Mile 94 Report

November 4, 2012
by John Hull

Location:
Coos
West of Laurel Lake, Lost Lake
Conditions:
Sunday
Humans / Pets:
People:
2
Dogs:
1
Activities:
Walking / Running:
3
Concerns:
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:
Beach Walk Miles 94 and 95Sunday November 4th, 2012The weather was beautiful – sunny and still. I was prepared to spend several more hours digging post holes, but Blaine bought my suggestion of a beach walk and sent me down to check on our eight foot Walker Bay dinghy. We had not visited it since we had returned to Bandon in mid-September. Lucie and I walked around the old mown path, which is becoming greatly overgrown so the grass was up to chest deep toward the end and found the Second Sea Sprite was in good order, still tied to the myrtle tree.We walked back and informed Blaine and I gathered my backpack, knife, camera, water-proof binoculars, some treats for LucieAnne, and we walked back over to the boat. It was easy to launch as the Lower Fourmile Creek was high so the bank, which had been eroded by the big storm this past Spring and was then about a four foot drop off, was now only a foot or two. The three of us got into the little skiff, and I rowed us down the creek and across the New River. We walked across the dunes which seemed noticeably wider than they were this past Spring. The wind was gentle from the south and estimated to be between five and ten miles an hour. But when we finished our walk at two, it was calm. The sky overhead was blue; there were a few white fluffy clouds to our East over the land.The tide was coming in and waves were from two to five feet trough to crest. Some of them were breaking quite far out, over a hundred yards from the shore. There was white foam on the sand. Sometimes in the past it has been yellow, but this day it was white. The water temperature felt like it was in the low fifties. We turned north and walked all the way to where the New River enters the sea. That point seemed further away than it was last Spring as well. I estimate that the distance from where we start out across from the mouth of the Lower Fourmile Creek to the mouth of the New River is now about two and a half miles. At one time I thought it was about two miles.The beach was mostly clean. There were occasional bull kelp but not big mounds. We saw very few birds as we walked along the beach. We found and photographed one small (about three feet long) dead pinniped which I took to be an immature sea lion, but its head was pretty much gone,and so, I could not identify it.Once again we found that large concrete dock stranded on the dry sand. As we made our way north, we did find some stretches of beach with flotsam and jetsam. We were surprised to find a very large white pelican walking with a limp across the sand somewhere in mile 95. It stood about three feet tall and had a grossly deformed right wing. It moved slowly and with great dignity. We were heartbroken and wished we could do something to assist it. Our Lucie charged it briefly, but we bid her stop and she did. The poor bird continued to make its way southwest toward the water. I took a couple of photos. We looked back occasionally but eventually could no longer see it.As we approached the mouth of the New River there was a large collection of big driftwood on the sand but not as much as we recall from earlier visits although the individual pieces seemed larger, parts of substantial trees. As we walked along the beach we found crab carapaces and claws, only three partial sand dollars and the remains of three birds. The bird carcasses where scanty, just feathers and a few bones, no flesh, so I could not identify them with any certainty but figure they were all gulls. There were no leg bands. There were no legs either. As we approached the mouth of the New River, the opposite bank looked different, covered with much more tree parts than in the past. When we reach the mouth of the New River, we were rewarded with the sight of at least three, but probably more pinnipeds swimming in the river and staring at us curiously. Three had their heads up at one time, but likely, the number of individual sightings indicated more than just three were there.They emerged from and reentered the water with scarcely a ripple. Several times when we saw a big disturbance on the surface of the river, apparently made by a creature about three feet long. We guessed it was some large fish, perhaps a salmon. But we never found out for sure. As we walked back south along the West bank of the New River, we watched low waves sweeping up river. They were about six inches tall and appeared to be caused by the tide coming in. We also found footprints in the sand which is not a common sight on that lonely and desolate stretch of the Oregon shore. The prints looked like one man and one woman with a dog. They were headed south and went nearly all the way to the mouth of the Lower Fourmile Creek and appeared to turn back. They appeared fresh and were very near the water and so, probably were fresh or they would have been washed away.Although we had seen few birds while walking on the shore we found hundreds of sea gulls either floating or standing in the shallow water of the river. They did not appear to be eating anything and so, we could not figure out what attracted so many of them to that place. We encountered two such large flocks as we made our way back south along the river. The first group mostly took flight as we approached, but the second group just observed us placidly.When we were walking back up the mown path towards our house, a mist started to come in, and it enveloped the house shorly after 2PM.
Notable Wildlife:
Large pelican with injured wing.
Dead Birds:
Total:
3
Signs of oil:
0
Entanglement:
0
Species/names:
Three partial carcasses, hard to identify species, about the size of gulls.
Stranded:
Total:
0
Fish & Invertebrates:
Some crab carapaces and claws, three partial sand dollars..
Driftline:
Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)
Samll dead seal
New Development:
Modifications:
Natural Changes:
Comments:
Took photos of pelican and dead baby sea lion. The pelican was probably in mile 95.
Summary:
Saw pelican with injured wing walking on beach and a dead baby sealion and three dead birds (just partial carcasses). Only we and our dog were on the beach with no signs of anyone else and no foot prints on mile 94. There was a large concrete dock which we have seen before. Crab carapaces and a few broken sand dollars in the driftline.
  • What looked to me like a dead little seal, possibly entangled.
    What looked to me like a dead little seal, possibly entangled.
    November 4, 2012
Other Mile 94 Reports (26)

2016

May 1, 2016 - John Hull
Accessed mile by rowing down Fourmile Creek and beaching on west side of New River. Saw no gorse on this side. Human activities included five fishermen and a person flying a kite. Sandy beach gently...

2014

March 13, 2014 - Volunteer Trainer
Dead lamb and salmon on the beach.Photos by Rod Cink
  • Thursday, 3-13, ~10:00am43.07.04.49 N124.25.57.53 W - (both of them)

2013

November 23, 2013 - John Hull
More people than we have ever seen on a beach walk before, two fishermen in small powered boat on new River, one fisherman walking, and what appeared to be a family of three walking South along the...
June 19, 2013 - John Hull
Warm day, beach wide and fairly flat, pretty clean with occasional kelp, few jellies, dozens of crab carapaces, a few broken Sand Dollars, feathers, and some other crab parts. A Bald Eagle resting...

2012

April 5, 2012 - John Hull
Once again no people nor signs of people. Wet sand and sand below driftline quite clean and relatively narrow (fifty to one hundred yards wide). One large dead sea mammal, too decomposed to see if...

2011

October 18, 2011 - John Hull
Beach sand and wet sand very clean. One nine by twelve by three foot concrete dock or pier on dry sand. Flock of over a hundred gulls of two species together on wet sand. Flock of about thirty...
September 19, 2011 - H Witschi
Beach was very clean. Shells and animal casings in the driftline. One dead Steller's Sea Lion. One Great White Egret, flocks of Sanderlings and sea gulls. Five people on the beach - two walking and...
July 7, 2011 - H Witschi
Shells, animal casings and small rocks in the driftline. Practically no trash. No human impact. ATV tracks going north and south on the beach. The mouth of New River is quite narrow (10-20 feet) and...
May 22, 2011 - John Hull
Animals were three Sanderlings, seven cormorants, less than ten pelicans, and one bald eagle over the New River. Four people on beach with one dog (our party). Beach and driftline very clean, no...
April 3, 2011 - John Hull
There were only three of us, my wife and I and our dog on the beach. Very clean driftline. We saw three flocks of small shore birds foraging in the wet send, chasing the receding waves- Sanderlings...

2010

September 25, 2010 - John Hull
One set of human footprints (besides mine) and one set of dog tracks. Lots of small feathers at water's edge for first time. Unusual number of jellies on wet sand, very few shells or crab parts....
June 8, 2010 - John Hull
No signs of recent human activity. Lots of plastic shards on the dry sand. Two jellies, nearly a dozen whole sand dollars and many pieces of crab shell in driftline. Ten or more floats per mile....

2009

October 9, 2009 - John Hull
Except for one old set of boot prints no signs of people or their debris. One dead male California Sea Lion,and a few birds. Little jetsam except for shells, small rocks, a few sand dollars and two...
  • It appears that this carcass was male as the head has a sagittal crest that is prominent in male California Sea Lions.
September 15, 2009 - [email protected]
Accessed Mile 95 From the North end of Mile 94. I had a beautiful day on my mile. Animal casings and kelp/algae in the driftline. One dead California Sea Lion (reported to Marine Mammal Stranding...
  • Found dead on the North quarter mile of Mile 94.
September 8, 2009 - H Witschi
Very quiet, very clean beach; Snowy Plover crew quickly passing through. Shells and animal casings in driftline on a remarkably clean beach. One dead California Sea Lion reported to Diane and Dave...
September 3, 2009 - [email protected]
Parked at the Lower Four Mile BLM parking area and took the trail to New River. There were about a dozen geese and a couple of swans feeding in the river. Waded the river, there must be a breech down...
June 2, 2009 - H Witschi
Practically no human impact; vehicles tracks/footprints most likely from Snowy Plover observers/predator control.Along miles 94 and 95 dry sand (dunes) marked and declared Snowy Plover nesting...
January 12, 2009 - H Witschi
No human activities, except for a few old footprints along New River, no noteable wildlife, no noticeable physical changes to shoreline - looks as it always did for the last few years. Kelp/algae and...

2008

November 14, 2008 - John Hull
Lots of kelp but very little else. Several types of shore birds on sand, flying, or in water. Only other visible animals were sand fleas. Very little in terms of shells or crab parts.Limited...
September 9, 2008 - H Witschi
Untouched beach - only a few (old) human footprints. Remarkably clean beach, practically no litter. Dead birds were 2 Common Murre, 1 large immature gull and 2 unidentified birds. Low human impact (...
August 22, 2008 - John Hull
Large clumps of Bull Kelp at beginning of mile. More kelp than June, also birds this time (gulls and Sanderlings?), one dead bird (small gull?), very little litter. Jellies found along mile but also...
June 27, 2008 - H Witschi
Easy crossing of New River at access point; river not even knee deep. No human impact. Beach remarkably clean, but massive sand build-up. A few snowy plovers seen, one blue heron flying along east...
June 2, 2008 - John Hull
Looked good to me, clean and unoccupied. Thought it odd that there were no small shore birds. Shells, mole crab casings, 2 black fishing floats, one crab float with line but no seaweed in driftline...

2007

July 7, 2007 - [email protected]
I crossed New River from the BLM trail at the end of Lower Four Mile Lane. New River seems to still be flowing south at Four Mile Creek. There was a little mud, but not bad, not even knee deep. I saw...
May 21, 2007 - [email protected]
I waded the New River mud at the BLM Trail north of Lower Four Mile Road. Shells, animal casings and small rocks in driftline. Low human impact (0).
March 11, 2007 - [email protected]
As long as I was in the area, I walked Mile 94. Shells, animal casings, small rocks, wood pieces, ocean-based debris in driftline. shore birds foraging in surfline. I took a picture of some tracks...