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Mile 218 Report
July 19, 2007
A multitude of dead birds and 1 dead small seal.
A multitude of dead birds and 1 dead small seal. The online form does not accept the listing of more than one mile--my observations cover most of miles 217-218 and the report is probably a one time thing--neither 217-218 are "my" miles. I thought it might be important to report observations on number of dead birds seen to add to other reports being made.
Cloud Cover: Partly Cloudy. Wind Velocity: Calm/Light. Wind Direction: SW. Tide Level: 7.3 feet.
Disturbances: Shorebirds moving in response to humans/dogs
On the way back from the Nye Beach area (to Lucky Gap access, probably mile 218/219) I saw a small/young dead harbor seal that had washed up just north of Jump off Joe. It wasn't there when I walked from LG to Nye Beach turnaround access so must've washed up during high tide.
I have not seen so many dead birds, most murres I think, since the late 90's--during the last big die-off. I estimate I saw an average of one dead bird/30 feet (that's average, there were some closer together, some further apart). I saw no signs of oiling or entanglement.
Dead Fish or Invertebrates
Unusual concentration. Lots of crab parts.
Land-based debris (picnics, etc.).
Actions & Comments
Miles 217 to 219 are not the miles I've adopted, although I walk on those beaches fairly often. I've made this report for three reasons: (1) to report on the sad and distressingly large number of dead birds (mostly common murres, I believe) I saw, plus the dead seal and (2) the number of people w/dogs off lead who do not stop--or sometimes even seem to notice-that their dogs are chasing over and over again. I've spoken to several people and each time their response has been favorable. But I don't always have the social energy/courage to speak up. (3) I have seen, on this stretch and on the beach south of South Beach state park, an unusual number of whimbrels (or curlews?) for this time of year. In my experience. They came through this spring (normal) then I didn't see them, now I am seeing them again--I don't remember seeing these birds this time of year in this area and wonder if that is due to the weird weather we've been having and likely lack of upwelling along the PNW coasts. Also thought I saw some pelicans flying south yesterday (south of SB state park, 07/23/07).Plus--I walked from Lucky Gap Access to the Nye Beach turnaround about 30 minutes before high tide (4:52pm) and then back to LG starting about 5:45pm or so from Nye Beach turnaround, so just before high tide, and not long after. I saw more dead birds on my way back, plus the dead harbor seal (I think it was a harbor seal), so it would seem that there are plenty of dead birds off shore. I have also seen at least two murres either sitting on the beach, not really moving away from humans, and one swimming around just off shore, suggesting that the die off isn't over--there are birds still hanging on, but probably not for long.Because I did not intend to file a report on these miles , I collected little of the standard information on users, activities, etc.
All Mile 218 Reports
*** Watch Note *** This is my first documentation of Mile 218 (Agate Beach) and I will use today's report as a baseline for reporting future changes.
Very few people on the beach; most of them arrived just prior to sunset (which was beautiful).