Report Details

The Driftwood Wayside parking area is scheduled to close soon for construction of onshore infrastructure for PacWave South's long-planned wave energy testing project.  Driftwood Beach will still be accessible from Quail Street to the north and from Sandpiper accesses to the south. Construction hasn't begun yet in the parking lot, but there are now PacWave South in-ground markers at Buckley Creek and north of the Driftwood Beach access.

Conditions

Temperature: 50 F. Cloud Cover: Partly Cloudy. Tide Level: 1.3 feet.

Human Activities

Number of people: 25. Number of dogs: 8. Walking or running: 25.

Vehicles

Cars/trucks parking: 8.

Notable Wildlife

A few Whimbrels at waters edge. A Greater White-fronted Goose in the dune vegetation, migrating on its way to breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra. A group of five Semipalmated Plovers, cousins to the threatened Western Snowy Plovers that nest in the sand along the Oregon coast. Like the goose, the Semipalmated Plovers are migrating north to their breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra. No Western Snowy Plovers or nests were seen. The hard sand beach and big tides haven't made for suitable Snowy Plover nesting habitat here this season. The only Snowy Plover nests known so far this year between Waldport and Seal Rock have been five nests, all of which have failed, just north of Alsea Bay, and a currently active nest south of the Quail Street access. The threatened subspecies Seaside hoary elfin butterfly, which is associated with the native Kinnikinnick plant and is known in Oregon only at Pistol River and Driftwood Beach, is supposed to be flying this time of year. I looked in the Kinnikinnick that borders a trail which runs from the Driftwood parking lot south along the bluff toward Buckley Creek, but didn't see any. Unfortunately, some of the more mature Kinnikinnick is being crowded out by invasive Scotch Broom.

Driftline Content

Very little driftline content

Man-made Modifications

Just the PacWave South in-ground markers

Natural Changes

The huge driftwood log that formerly supported a substantial leanto at Buckley Creek is now to the north, laying in the dunes 3-4 feet above beach level, indicating the scouring out of the beach sands and the depth of tidal/storm surges that have occurred here over the winter.

Report Images

Driftwood Beach from Driftwood Wayside, 1.25' tide level
PacWave South in-ground marker
Big log supporting Buckley Creek leanto 6-6-2020
Big log tossed up on dunes 5-18-2021
Greater White-fronted Goose
Semipalmated Plover
Kinnikinnick and Scotch Broom

Report Images

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All Mile 204 Reports

Showing 8 of 55 reports

Mile 204

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek

November 19, 2023

Today marked my latest sighting of the old growth driftwood log that I've admired and whose comings and goings from Driftwood Beach I've documented since June 2020, when I first photographed it high on the beach south of Buckley Creek.

Jon French

Mile 204

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek

August 11, 2023

I had read that the 265-foot vessel Seacor Lee would be anchoring a mile off Driftwood Beach in support of OSU's PacWave South wave energy testing project, positioned so that divers from the ship could perform work on previously installed seafloor conduits.

Jon French

Mile 204

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek

June 17, 2023

I haven't walked Driftwood Beach regularly since the PacWave South wave energy project completed work underground in the Driftwood parking lot.

Jon French

Mile 204

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek

January 1, 2023

By the time I got to Driftwood Wayside, a lot of people had already arrived for their New Years Day beach walks, some 30 vehicles in the parking lot and 30 - 40 people down on the beach, accompanied by at least half as many dogs, almost all leashed.

Jon French

Mile 204

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek

October 23, 2022

This was probably the last dependably dry Mile 204 walk before the rains begin in earnest.

Jon French

Mile 204

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek

August 17, 2022

After the morning fog lifted and before the marine layer moved in, I walked from Seal Rock on Mile 205 to Beach Access 66C on Mile 203.

Jon French

Mile 204

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek

June 3, 2022

Driftwood Wayside is open again after PacWave's departure, but I was the only visitor on this breezy, drizzly day.

Jon French

Mile 204

Driftwood Beach Wayside, Buckley Creek

May 10, 2022

The PacWave South wave energy project hosted a BBQ today at Driftwood Wayside for staff and neighbors to celebrate the completion of construction work here and the reopening of the Wayside later this month.

Jon French