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Mile 54 Report
May 14, 2009
Pleasant "evening on day after at a storm" beach walk.
Pleasant "evening on day after at a storm" beach walk. Vulture, possible eagle, cliff swallows and brown pelicans observed. Dead seal on beach. A solitary walk on a very beautiful beach.
Temperature: 50 F. Cloud Cover: Cloudy. Wind Velocity: Calm/Light. Wind Direction: NW. Tide Level: 6.0 feet.
Number of people: 1. Number of dogs: 1. Walking or running: 1. There were tire tracks from a single vehicle (probably a pickup)from the access area to further north than I walked (I walked from the access to the Elk River outlet to the ocean, I think, fresh to salt anyway). It's legal to drive on this beach, the sign at the access states that 4 wheel drive is recommended, speed limit of 25 mph, 18 & over w/license). Other than those tracks, my dog & I were the only "people" on the beach.
Apparent violations: No violations that I noticed.
Cars/trucks parking: 1.
Dead seal on beach, much of the skull exposed, so not newly dead. Live seal observed swimming just offshore where the fresh water (Elk River, I think) runs into the ocean. Two birds, vulture & unidentified large bird (perhaps eagle?) were feeding on seal & dead gull.
Total dead birds: 1. Did not see any banding. Could id bird only as gull, partly because of the amount of bird scavenged by vulture, partly because of my lack of expert birding skills.
Dead Fish or Invertebrates
Some crab legs, nothing that looked unusual to me.
Small rocks, Wood pieces. some plastic trash, not much, I picked up a clorox bottle & a green glass bottle, some plastic bottles in storm driftline.
none observed but I observe this beach perhaps 2x/year.
Actions & Comments
This is not my usual mile, I do not live in this area but can only visit this very very beautiful part of the coast perhaps 2x/year. I walked this section of the Cape Blanco's beaches, the evening after a stormy night. My reference to a "storm driftline" reflects my observation of an older driftline at the base of the bluffs towards the south end of the beach (prior to Elk River) which might be a winter storm driftline. That's where I saw most of the plastic bottles & other trash, along with logs, etc., reflected high energy events. Could be the storm of the prior night did not produce waves reaching that driftline (I'm just not sufficiently familiar with that beach). I had a great walk, I love this beach & Cape Blanco state park's northern beach too. I saw at least 20 brown pelicans, 3 of them cruising & diving for food so close to the shore that I could see their head coloration/markings. I also observed 4-5 cliff swallows either doing some kind of mating negotiations or territorial behavior--lots of flying & making a sound (a kind of buzzing) that I'd never heard made by swallows. Was also able to observe one of them popping in & out of a nest hole in the mud/claystone bluff (just at the vegetation/bare rock border). Never would've noticed the nest otherwise. Rocks on beach are interesting as well as the bed or source rock in this part of OR is very different from that of Lincoln county (for example, there's an outcrop of serpentine along 101 near Pistol River & Gold Beach). You can find cobble sized well rounded pieces of blue schist (what I think is blue schist anyway).Very much enjoyed being able to take a solitary walk (except for canine companion) on such a lovely beach & see as many birds as I did.
All Mile 54 Reports
Mile 54 showed signs of heavy human use: vehicle tracks, driftwood construction, several campfire sites.