Report Details

Every day now for over a week, I and two other U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service volunteers, along with our local State Parks Ranger, have been monitoring three active Western Snowy Plover nests near Alsea Bay as the nests approached hatching time. Nest number BASH15A hatched two chicks a few days ago, and BASH19A hatched one chick the day before yesterday. The chicks, little fuzzy golf balls perched on drinking straw legs, are hard to see even when Dad isn't sitting on them to keep them warm. Mom's maternal duties pretty much end when the chicks hatch, after which she's prone to fly off in search of another mate with the hope of creating a new brood before the nesting season ends, leaving Dad to rear the chicks for a month until they fledge. Unfortunately, BASH19A hatched only one of its three eggs, a second egg disappeared, and the third egg was left unattended. We consulted with our local USFWS plover biologist, and it was decided to collect the abandoned, non-viable egg, which I did today and took to the USFWS office in Newport. Of Mile 202's twenty-three nests, the only known nests in Lincoln County this year, two have now hatched chicks, not great but an improvement over last year.

Conditions

Temperature: 65 F. Cloud Cover: Foggy. Tide Level: 4.0 feet.

Human Activities

Number of people: 6. Number of dogs: 2. Walking or running: 6.

Notable Wildlife

Approximately ten adult Western Snowy Plovers in a line at mid beach sitting, preening, running around. Another adult down near the water with a chick (see summary regarding chicks); a few Semipalmated Plovers and other shorebirds, twenty or so pelicans resting on shore and feeding at the mouth of Alsea Bay

Beached Birds

Total dead birds: 1. Common Murre

Driftline Content

Small rocks, Seaweeds and seagrass, Shells, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt).

Man-made Modifications

Dune modification/removal. Last week, I and another person noticed a man weed whacking dune vegetation west of the state Statutory Vegetation Line, seaward of which Oregon Parks Department has authority to manage recreational activities, dune alterations, etc., and prohibits removing dune vegetation without a permit. We went and talked to the man, who told us we were trespassing on his property and that he could do what he was doing because he wasn't removing plant roots. Attached is a photo showing the unauthorized weed whacking and a screen grab showing that the Statutory Vegetation Line is very close to the beachfront houses on Oceania Drive. The problem is that some beachfront homeowners don't like their views being compromised, and unauthorized mowing of dune vegetation occurs, resulting in dune destabilization and more wind and sand blowing in around houses.

Actions & Comments

I contacted our local Parks Ranger regarding the unauthorized removel of dune vegetation, and the Ranger took photos and sent them to the state regulatory people for response.

Report Images

Snowy Plover chick with Dad sitting on (brooding) second chick
Dad sitting on (brooding) two chicks
Plover Patrol's Nancy Thomas scoping for chicks
Plover nest BASH19A with abandoned egg
Abandoned Western Snowy Plover egg
Pelicans at edge of Alsea Bay
Das Bug crabber working close to shore
Enjoying a calm morning on Alsea Bay
Unauthorized removal of dune vegetation
Red Statutory Vegetation Line, central Mile 202

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All Mile 202 Reports

Showing 8 of 61 reports

Mile 202

North Spit Alsea River

May 6, 2024

Bayshore's HOA recently spent $2,500 for permits and bulldozing a path down to the beach behind the Bayshore clubhouse, a designated public access, smoothing out the drop-off resulting from winter erosion and restoring access for beach goers and our State Parks ranger's ATV.

Jon French

Mile 202

North Spit Alsea River

March 7, 2024

Mile 202 beach accesses and exits are now restricted because of erosion and sheering off of the sand cliffs along its northern portion, so I now need to plan for a receding tide if I want to walk the entire mile safely.

Jon French

Mile 202

North Spit Alsea River

January 28, 2024

After finding forty beached Cassin's Auklets on Jan.

Jon French

Mile 202

North Spit Alsea River

October 30, 2023

A beautifully calm, sunny day, maybe the last for awhile, with a fifteen mile view from Seal Rock to Cape Perpetua and hardly anyone on the beach except for two surf fishers and a couple valiantly trying to launch a kite with no wind.

Jon French

Mile 202

North Spit Alsea River

August 30, 2023

As I began yesterday's mile walk and monthly COASST beached bird survey, a light rain began to fall, the first in months.

Jon French

Mile 202

North Spit Alsea River

July 23, 2023

As I have done before, I combined today's walk with my monthly COASST survey for dead seabirds.

Jon French

Mile 202

North Spit Alsea River

May 16, 2023

The beach was fairly cool today after 99 degrees two days ago.

Jon French

Mile 202

North Spit Alsea River

March 14, 2023

This was my second monthly beached bird survey for COASST (Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team) which I combined with my mile walk.

Jon French