00 AM
60° F
Tide Level:
-1.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
Playing in sand:
Activity Comments:
Notable Wildlife:
Hundreds of Gulls mostly sitting along the edge of Alsea Bay and spit. A dozen Brown Pelicans diving for fish at the tip of the spit. Two Turkey Vultures scavenging on two Gull carcasses, other vultures just sitting on the sand. Snowy Plover tracks but none seen.
Dead Birds:
Gull sp.
Fish & Invertebrates:
Kelp or Algae·Shells·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)
Masses of marine worm casings, see photo. The Oregon Aquarium says: "These casings, produced by the Cellophane Worm (Spichaetopterus costarum), often wash ashore in masses during the spring and summer months along the Oregon Coast. Living just below the low tide line of sandy beaches, Cellophane Worms build and inhabit these seemingly plastic 'tubes', which become encrusted with sand. Currents and upwellings bring these tubes to the surface, eventually distributing them onto shore." Apparently, the worms themselves remain unharmed in the sand and begin building new homes.
New Development:
Natural Changes:

I planned my walk hoping to reach the northern tip of Alsea Spit around 8:45 a.m. for the predicted low tide of -1.05. I thought it would be an easy walk over flat sand but hadn't counted on the stretches of exposed rough seafloor covered by standing water dotted with sand islands. The spit finally disappeared under water ahead and on either side and the tide beginning to come in. It was fun back home to export my smartphone GPS map of where I had walked onto Google Earth's most recent image of the spit and see how much of my walk had been over what was usually water.  See photos and Google Earth/GPS screen grab.

  • Alsea Spit walking map
    Alsea Spit walking map
    Mile 202, North Alsea Spit
    August 20, 2020
  • North Alsea Spit looking east toward Bayshore
    North Alsea Spit looking east toward Bayshore
    Mile 202, North Alsea Spit
    August 20, 2020
  • North Alsea Spit looking south
    North Alsea Spit looking south toward Cape Perpetua
    Mile 202, North Alsea Spit
    August 20, 2020
  • South tip of North Alsea Spit
    South tip of North Alsea Spit
    Mile 202, southern tip
    August 20, 2020
  • Brown Pelicans and Gulls
    Brown Pelicans and Gulls
    Mile 202, tip of Alsea Spit
    August 20, 2020
  • Turkey Vulture scavenging Gull carcass
    Turkey Vulture scavenging Gull carcass
    Southern portion of beach, Mile 202
    August 20, 2020
  • Turkey Vultures on sand
    Turkey Vultures on sand
    Mile 202 beach, southern portion
    August 20, 2020
  • Tube Worm casings
    Tube Worm casings
    Mile 202 wrackline, midway of mile
    August 20, 2020
Other Mile 202 Reports (35)


April 25, 2021 - Jon French
At the Bayshore Beach Club beach access, I posted a "Snowy Plovers Are Here!" sign, then walked down to where two plover nests had recently been discovered and roped off. There were no birds at...
  • Snowy Plover sign at Bayshore Beach Club beach access, 67B
  • Snowy Plover sign at Bayshore Beach Club close up
  • Roped enclosure, Snowy Plover failed nest #1
  • Roped enclosure, Snowy Plover failed nest #2
  • Western Snowy Plovers
March 26, 2021 - Jon French
My wife and I joined our neighbor Nancy Thomas and her husband for today's walk. Nancy is a fellow CoastWatch (Mile 203) and Plover Patrol volunteer and today was doing a survey for beached birds for...
  • Discovering half-buried wing
  • Excavating remains, our dog Sweetie looking on in Coyote Vest
  • Nancy brushing off excavated remains
  • Arranging cleaned remains
  • Measuring and writing date
  • Nancy documents with photo
  • Oh no, another wing!
  • Bobcat dumping sand
  • Driftwood debris at Alsea Bay 1-19-2021
  • Driftwood debris at Alsea Bay 3-26-2021
  • Landmark driftwood 3-31-2020
  • Landmark Driftwood 3-26-2021
January 19, 2021 - Jon French
A sunny but somber morning on Mile 202, the ocean fairly calm after last week's storms, King Tides, and beach hazard warnings. Last Friday afternoon, a local resident, Toni Goessman, age 60, didn't...
  • Man walking his dogs at waters edge--note the driftline
  • Couple walking at waters edge--note no attention to the surf
  • Driftwood debris, north shore of Alsea Bay
  • Driftwood debris and flip-flop sandal
  • Home at edge of Alsea Bay
  • Home at edge of Alsea Bay
  • Bobcat dumping sand onto dunes
  • Bobcat dumping sand onto dunes
  • Crabbing boat working close to shore


December 29, 2020 - Jon French
The most striking thing about today's walk on mile 202, the north spit of Alsea River, was the contrast between 202 and its northward extension, 203. After recent storms and King Tides, the driftline...
  • Driftwood at Alsea Bay
  • Driftline, Mile 202 looking south
  • Someone planted a driftwood tree
  • Beaver chewed driftwood
  • Beached Scoter -- Melanitta sp.
  • Western Snowy Plover
  • Sand District portion of Oceania Drive paralleling Mile 202
  • Oceania Drive riding mower
November 15, 2020 - Jon French
Alsea Bay was fairly calm at noon for today's 8.985' King Tide, but on the ocean side the surf was high and roiled up after last night's rain and 60-plus mph wind gusts. This what it looked like,...
  • Surf up to dunes
  • Western Snowy Plover area, Mile 202
  • Snowy Plovers along surf
  • Snowy Plovers along surf #2
  • Driftline
October 26, 2020 - Jon French
The north wind was brisk today, with hardly anyone on the beach.  On the southern portion of Mile 202, I counted a cluster of 17 Western Snowy Plovers, which winter here, all sheltering in ones and...
  • Western Snowy Plover sheltering from north wind
  • 3 Western Snowy Plovers sheltering from north wind
  • American Searocket beach vegetation
  • Smooth sand beach
  • Gulls at edge of Alsea Bay
  • Lone crabber, Alsea Bay
September 26, 2020 - Jon French
After the recent storms, I was surprised not to find any marine debris of human origin.  Instead, along the driftline were hundreds of strange little jelly like pods with tiny tails.  After a lot of...
  • Burrowing sea cucumbers
  • Burrowing sea cucumber closeup
  • Western Snowy Plovers
  • Landmark driftwood 2-14-2020
  • Landmark driftwood 9-26-2020
  • Beach tree, decorated
August 2, 2020 - Jon French
The only known snowy plover nest this year on Mile 202 failed.  Of the fourteen known plover nests located and monitored this year between Seal Rock and Patterson Memorial Recreation Site just south...
  • Bayshore failed nest
  • Crow tracks and failed nest Bayshore
  • Crow tracks near failed nest Collins Creek
July 22, 2020 - Jon French
"Snowy Plovers are Here!" announces the children's artwork sign posted by Beach Ranger Doug Sestrich at the Bayshore Beach Club beach access just north of a new Western Snowy Plover nest. See photos...
  • Snowy Plovers are Here!
  • Plover buffer and beachgoers
  • Fuzzy plover on nest behind buffer sign
  • Plover on nest behind buffer rope
July 6, 2020 - Jon French
The Morning After -- July 5th here in Bayshore, on an otherwise beautiful weekend, means residents spending hours beginning to clean up the fireworks debris left by the few thoughtless holiday...
  • Osprey with eel
  • Gulls at shore
  • Fireworks debris on sand
  • Fireworks debris, Bayshore South
  • Fireworks debris Bayshore North
  • Smoldering log and COVID mask
May 9, 2020 - Jon French
Ospreys atop nest platform, Bayshore Beach Club parking lot.  Osprey couple settling in atop a very exposed nest platform I didn't think would be occupied.  Now for a little work on that nest!
  • Ospreys atop nest platform, Bayshore Beach Club parking lot
  • Ospreys atop nest platform, closeup
May 1, 2020 - Jon French
Another beautiful day on Mile 202.  I watched a flock of 18 whimbrels feeding along the shoreline, probably migrants headed north to breed on the tundra.  Someone in the past attached an osprey nest...
  • Whimbrel
  • Portion of whimbrel flock
  • Osprey nest pole
  • Osprey nest platform
April 20, 2020 - Jon French
No Western Snowy Plovers were seen this visit, but extensive plover tracks were seen in the dry sand near the sloping dunes when walking south down the beach.  See attached photos.  The plover tracks...
  • Network of plover tracks
  • Plover tracks with pen
  • Plover tracks closeup
April 13, 2020 - Jon French
No snowy plovers today, and very few birds at all.  Plover sightings have declined from 30-40 individuals during my walk on 1/30/2020, to approx 20 on 2/14, to 12-14 on 3/4, to 10 on 3/22, to 6 on 3/...
  • Landmark driftwood looking south to former snowy plover location
  • 2/14/2020 photo of landmark driftwood looking south to plover habitat
  • Former location of plovers
  • 3/4/2020 plover area
March 31, 2020 - Jon French
Very little human activity today.  Short-term vacation rentals at Bayshore have now been banned due to COVID-19.
  • Dead seal pup
  • Dead seal pup closeup
  • Western Snowy Plover
  • Tree trunk driftwood with new sand
  • Landmark driftwood with new sand deposit
March 22, 2020 - Jon French
Spring Break Sunday on Mile 202.  I saw only 25 people on my walk south beginning at 11:15 a.m., but more were arriving by the time I ended my walk back at the Bayshore Beach Club beach entrance at...
  • Spring  Break Sunday, North tip of Alsea Spit
  • Area containing aproximately 10 Western Snowy Plovers
  • Plovers after human disturbance
  • Tree trunk driftwood with new sand
March 4, 2020 - Jon French
The 12-14 Plovers were seen in approximate area as on my 2-14-2020 walk, in the dry sand south of 67D beach entrance and landmark driftwood, located now precisely with Polaris navigation app and Bing...
  • Area where Plovers seen
  • Plover pair
  • Plover location map
February 14, 2020 - Jon French
Fewer Western Snowy Plovers this walk than on 1/30/2020, approximately 20 total today (30-40 last visit) in two clusters south of beach access 67D (beyond the landmark driftwood in the attached photo...
  • Western Snowy Plovers
  • Landmark driftwood looking South to Plover habitat
  • Plover habitat
  • New sand dump
  • Layered sand deposits forming sand bluff
  • Dead gull at beginning of walk
  • Dead gull scavenged, end of walk
January 30, 2020 - Jon French
Another beautiful walk on Mile 202, highlighted by seeing 30-40 Western Snowy Plovers scattered along the upper portions of the sand perhaps 100 yards North and South of Beach Access 67C (Bayshore...
  • Western Snowy Plover, Bayshore Beach
  • Western Snowy Plovers, Bayshore Beach
  • Banded Western Snowy Plover, Bayshore Beach
  • New sand deposits #1, Bayshore Beach bluffs
  • New sand deposits #2, Bayshore Beach bluffs
  • Erosion at tip of Alsea Spit
  • Plastic water bottle, Cest Bon, Chinese brand
January 14, 2020 - Jon French
A chilly north wind but still beautiful on Mile 202, which I had virtually all to myself.  I previously walked 202 on 12/30/19 and wanted to view any changes after a weekend of storms and King Tides...
  • Beached gull #1, body cavity scavenged
  • Beached gull #1, head missing
  • Beached gull #2, scavenged
  • Beached gull #3
  • Beached Cassin's Auklet
  • Great Blue Heron surf fishing
  • Eroding sand dumped on 12/23/2019
  • Eroding sand bluff
  • Erosion below house
  • Debris collected from beach


December 30, 2019 - Jon French
A beautiful morning on Mile 202.  A beach hazard/sneaker wave warning was in effect, and I anticipated few people on the beach, but I encountered at least 60 people and perhaps half as many dogs,...
  • Dumping of sand onto beach on Mile 202, Alsea Spit
  • Front end loader loading sand for dumping on beach, Mile 202
  • Concentrated group of crab molts
August 19, 2019 - samdel
A beautiful day at the Beach. Some days earlier a juvenile humpback whale was beached around the middle of mile 202. It was eventually euthanized and buried somewhere on mile 202. 


July 20, 2017 - unbound
During our beach cleanup on July 20, 2017 we saw 36 people and 7 dogs. Most people were walking, but it was a beautiful sunny day, so there were some folks who opted to checkout the surf and others...


March 26, 2016 - unbound
A quiet, cloudy day on the Bayshore. We saw two families, grouped in 6 and 4, respectively, out walking on the beach. We found significantly more marine debris than usual, especially fishing-related...
  • It was a cloudy, overcast day during our cleanup on the Bayshore, North Alsea River Spit, OR.
  • Photo of the wrack line. Lots of driftwood and Velella Velellas.
  • We found significantly more trash on our mile than in previous cleanups. Most of it appeared to have washed onshore. Lots of fishing gear and large pieces of plastic.
  • We found a crate covered with barnacles. We looked but could find no markings of origin.
  • We found a garbage can lid. No markings or sign of origin.
  • We found what appeared to be a foot dummy for shoe making. We did not find any markings or signs of origin.
  • We found a very fresh and pliable deceased pacific loon entangled in netting. We tagged it as #339 as part of our COASST survey. We cut the netting off and disposed of it after tagging.
  • We found a black scoter as part of our COASST dead shorebird survey. We tagged it as #340.


November 27, 2015 - unbound
Beautiful sunny day on the beach great for a post-holiday cleanup. Counted 27 humans and 9 dogs. Most individuals were walking, but noted one family sitting and observing. Picked up mostly plastic...
  • We found a large, flat fish washed up above the wrack line. Possibly a Mola mola?
  • Dead shorebird we identified as a Brandt's Cormorant. Possibly a sooty shearwater. Difficult to tell due to condition of carcass. Tag #334
  • Dead shorebird identified as a northern fulmar. Tag #335.
  • Dead bird identified as a Canadian goose, but possibly a brown pelican. Difficult to identify due to condition of carcass. Tag #336.
  • Dead shorebird identified as a large immature gull. Only head found. Body nowhere in vicinity. Tag #337.
  • Dead shorebird identified as a Northern Fulmar. Tag #338.
  • Looking south down the Bayshore, N. Alsea River mile 202, Oregon.
  • Looking North up the Bayshore, N. Alsea River mile 202, Oregon. Beautiful sunny day with no clouds.
September 17, 2015 - unbound
Overall light human activity with 21 people and two dogs. We did not notice any unusual levels of trash or debris, but did pick up about a bag's worth. We found nine dead Common murres, possibly...
  • Conditions were mostly cloudy on the Bayshore, North Alsea River, OR on the day of the cleanup
  • A few driftwood structures found on the Bayshore.
  • The fog rolls in on the Bayshore during the cleanup.
  • Sea jelly and kelp found in the wrack line during Bayshore cleanup.
  • We found a toothbrush during our Bayshore cleanup.
  • One of the nine common murres we found and tagged during the Bayshore cleanup. Possibly connected with recent wreck.
July 11, 2015 - unbound
A cloudy, overcast day on the Bayshore. The debris we found on the beach consisted mainly of the usual microplastics, Styrofoam, and fishing material along with picnic trash left from visitors....
  • Warm, but cloudy, overcast day on the Bayshore near Waldport, OR.
  • Found big length of PVC pipe laying on beach. Origin unknown. We pulled it off of the beach and disposed of it.
  • Here's a close-up shot of the length of PVC pipe we found on the beach.
  • Common Murre found on the Bayshore/North Alsea River Spit near Waldport, OR.
  • We believe this to be a Sooty Shearwater, found on the Bayshore/North Alsea River Spit near Waldport, OR.
  • Brandt's Cormorant found on the Bayshore/North Alsea River Spit near Waldport, OR.
  • Second Common Murre found on the Bayshore/North Alsea River Spit near Waldport, OR.
February 16, 2015 - unbound
Beautiful President's Day on the Bayshore near Waldport, OR. Enjoyed a very sunny day with record high temps. Noted approximately 20 humans on beach - one family flying kites and playing in the surf...
  • Photo of tire found on beach.
  • Found a large bag used to hold liquids.
  • A beautiful day on the Bayshore near Waldport, OR. Shot looking southwards towards Alsea Bay outlet to ocean. Lots of driftwood near spit.
  • Dead bird identified as a Cassin's auklet. We banded the carcass as #318.
  • Not much left of this bird, but we identified it as a California gull and banded it #319.
  • Identified carcass as a Cassin's auklet and banded it #320.
January 19, 2015 - unbound
Due to several recent large storms, we noted a much-higher than normal amount of driftwood on the beach, especially towards the North Alsea River Spit. We also noted a higher amount of debris on the...
  • Picture of buoy we found washed up on our mile. We did not find any identifying markers to place its origin.
  • Another angle of the buoy we found washed up on our mile. We did not find any identifying markers to place its origin.
  • Rusted propane tank found on our mile. It was too big for us to remove during our survey.
  • One of the dead shorebirds we encountered during our survey. We identified it as a Northern Fulmar.
  • A dead shorebird we found during our survey. We identified it as a Cassin's Auklet, possibly remaining from the large December wreck.
  • Noted new beach grass planted as part of dune maintenance.
  • Small sampling of some of the debris we found on the beach during our survey. Bucket was found on the beach, but we put it to use right away.


October 26, 2014 - unbound
Several days of big wind and rainstorms brought lots of debris to mile 202/North Alsea Bay. We encountered a greater-than-usual amount of driftwood on the beach as well as big stumps and logs...
  • Dead seabird Cassin's auklet
  • Another dead seabird believed to be a Northern Fulmar.
  • Very large animal carcass of unknown origin. Found washing in and out of the surf amongst driftwood. Unable to identify but definitely had flesh and bones.
  • Big storms brought in way more driftwood than usual to Mile 202. Logs and stumps of various sizes were seen up on the beach as well as floating in the surf.
  • A few pelicans were spotted with a whole lot of gulls down at the end of the Bayshore spit, North Alsea Bay, OR.
  • Shot of debris in the wrack line.
  • A shot of Mile 202 looking south from the north end. Most of the debris was found on the south portion of the mile near the north shore of the Alsea bay.
June 1, 2014 - unbound
Beautiful day for a beach cleanup. Lots of debris in the wrack line, particularly plastic. Found bottles, trash, buoys, micro plastic, straws, etc. Also found a lot of styrofoam and rope.Not a lot of...
  • Beach conditions for Bayshore, North Alsea River near Waldport, Oregon on 5/25/2014. Beautiful weather and few people on beach.


June 12, 2008 - dddurrett
Blue sky, sunshine(remember sunshine?)Another perfect day on Mile 202, very peaceful, and again, almost deserted. I posted a new seal pup sign at the entrance at Bashore Beach Club, I had info...
  • Photos taken to the south and north
March 5, 2008 - dddurrett
A perfect day at the beach, blue sky and a cool breeze.I picked up very little litter. Sparce drift line with no garbage. I was approached by a couple from California and they couldn't believe how...


November 5, 2007 - dddurrett
There was the normal amount of logs and tree debris for this time of year. I picked what little litter there was,(hooray-not one plastic water bottle!). After a good two hours on the beach it...
September 9, 2007 - dddurrett
Beautiful day but very few people on the beach for a Sunday.Very little litter, picked up 1 bag full. Found remnants of small drift wood fire.