Mile 21 Dispatch

April 18, 2014
by PaulSherman

Pistol River SP south
Friday 4:20 PM
60° F
Calm/Light from the SW
Tide Level:
5.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
Cars/Trucks parking:
Activity Comments:
A photographer came as we were leaving at 5:15PM, recording the events we observed initiated, circa 4:20 PM.
Notable Wildlife:
Pair of Peregrine, Bald eagle, Forster's tern, Herring gulls, Sanderlings, white crown song sparrows
Dead Birds:
just killed
Fish & Invertebrates:
Many crab casings; every 1.5 to 3 meters we observed the carapace of Dungeness crabs, circa 7 to 10 cm wide washed in with the high tide. Mile 20.3 to 20.7 seemed to be an especially rich areas for the washed up casings. There were only a smattering of endoskeletons of sand dollars, today.
Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Small rocks
see above plus some bullwhip kelp, a painters 3 gal bucket, rope. The hull and tire were not observed, perhaps buried in sand.
New Development:
Natural Changes:
great abundance of sand on the shore and to high tide mark
We removed human trash (plastic bags, rope, bucket).We did NOT see the 24 inch tire or boat hull observed in our last sightings on mi 21.
Mrs. Peregrine Strikes AgainUpon our arrival, we observed the resident Peregrine pair on the dunes just adjacent to the Pistol River mouth. The male had just arrived, scaring up about 20 gulls bathing in the river estuary. He landed on top of his mate, attempting a brief copulation (<15 secs), then left the area, not to be observed again. She took off from the dune, approx one minute later, flying low across the river toward mi 22 beach, killing a Herring gull ON THE WATER. The kill seemed atypical for the Peregrine, as she landed on her prey, piercing the gull with her talons. There was a 2 minute struggle between gull and falcon. Because the gull was so heavy, she left it to float about 5 meters off shore as she sat near it, on shore. We left for our walk. After returning some 40 minutes later, she was cleaning her kill on the opposite shore, mi 21 side, some 100 meters upstream from the kill site. We watched only few minutes, from afar. She had to chase a Bald Eagle that threatened to take the carrion. When we left the site, a photographer, seeing her give the eagle chase, went near her to take photos while she returned to clean up her gull.An unusual number of Dungeness crab carapaces had been found this particular walk. We did observe one starfish carcass, but there were no apparent deformities. It appeared it had broken away from its rock hold and washed ashore.
Other Mile 21 Reports (11)


July 23, 2020 - PaulSherman
No violations  or unusual environmental damage noted.  Healthy sea star population and flock of brown pelicans observed.
May 8, 2020 - PaulSherman
All was well on Mile 21 in the early morning of 8 May on a very low tide (-1.5).  An apparently orphaned Harbor Seal pup was observed on the beach in the cove at the southernmost end of Mile 21.  It...
January 30, 2020 - PaulSherman


October 27, 2019 - PaulSherman
It was a beautiful sunny, warm windy day.  I walked south along the beach all the way to the massive rocks at the boundary of the USFWS refuge at Crook Point.  The tide was low (-0.4) and the exposed...


May 3, 2014 - PaulSherman
The starfish we had seen dead and washed-up near pistol river / ocean coast line had disappeared --probably washed back into sea.As we walked mile 21, we observed hundreds of mole crab exuviae!...
April 5, 2014 - PaulSherman
The migratory eagles we observed over the Pistol River did appear to bother gulls that typically bath in the Pistol river estuary. We saw three to four harbor seals in the river confluence with the...
  • photos of shore debris described in report are attached for further examinatiion
  • at the low water mark at 21.5 mil
  • at mile 21.5
  • Near Crook PointPicked upon by a raven, two vultures and a single eagle
March 7, 2014 - PaulSherman
We came upon the widened mouth of the Pistol River after many days of rain, and saw the area strangely absent of bathing gulls. Three Ravens were hawking, and a Peregrine dive bombed them then landed...
  • Peregrine had only just killed Herring when he'd arrived. Both adults were plucking the kill, then the male flew across the Pistol mouth, to watch from the driftwood, from afar. Ms. Peregrine (the larger of the two) stayed to clean her kill.
  • End of mile 21
  • The pair of Peregrines were still defending their Kill one hour later, mobbing a ravenous pair of Ravens that were attempting to usurp the leavings.  Our last photo interrupted the scene, temporarily.
January 17, 2014 - PaulSherman
We removed a minor amount of washed up "Oregon" debris and left a rubber tire that had washed up near end of mi 21-20 (rolled up to sand dune base). American made, Kelly Titanium, size R275-16We...
January 4, 2014 - Bob Ivey
Did some additional research about the area. There is a proposal for a golf couse which would include beach access farther down the coast, where was once a commercial salmon hatchery operated,...
  • South hike from Pistol River to Crook's Point.  Along south extending lagoon to Crook"s Point  approx 2 mile and back thur 30 to 40 foot sand dunes with sea floor rock protruding   thur.


July 1, 2009 - Don Hayes
A pleasant day for a beach walk, run, swim, stretch, and report including 70 photo study. Nothing unusual to note except no one on entire beach or in lot and small seal seeming not in best of health...
  • Don Haye, Mile 21, July 1, 2009, photo observations


August 22, 2007 - Don Hayes
I visually scan the entire coast mile daily and walk, run, and swim there regularily. Also I make photos from time to time. I do see an occassional dead bird or seal as well as plastic drifting in....