Mile 204 Report

June 24, 2020
by Jon French

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek
Wednesday 8:30 AM
58° F
Tide Level:
-1.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
2 people on electric fat tire bicycles
Activity Comments:
Notable Wildlife:
A few gulls and crows, and approx 5 snowy plovers in a group, standing, flying, running, fighting. Although I didn't see any Seaside Hoary Elfin butterflies, the Driftwood Beach Wayside is one of only two sites in Oregon where this subspecies is found. Much like the Monarch butterfly is dependent upon milkweed, the Seaside Hoary Elfin is associated with the native plant Kinnikinnick, which is subject to being displaced in coastal areas by invasive/introduced species like European Beach Grass and Scotch Broom.
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
Small rocks·Kelp or Algae·Shells·Wood pieces
No debris
New Development:
Not new, but see attached photo of a typical beach scene with dunes backed by forest and a typical view of some of the 20 or so houses that overlook the beach on this mile.
Not new, but see the sand petroglyphs at the Buckley Creek sand bluff, including the fading "Time Is Important" message, and the before and after photos of the once substantial driftwood leanto just north of the creek.
Natural Changes:
See the attached photo of a partial collapse of the Buckley Creek sand bluff where the creek enters the beach.

I walked Mile 204 today for CoastWatch along with Miles 203-205 looking for snowy plover nests.  Three chicks have hatched this nesting season on Miles 203/205, and beach ranger Doug Sestrich roped off a new nest on the northern border of 203 this morning, but no nests have been found so far on Mile 204. I began walking at a minus tide, and the flat Driftwood beach seemed to go out to sea forever. The beach was misty and almost deserted, just a few people walking along the shore, a couple of people on those new fat tire electric bicycles, and one intrepid surf fisherman.

  • Time Is Important
    Time Is Important
    Mile 204, Buckley Creek
    June 24, 2020
  • Buckley Creek petroglyphs
    Buckley Creek petroglyphs
    Mile 204, Buckley Creek
    June 24, 2020
  • Bluff collapse, Buckley Creek
    Bluff collapse, Buckley Creek
    Mile 204, Buckley Creek
    June 24, 2020
  • Driftwood leanto, before
    Driftwood leanto, before
    Mile 204, Buckley Creek
    June 6, 2020
  • Driftwood leanto, after
    Driftwood leanto, after
    Mile 204, Buckley Creek
    June 24, 2020
  • Kinnikinnick
    Mile 204, near parking area, Driftwood Beach Wayside
    June 24, 2020
  • Dunes, forest, houses, Mile 204
    Dunes, forest, houses, Mile 204
    Mile 204
    June 24, 2020
Other Mile 204 Reports (31)


September 12, 2020 - Jon French
Today's weather forecast called for areas of fog with a Dense Smoke Advisory because of the wildfires, but I didn't smell any smoke, just dense fog all along the beach, with hardly anyone to be seen...
  • Aliens and spaceship, Buckley Creek sand cliff
  • Buckley Creek entering beach
  • Rebuilt Buckley Creek leanto
  • Gulls in fog
  • Dunes in fog
  • Walkers in fog
  • Small shell particles
  • Very small shell particles
  • PacWave worker
July 29, 2020 - Jon French
Driftwood Wayside is open again after remaining closed beyond the COVID restriction period due to construction scheduled to begin on the PacWave South wave energy project (see my report for 6/6/2020...
  • Driftwood dunes
  • Driftwood dunes closeup
  • Driftwood Wayside warning sign
  • Survey equipment
June 6, 2020 - Jon French
I've walked this mile for Plover Patrol; this is my first time for CoastWatch. The photos show the future landfall site of PacWave South, OSU's project to install and test wave energy collection...
  • Driftwood Beach, from Driftwood Beach State Wayside
  • Driftwood Beach State Wayside entrance from beach
  • Parking area, Driftwood Beach State Wayside


May 18, 2018 - Shema
5-18-18 mile 204 Driftwood beach wayside north to south end of Seal Rocks beach8:30 am,  1.7 minus tide, went with 1 other person, cloudy morning, no rain, very little windonly other people on the...


March 16, 2016 - Volunteer Trainer
They're Back...They are in even earlier than last year. Along with the larger Velella velella was a purple mass of tiny substance. I collected it an took it into the Hatfield Marine Science Center....
  • Purple mass high in wrack line at Driftwood State Park
  • Zoomed in on the purple mass
  • took the sample to HMSC, under dissection scope, shows development of polyps from medusae to polyps
  • medusa
  • the purple mass close up showing metamorphosis
February 8, 2016 - malachite
I walked from the Driftwood State Park access north to the rocks/point. I saw a dead seal on the beach. It had either been there for awhile (and dead) or had been in the water for awhile after death...
  • Dead seal observed on north end of Mile 204, possibly near the line between miles 204 and 205.
  • This photo provided to aid in location if anyone wants to retrieve the body (if it's still there) to determine cause of death. Unfortunately, I was delayed in posting this dispatch.


January 6, 2015 - Janets
The day started with a beautiful sunrise and then.... at 8:15 a.m. the full moon setting into the horizon. Will add that photo.Clouds were high and thin with the sun breaking thru. The tides had...


December 3, 2013 - Janets
On the day before...the day of the high tides, we had a series of very violent hail storms. It was fun to see that the hail had left dimples in the clean smooth sand. Rather like really rough...
January 7, 2013 - Janets
The wind was strong.... perhaps 30 mph. We walked south to begin our mile, walking from Drift Creek to Bayshore. There were many waterways to ford. The sand was wet from high tide all the way to...


August 21, 2012 - Janets
The sun was out, the blue sky was decorated with a few fluffy white clouds. The temperature was mile with no wind.We were just enjoying ourselves! As were the other 30 people we saw, the most we...
July 20, 2012 - waterwitch
This is a very stable beach. I find the usual woody debris and not much else. Good vegetation on the hillsides and not alot of visible changes.9 people strolling the beach, a few playing with a dog...
May 21, 2012 - Janets
Cold, rainy and windy. Beach laden with debris, from big trees to pebbles.
February 3, 2012 - waterwitch
Driftwood Beach lived up to its name. Considerable wood debris but surprisingly no trash.


October 17, 2011 - Janets
It was a most interesting walk. The sun was out, but the wind a bit strong to be comfortable.The large number of birds was fascinating. And the gal photographing the stranded seal pup was very...
July 18, 2011 - Janets
My friend and I really enjoyed being able to get out onto the beach for a very refreshing walk.
March 23, 2011 - Janets
This was a gorgeous walk on an early spring morning. The sun came in and out of the clouds and the wind was minimal. The beach was wide, flat, and extremely clean. Notably devoid of logs, kelp...


November 2, 2010 - Janets
We were excited to walk our mile on this day of wonderful weather following yesterday's storm. The surf was fluffy and white with large balls of white foam on the shore that were drifting south....
August 20, 2010 - waterwitch
Clear, breezy day, hard-packed sand, beach looks good with a dozen people enjoying a variety of activities including horseback riding.
July 18, 2010 - waterwitch
a clean windswept beach at low tide with little or no debris.
June 21, 2010 - Janets
It was a wonderful sunny lst day of summer. A bit too chilly to sit on the beach. The beach was especially wide, flat, and clean.The high tide had recently been all the way to the bluff so the...
June 16, 2010 - waterwitch
The beach was calm and clean of debris. No seabirds present. The only birds were vultures eating two, apparently headless, dead, baby seals that had washed up appx. 1/2 mile apart.
March 7, 2010 - waterwitch
A calm day with broad expanse of clean beach, no duning, not much driftwood, nothing major to report.
February 15, 2010 - Janets
Doug and I enjoyed watching more people on this beach than we have ever seen before. All ages and all enjoying the beautiful day!No unusual animal or environmental issues.We were enjoying it as well!


November 1, 2009 - waterwitch
No visible issues with cliffs, a large flock of gulls, no debris but a large piece of rope, a clear wind-swept beach with tide receding.
October 27, 2009 - Janets
A cold and windy day. Sand was clear and clean. Only a bit of driftwood and it was way at the back edge of the sand.
August 2, 2009 - waterwitch
Beach very clean, very little debris, no dead animals, or birds. 25-30 people (adults and children) enjoying the beach, 5 leashed dogs. A flock of gulls and 3 wimbrels or curlews on the shore. Both...
June 15, 2009 - waterwitch
Sunny day, low tide, not much wind. About a dozen people and 3 dogs observed. No seabirds present, only crows. 3 large plastic bags picked up. A cruise ship passed heading north - seemed close to...
June 1, 2009 - waterwitch
This was the first time I had seen or walked Mile 204. The beach was clean and wind swept. I saw 3 people, each with a leashed dog, and picked up one 8" round piece of plastic.


November 5, 2008 - Janets
Our biggest observations were two-fold. The huge number of small feathers in the tide lines and the total change in the surface of the beach from many wind rippled mounds to just the opposite: many...
July 23, 2008 - Janets
On this, our first "official" CoastWatch walk, the bluffs seem well covered with healthy vegetation - trees shrubs, beach grass.


August 19, 2007 - [email protected]
An ailing sea lion was on the beach. OSP were called -- final disposition unknown.