Mile 265 Report

September 19, 2020
by aricatierradelmar

Location:
Tillamook
South Spit, Sand Lake
Conditions:
Saturday 3:00 PM
Party cloudy
62° F
Wind:
Calm/Light
Tide Level:
7.1 ft
Humans / Pets:
People:
26
Dogs:
12
Activities:
Walking / Running:
15
Playing in surf:
2
Playing in sand:
5
Surfing:
5
Concerns:
Litter
Apparent Violations:
Seemed to be a lot of aluminum cans, plastic pieces, dog poop bags and trash in the driftline.
Disturbances:
Shorebirds moving in response to humans/dogs
Vehicles:
Cars/Trucks parking:
0
ATVs/OHVs parking:
0
RVs/Buses parking:
RVs/Buses parking: 0
Cars/Trucks on beach, allowed:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, allowed:
0
Cars/Trucks on beach, prohibited:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, prohibited:
0
Activity Comments:
Most groups of people on the beach had at least one dog with them. Most dogs were off leash. We saw an unusual amount of people on this stretch of beach. Especially considering that Sitka Sedge is currently closed, which means people had to access it from at least a mile away.
Notable Wildlife:
We have seen a ton of pelicans flying over the waves adjacent to this beach mile this summer. On our walk today we saw 5 pelicans fishing together. Additionally, we saw a couple flocks of sandpipers and seagulls. We usually spot 1 -3 eagles soaring overhead at this spot but I haven't noticed them this summer and certainly didn't see them today. With the amount of people walking on the beach (and the fact that it was high tide so not a lot of beach to share) there weren't as many birds on the shore as usual. - Not sure if this is appropriate but I spoke to the OPRD beach ranger and he said that the nesting snowy plover unfortunately moved their nests to the sandlake recreation area this spring due to the lack of people around COVID-19 closures.
Dead Birds:
Total:
1
Species/names:
One gull.
Stranded:
Total:
0
Fish & Invertebrates:
There is always a ton of crabs at this site and today was no different. There were a large amount of crab shells, mussels, sand shrimp shells, and broken sand dollars.
Driftline:
Small rocks·Kelp or Algae·Shells·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Wood pieces·Land-based debris (picnics, etc.)
There was a lot of land-based plant debris like bark, pine cones, and tree limbs. I believe this is due to the huge wind storm (east winds) that happened last weekend and knocked down a lot of trees in the area. I would just add feathers, driftwood and dune grass (large amounts) to the content checked above.
New Development:
Although technically just outside of mile 265, there are new houses being built at the very west end of Roma avenue and it appears one will be very close to the sand dunes bordering the beach.
Modifications:
Dune Modification·Sand removal
As in above, this is just south of my mile but there are houses being built on Roma avenue and they are changing the dunes and looks like they are removing sand to do so.
Natural Changes:
I would just mention that the sandbar has changed pretty drastically along this mile which isn't unusual for this time of year. It's fondly referred to as 'the berm' in Pacific City and occurs in this area as well.
Comments:
Summary:

There has been an increase in people using this beach due to the lack of parking on the beach in Pacific City, a more general awareness of Tierra del Mar, and more access trails from Sitka Sedge. After the huge storm on Labor Day, there seems to be a lot of land vegetation debris like tree limbs and pine cones that spread over to the beach. 

There were tire tracks along the entire stretch of beach, which I'm positive belong to the beach ranger who comes this way. September 15th is when OPRD takes down all snowy plover signage and essentially 'opens the beach' back up, including around the southern dunes. This section will now be open to dogs, bicycles and horses until March 15th when snowy plover season starts again. 

  • Example of what the driftline content looked like along the entire mile.
    Near hightide line 50 yards north of southern mile boundary.
    September 19, 2020
  • This is a picture of what the mouth of the water flow looks like. Will try to take photos of this each time as I think it changes pretty dramatically.
    North end of Mile 265 looking at sandlake recreation area.