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Mile 219 Report
December 5, 2007
2 days after a major coastal storm, I expected to see many dead birds but did not - found one injured American Wigeon.
2 days after a major coastal storm, I expected to see many dead birds but did not - found one injured American Wigeon. The storm did significant damage to the trees near Quarry Cove and I found boulders strewn about in a pattern that made you fully appreciate the immense power of the storm surge. In fact, I was a bit wary to be standing there in the middle of it. Definite erosion to the already crumbling cliffsides. I need to pay more attention to the erosion problems.I think the wildlife was shaken by the storm. The gulls hardly made a sound. The oystercatchers chattered more than normal. The pair that flew in near Lions Head continued to chatter the entire time I was there. The only other time I've heard them continually vocalize for that long was just after sunset during mating season. The harbor seals hauled out at Quarry Cove were more vigilent than normal.Only covered the south side of Yaquina Head, not the north end of Agate Beach.
Temperature: 50 F. Cloud Cover: Cloudy. Wind Velocity: Calm/Light. Wind Direction: SW. Tide Level: 8.0 feet.
Number of people: 1. Other than the Yaquina Head park rangers and a lighthouse volunteer, I had the place to myself :-)
Apparent violations: none.
Cars/trucks parking: 1.
An injured male American Wigeon in the road unable to fly or move quickly. A female Northern Harrier actively hunting over the grassy field near the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and again at Quarry Cove. Saw no other raptors. A Common Loon in winter plumage. 6 Black Turnstones. 4 Black Oystercatchers. Western and Glaucous-winged Gulls - no unusual gulls (I was hoping for some from the storm). 1 Double-crested Cormorant. Many Pelagic Cormorants. Many Fox Sparrows. Saw no pelicans today which is the first time in a long time but one of the Rangers saw a flock flying by earlier.14 Harbor Seals on the rocks at Quarry Cove, 1 in the water. More than this on Seal Island - maybe 30ish (I didn't count as I wasn't really planning on filing this report).
Very surprising. I expected to see some dead birds after the storm but did not. However, I only explored the south side of Yaquina Head, not the north end of Agate Beach (still don't know my exact boundary).
Dead Fish or Invertebrates
Unusual concentration. More broken mussel shells than normal on Cobble Beach - the gulls were still actively dropping them and picking at them - this was not from human activity.
Seaweeds and seagrass, Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.), Shells, Styrofoam, Wood pieces. At Quarry Cove: boulders (some large) deposited from the storm surge including some rocks from the unstable cliffs
Newly exposed roots/trees falling, Landslides/major boulder falls.
All Mile 219 Reports
Report finds no unusual developments or observations at this location and no new causes for concern were identified.
It has been a beautiful, calm morning at Yaquina Head with low wind and one visitor.
It was a brilliantly sunny day although the stiff east wind was very chilly.
It was a chilly, cloudy/foggy Monday morning so there were only a handful of visitors in the park, none of whom were on the beach.