Mile 94 Report

October 9, 2009
by John Hull

Location:
Coos
West of Laurel Lake, Lost Lake
Conditions:
Friday 9:30 AM
Sunny
50° F
Wind:
Calm/Light from the N
Tide Level:
0.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
People:
1
Dogs:
1
Activities:
Walking / Running:
1
Concerns:
Apparent Violations:
None
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:
One set of eroded boot prints, that's it.
Notable Wildlife:
Flock of small white birds running on wet sand, two large birds beyond surf flying just over waves.
Dead Birds:
Total:
0
Signs of oil:
0
Entanglement:
0
Species/names:
None.
Stranded:
Total:
1
California Sea Lion dead, six feet long, one hundred feet above surf and fifty feet west of edge of dunes.
Fish & Invertebrates:
Two jellies.
Driftline:
Shells·Small rocks
New Development:
Modifications:
More European beach grass
Natural Changes:
More European beach grass
Comments:
No.Coast Walk Mile 94 Friday, October 9th, 2009 I set out at ten minutes after nine, carrying the oars for the dingy and followed by my mostly-bassett-hound, LucieAnne. The Fourmile Creek was a couple of feet lower than when I last was on it in July. The sky was clear and blue altho’ there was a fog bank visible out at sea and a few clouds behind the coastal hills. There was a breeze of five to ten miles an hour out of the north. We reached the west bank of the New River in ten minutes, and it too was a foot or two lower than in July. Several geese and a bevy of ducks took off from the river – the ducks - and its west bank – the geese, honking their displeasure - as we approached.There was noticeably more beach grass on the dunes, both thicker than before and covering more area than on our last visit. Indeed, looking at the dunes from my house you now no longer see sand, just grass. Nor do you see the surf as the dunes are now too tall. As we walked across the dunes I could feel the rhizomes crunching under my bare feet. We set out from a point across from where the Fourmile Creek empties into the New River and headed north along what I think is mile 94. We crossed a set of eroded boot prints in the dry sand and noted that there was a lot of driftwood on the sand just west of the dunes,more than in the past but happily no human debris. We jogged down to the water’s edge; the waves were small, only two feet crest to trough at most. We quickly came to a stretch of sand, perhaps fifty or a hundred yards long where little round rocks, the size of golf balls, covered the wet sand. The sand there was courser than that elsewhere, and on my return I noticed that there were also small pebbles, the size of peas or kidney beans. The sand near the surf had some mussel and small oyster shells and over the mile perhaps a dozen pieces of sand dollar shells and one whole one. Aside from the rocks and shells and two clear jellies, one about an inch and a half across and another perhaps three inches across, the sand at the water’s edge was clean without even sea weed. I did see perhaps twenty or thirty small white birds that ran along the sand rather than fly at our approach. They were bigger than chickadees, perhaps the size of swallows. I wonder if they were plover but I think plover are smaller and have gone to Baja by now. I saw two birds gliding low over the waves beyond the surf line, too distant to identify, but no other animals were visible at sea. Nor were there any boats altho’ I had seen a light far out the night before. The air was as clear as I have seen it so the haystacks in front of Bandon were visible in some detail, as was the big rock off Cape Blanco to the south. Apparently there was little or no spindrift that morning. The sand was cool under foot, and I guess the air temperature was about fifty degrees. Unlike during the Summer there were no ATV tracks anywhere. As we returned south I followed my dog’s tracks and was led to a dead sea mammal that I took to be a seal. It was six feet long and had been there a while as its skull was visible and it appeared that its brain was completely gone. I took two photos.It was laying on the dry sand about a hundred feet from the surf and fifty feet from the edge of the dune grass. The cause of death was not apparent. There was very little odor. On our way back south along the beach I did see two rocks, one the size of my fist and the other bigger on the wet sand. I suppose one day they too will become sand. I mention these as I don’t recall seeing rocks that large on the wet sand on previous visits. On our way rowing up Fourmile Creek I heard the sound of a bugle coming from the northwest and wondered if it was Nicholas, the child of some neighbors about a half a mile away. Odd to hear human-caused sounds along this part of the coast, besides the occasional car or plane and the twice-daily Coast Guard helicopter. And then I saw a head in the water, near the bank, apparently following us. I watched what I think were two river otters. Their heads were about the size of a cat’s head but flatter and wider. I also saw hints of tail as they swam and dove and appeared to be watching us. It was the first time I had seen mammals in the creek (beside LucieAnne and my wife) although I had seen some signs of slides on the bank in past years. It is possible they were beaver but I have seen no signs of that species in this creek although have seen some signs in a tributary further east. We got back to our home just before ten-thirty.
Summary:
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 jellies. A flock of surfbirds were foraging on the beach. Driftwood on sand west of dunes. More European beachgrass on the dunes. Dunes increasing in height.
  • Middle of Mile 94
    October 9, 2009
  • It appears that this carcass was male as the head has a sagittal crest that is prominent in male California Sea Lions.
    It appears that this carcass was male as the head has a sagittal crest that is prominent in male California Sea Lions.
    Middle of Mile 94
    October 9, 2009
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

November 4, 2012 - John Hull
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...
  • What looked to me like a dead little seal, possibly entangled.
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

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...