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Mile 93 Report
May 3, 2011
Beach had no visitors but me.
Beach had no visitors but me. Wet sand was clean with very few individual bull kelp, shells, crab carapaces and sand dollars. One dead bird Western Gull)on the beach. Flocks of seabirds migrating over New River and the beach. Snowy Plover nesting area at south end of mile where dunes probably bulldozed. Signs warning of cyanide for the coyotes.
Temperature: 50 F. Cloud Cover: Sunny. Wind Velocity: Moderate. Wind Direction: NW.
Number of people: 1. Walking or running: 1. Beach walk Tuesday, May 3rd, 20119:30 AMMile 93 South from where Lower Fourmile Creek enters New River. The wind as I rowed down Lower Four Mile Creek was about 15 miles per hour from the west. The creek’s channel runs east to west so perhaps the local effect of the high bank on the south side controlled the direction of flow. As I rowed across the New River, a couple of fast moving flocks of small birds, each flock numbering somewhere between thirty and fifty, flew past a few feet above the water and into the wind as they headed north. I don’t know what they were but were about the size of wrens. They were grey on top and white underneath. There were similar flocks of birds on my return across the New River forty-five minutes later. When I reached the west bank of the New River, I was disappointed to find two gorse plants, each over three feet across, growing in the sand. Perhaps I should have pulled the smaller ones I saw this past Fall . . . (I was further disappointed to see about half a dozen gorse plants along the south bank on the Lower Fourmile Creek as I rowed back upstream. I don’t think they were there last Fall.) As is usually the case, there were no human footprints or vehicle tracks in the sand on the beach for the whole mile south. The shape of the sand on the beach, running from the dunes to the surf was concave where I started my walk. Unusual. The slope was very flat, less than 15 degrees. As I proceeded south to the southern end of mile 93 (as I understand it) the sand did resume its more normal convex shape with a little hump between the dunes and the surf, but only at the south end of the mile. The sand was fine with only a few areas, down near the surf, where small gravel was found, most of it still smaller than grains of rice. For one of the few times I have been on the beach over the years (since 2000), there was a fine run of blowing sand, not as high as my ankles, carried by the wind, carrying the dry granules south across the beach, looking a lot like blowing snow. As my half hour or so on the beach elapsed, the wind picked up to more like twenty-miles an hour and came out of the north. When I returned northward after my jog, I found that the wind had pretty much obliterated my tracks leaving only the mark where my big toes had hit the sand in many places. Small wonder there were no other persons’ tracks. The waves were very small, the largest less than three feet crest to trough and most closer to a foot or eighteen inches high. The waves were coming in pretty much directly from the west. The dry sand was warm under foot and the sea water cool but not frigid. I imagine the air temperature was in the high forties or around fifty. The sky was clear overhead with small puffy clouds over the coastal hills and other, larger ones out to sea. A couple of flocks of birds the size of wrens numbering thirty to fifty each flew north along the beach. There was one larger white bird with dark markings on its back feeding in the shallow water of the receding waves. I saw just three sea gulls flying over the surf. I saw seven little birds with bright white undersides and light brown tops running on the sand. They were about the size of chickadees, and I wonder if they were snowy plovers. There were about a dozen small crab carapaces and a few crab legs and pinchers on the wet sand. I found one skeleton of a bird partly buried. Looked like it may have been a sea gull. I saw about half a dozen broken sand dollars and a small number of mussel shells. There were no jellies. There were less than a half a dozen isolated lengths of bull kelp but no other types of kelp on the wet sand. I found one seat that probably came from a boat and two crab floats. I brought the latter back with me. The post erected by the BLM years ago about midway along mile 93 was still there sanding amongst the dunes. At the south end of the mile there were two places were the dunes were breached, Not sure if by waves, more likely by a bulldozer. There was a series of wood fence posts some with a yellow rope running between them. There were signs warning to stay out of a snowy plover nesting area. I did not see any of the fencing or cages I have seen in these places in past years. There were also signs warning to keep dogs out as there were cyanide poison there for the coyotes. I was surprised as I have never seen a coyote around here (altho’ we do see them at Lake Tahoe, even in our back yard on occasion).
Apparent violations: None.
Three sea gulls over surf, one white bird with dark markings on back in receeding water (size of quail), seven running on sand I think were snow plovers, two flocks of thirty to fifty the size of wrens flying north above the sand.
Total dead birds: 1. Skeleton about the size of a sea gull. It was picked clean and more than half buried in the sand.
Dead Fish or Invertebrates
Half dozen crab carapaces, some legs and pinchers, half a dozen broken sand dollars, mussel shells.
Seaweeds and seagrass, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt), Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.), Shells.
Two gorse on dunes.
Actions & Comments
I removed two crab floats.
All Mile 93 Reports
We set out at eleven in the morning with me rowing the Second Sea Sprite, our eight-foot Walker Bay dinghy, down the Lower Fourmile Creek and across the New River to its West Bank.
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Two Japanese bottles, otherwise the beach is quite clean.
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: SOLV bag still against the boat dock.
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report: Placed against the washed -up boat dock a large yellow SOLV bag filled with plastic material and several large Styrofoam pieces; altogether too much debris to carry away.
Japanese tsunami debris baseline report:North end of mile 92/south end mile 93 - on a length of about 1/5 to 1/10 of a mile, approximately 10 plastic bottles, half of which have clearly identifiable Japanese lettering.