Report Details

Flock of Buffleheads on the river. Observed approximately 15 Caspian Terns in flight. ( I saw two standing at the river mouth 3 days ago). Many gulls, one seal, and one dead bird-- wings only. Matching wings,three feet apart. Dark brown feathers. About the size of crow wings.Party of 5 horseback riders. One windsurfer in water, 2 in parking lot.Some human footprints, light traffic, through dunes and back towards river bend and main channel of river. High tide, not much beach to walk on. Observed what looked like possible current or former animal dens dug into the mud bank along the east shore of the river bend that parallels the highway. I viewed with binoculars. One appeared to be about 1foot tall at the opening, tapering back. The other was about 1/3 that size. The landmark rock is oozing water and growing moss, slime, ferns, grass, weeds, rock plants, and flowers that look like yellow snapdragons. When I arrived at the parking area I scanned the east side of the rock with binoculars, to look for nests or birds. I saw neither. ( I am not a skilled birder, so I could have overlooked something). (Will add photos after publication. Poor connectivity where I am.)


Temperature: 55 F. Wind Velocity: Strong. Wind Direction: N. Tide Level: 5.5 feet.

Human Activities

Number of people: 8. Walking or running: 1. Windsurfing: 1. Other Activities: Party of 4 horseback riders, one walker leading his horse. ( 5 people, 5 horses) Two people lying down, sheltering behind a dune. One windsurfer on the water. Two windsurfers just leaving as I arrived. In parking lot, so not counted in person total. They were chatting with each other and are clearly regulars at this spot.. Horseback riders rode from parking area out to the river and back. Not a long ride. It was high tide and practically a sandstorm today.



Apparent violations: Remains of a small driftwood fire in the sheltered area between the landmark rock ( at north end of mile 22, by parking area) and a large dune..


Cars/trucks parking: 4.

Notable Wildlife

1. A flock of maybe 12 Buffleheads on the river, in the bend that folds back behind the dunes and parallel to the highway. I saw them here 4/9. Appears to be mix of males and females. ( Striking black and white plumage on some, brown plumage on the others). 2. Lots of Caspian Terns! First I saw one flying north, over the bend of water where the Buffleheads were. Seen though binoculars, I could almost count its feathers as it flew right over me. Then a group of 4 flew over. A bit later, a flock. Too many to count in flight. I would estimate 15. Every tern I saw today followed the same path: over the riverbend, north, disappeared from my view at or beyond the landmark rock. All of the terns I focused my binoculars on had the same striking plumage. 3. 50 or 60 gulls. A couple of flocks flying north, and two large flocks sitting on sandbars on the river. 4. One seal at the river mouth.

Beached Birds

Total dead birds: 1.

Driftline Content

Small rocks, Seaweeds and seagrass, Shells, Wood pieces.

Natural Changes

Erosion of vegetated foredune.

Actions & Comments

Picked up some trash between normal high tideline and river: plastic bottle, beer can lid, chunks of fishing float, some random hard plastic, and a plastic cup from The Human Bean. 

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All Mile 22 Reports

Showing 5 of 5 reports

decorative elemnt for a coastwatch report.

Mile 22

April 12, 2021

Flock of Buffleheads on the river.


Mile 22

April 9, 2021

Overall clean, windswept beach with lots of massive driftwood and notable dune erosion.


Mile 22

April 15, 2016

The information and photo are from John Chapman at HMSC.

Volunteer Trainer

Mile 22

January 28, 2012

This "hotspot" for international windsurfing competition in the summertime,the Pistol River Wave Bash is nearly abandoned now and there was no one else to see the sunset from there tonight .


decorative elemnt for a coastwatch report.

Mile 22

August 12, 2008

The Pistol River remains closed from the ocean.