Mile 179 Report

August 3, 2008
by oystercatcher

Heceta Head Lighthouse, Devils Elbow SP, Cape Creek
Sunday 8:00 AM
63° F
Calm/Light from the N
Tide Level:
-1.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
Cars/Trucks parking:
Activity Comments:
By the time I left at noon the parking lot was full with 50 cars and trucks, 2 RVs and there was one surfer in the waves.
Notable Wildlife:
Surf scoters, seagulls, pelicans, cormorants, common murres, tufted puffins. Healthy looking mussels, barnacles and seaweed.
Dead Birds:
Signs of oil:
I have included a photo. I do not know what species. Perhaps someone can Identify it for me.
Fish & Invertebrates:
Kelp or Algae·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Land-based debris (picnics, etc.)·Shells·Wood pieces
The drift line had very little in it. A very small amount of the above. It was the cleanest I have ever seen it.
New Development:
Natural Changes:
The beach was extremely clean.
It was a beautiful calm morning with only one car from Montana with a couple photographing tide pools which they had never seen before. Most of the rocky beach found in spring was now covered with sand as was much of the seaweed, algae, and many of anemones. The beach was almost totally free of man made debris. Kelp flies were slightly bothersome. There was one unidentified dead bird in the drift line.The usual mob of western gulls were bathing in the mouth of Cape Creek. A few escaped crab pots were off Parrot and Pirate Rock. Surf scoters were in the surf and beyond. From up at the light house you could see pelicans skimming the waves, Brandt's cormorants with fully grown young, and common murres which had just about finished nesting and raising their chicks. Also there were a few tufted puffins observed flying in and out from the back side of Conical Rock. They must have a nest or two on the backside. I hope they are successful at raising young this year.
  • green anemone in tide pool
    green anemone in tide pool
    North end of beach beyond caves.
    August 3, 2008
  • South end of beach
    August 3, 2008
  • large rocks at North end of beach at low tide
    large rocks at North end of beach at low tide
    North end of beach beyond caves.
    August 3, 2008
  • snails on rock
    snails on rock
    rocks in sand north end of beach near caves.
    August 3, 2008
  • Cormorants and Gulls on  rocks off Heceta Head
    Cormorants and Gulls on rocks off Heceta Head
    North end of beach beyond caves.
    August 3, 2008
Other Mile 179 Reports (6)


June 29, 2009 - oystercatcher
It was a beautiful clear morning. The tide was the lowest I have observed with exposed sand almost out the rocks where the nesting birds were. The Elder Hostel tour was busy photographing...
  • Low tide looking out to the rocks off Heceta Head.
  • Gulls, cormorants and murres on the rocks.
  • A pair of oyster catchers were observed off the point on the right side of the photo.
  • View of the sand to the rocks from Cape Creek
April 10, 2009 - FriendofStrawberry
Immature Gray Whale reported dead on Carl G. Washburne State Park beach just north of Heceta Head Lighthouse Thursday night. Scientists took samples at that time. When we were there Friday morning...
March 9, 2009 - oystercatcher
The 40 foot long juvenile male fin whale which was washed up on Sunday the 8th was being buried in an 11 foot deep trench by a local Florence excavating company. Emanating from the carcass was an...
  • Dead Fin Whale on Heceta Lighthouse beach
  • Closer look at dead Fin Whale from Cape Creek Bridge
  • Showing  whale's blood left after it was moved to the burial site located further to the south end of beach below parking lot.
  • Park ranger throwing lime on the fin whale while it is being buried.
  • Covering the fin whale body with sand
  • Observers of the whale burial.
March 8, 2009 - FriendofStrawberry
Juvenile, 40-foot-long male Fin Whale washed up on beach at Heceta Head.A deep water juvenile male Fin Whale washed up on the beach at Heceta Head Lighthouse. On Friday it was seen at the mouth of...
  • Open mouth - Top baleen visible and tongue on lower jaw.
  • Open mouth.  Visible where mammal research samples were taken earlier in the day.


August 28, 2008 - oystercatcher
It was a sunny calm morning with no one in the parking lot when I arrived. A fog bank sat just off shore beyond the breakers. The beach sand appears to have started moving off shore revealing loads...
  • fog bank off shore on a sunny calm day
  • Cobbles being revealed as the sand has started washing out to sea.
  • Pelican resting with seagulls on Heceta Head rocks.
  • Footprints in the early morning sand may be those of a coyote making an early morning visit to the beach.
  • Postelsia
  • unidentified dead bird showing head and beak
  • unidentified dead bird foot
April 13, 2008 - oystercatcher
It was a pleasant day for beach goers, alternating sun and overcast with moderate wind. Lots of cars coming and going from the parking lot. People tide pooling, climbing on the rocks, beachcombing...
  • View of Heceta Head, the lighthouse, lighthouse  keepers residence (bed and breakfast), beach  and Devils Elbow.
  • Juvenile mussels with noticeable patches of missing barnacles.
  • Rocks at low tide with seaweed or algae growth.
  • sea stars and anemones
  • beach at low tide near water line looking north to caves which are below the bluff