Report Details

This was my second monthly beached bird survey for COASST (Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team) which I combined with my mile walk. My knees hadn't taken kindly to last month's kneeling in the sand for a half hour brushing sand off and trying to identify an immature gull, so today I carried a folding table I got at a flea market and which worked great. We found one "bird," in quotes because it was just two little wings connected to a scrap of breast bone, but COASST considers wings as a bird to process and report. Amazingly enough, just by following the COASST field guide's wing key we were able to identify it as a Cassin's Auklet, the second most common beached bird found on the Oregon coast after Common Murres. The beach here keeps changing from month to month, with new erosion but also new sand accretion, and it's always beautiful. All we needed for my table was a baguette, cheese, and a bottle of wine.

Conditions

Temperature: 50 F. Tide Level: 3.0 feet.

Human Activities

Number of people: 12. Number of dogs: 3. Walking or running: 12.

Vehicles

Cars/trucks parking: 3.

Notable Wildlife

A group of six Western Snowy Plovers were seen. They appear to be starting to pair up. Last year, the first plover nests on this mile were discovered at the end of March and first of April. Some of the Harbor Seals that rest on the sandbar upstream from the bridge were swimming out of the bay, very close to shore.

Beached Birds

Total dead birds: 1. Cassin's Auklet, identified and reported to COASST (see attached photos)

Stranded Marine Mammals

Total stranded mammals: 1. A dead Harbor Porpoise, five feet long, which had been previously observed by a CoastWatcher on February 23rd and reported to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network at that time. It's still substantially intact but is decomposing and has been scavenged somewhat.

Driftline Content

Small rocks. Very little driftline. A lot of medium sized driftwood higher on the beach.

New Development

Not a new development but interesting. I had always been curious about the CoastWatch topographic map's "Tram" label on the beach, then I recently happened upon the attached historical photo solving the mystery and dating from maybe the 1920s?

Man-made Modifications

Dune modification/removal. There looks to have been some grading of the dunes seaward of one residence, presumably done with a permit. I had heard there would be some grading done, and our Beach Ranger patrols this beach every day, so I didn't think it was necessary to report.

Natural Changes

There has been new erosion but also new sand accretion.

Report Images

Cassin's Auklet, as found
My beached bird processing table
Cassin's Auklet -- cleaned, measured, and identified
An intact Cassin's Auklet I had found November, 2020
Cut bank showing recent erosion
Grading of dune
Dead Harbor Porpoise first observed 2/23/2023
Western Snowy Plovers starting to pair up
Harbor Seal close to shore
Source of topographic map's "Tram" label, from 1920s?

Report Images

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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