Mile 95 Report

June 19, 2013
by John Hull

Location:
Coos
South end of Bandon State Park
Conditions:
Wednesday 4:00 PM
Sunny
65° F
Wind:
Calm/Light from the W
Humans / Pets:
People:
2
Dogs:
1
Activities:
Walking / Running:
3
Concerns:
Disturbances:
Shorebirds moving in response to humans/dogs
Vehicles:
Cars/Trucks parking:
0
ATVs/OHVs parking:
0
RVs/Buses parking:
RVs/Buses parking: 0
Cars/Trucks on beach, allowed:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, allowed:
0
Cars/Trucks on beach, prohibited:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, prohibited:
0
Activity Comments:
Beach Walk, Wednesday, June 19th, 2013We three (wife Blaine, mostly Bassett LucieAnne, and myself) set out under warm and sunny skies at 2:35 pm. We walked down the BLM Path to the edge of the New River and then waded across. The water came nearly up to my crotch and to Blaine’s waist. Lucie, unlike other members of her breed, swam happily across alongside us. All three of us were bare foot.When we got to the West bank I was a little surprised to see vague footprints in the sand. We climbed over the dunes and walked down to the wet sand. Kip from the BLM had called a month or so ago to say there were some Snowy Plover installations across from our house, but we didn’t see any evidence of them at the point where we forded the river, which was actually from the Logan property. The beach was wide and nearly flat with just a gentle slope, and the waves were small, only two feet from trough to crest. Although they got a bit bigger as we approached the mouth of the New River as we walked north along first Mile 94 and then Mile 95, but never more than three feet trough to crest. Likely as a result, there was very little spindrift in the air, and the views to the south (Cape Blanco, twelve miles away) and north (what we think is the backside of Face Rock, eight miles away) were the clearest we have ever seen. There was just a light breeze, less than ten miles an hour, perhaps less than five miles an hour, coming from the West. It was a gorgeous day. There were large fluffy clouds over the land to our east and some far out to sea but none overhead. The water in the river was quite warm, estimated in the mid-sixties. The ocean was colder, perhaps around fifty degrees. The beach was pretty clean. Occasional individual pieces of bull kelp and a very frilly seaweed, often covered with sand fleas, were scattered on the wet sand. We saw dozens of complete crab carapaces and occasional crab claws and legs and two nearly complete dead crabs. There were perhaps a half a dozen fragments of Sand Dollars but no whole ones. There were pebbles, all rounded, up to the size of a golf ball. There were many different colors and many around the size of peas. I saw perhaps a dozen clear jellies, none more than an inch and a half long. I also saw occasional small white pieces of bull kelp, just the little air chambers and a few inches of stem. I don’t recall seeing the white versions before. As we made our way north, we saw a man and a dog headed our way. It turned out to be Tom Brown, our neighbor from up the Lane. We chatted for a bit. He too had waded the river. His dog was dragging two Styrofoam floats attached to his collar. His dog and ours played together. It is exceedingly rare to find anyone on our beach. Normally, there are not even footprints. He told us he has been coming there for twenty-seven years. We had seen a five gallon plastic bucket on the West Bank on our way to the beach and one small white plastic bucket on the dry sand as we made our way north. That was pretty much the only flotsam or jetsam we found except for a large wooden spool we saw on our way back. the large concrete pier was still near the dividing line between miles 94 and 95. It appeared to have been carried further up the dry sand than when we had last seen during the Fall of 2012. We saw no birds at all as we walked until we approached the mouth of the New River where we saw what we think was a lone Bald Eagle sitting on a small sandbar. It took flight when we were about seventy-five yards away and then flew nearly over us. As it flew we also saw one other bird, we think it was a hawk. On our way back a lone gull passed us flying south over where the water from the surf was running up onto the sand. We did find two dead birds. I took a photo of one. The other Blaine described as large and white, probably a gull. She said it was about the size of our smaller cat. I didn’t see it. As we entered what I think is mile 95 we noticed the European Beachgrass on the dunes went from green to brown, and we assumed it was the result of the teal-coloured herbicide sprayed on it last Fall.As we approached the mouth of the New River we noticed that there was a lot less driftwood on the dry sand. There used to be large numbers of big parts of trees, but there were few in evidence. We did find more when we returned south along the west bank of the New River. Apparently, they had been carried there by waves overtopping the beach sometime in the past six months. The shape of the New River where it meets the sea was different than previously. Now, it has a big s-curve. The mouth is another couple of hundred yards north of where it was last Fall based on where the creek coming from the north empties into it. They used to meet directly east of the mouth, but now the subsidiary comes in a ways south from the mouth.Sadly, we saw no pinipeds on this visit. As we made our way south on the west bank of the New River we found one set of deer tracks and ATV tracks, one set going in each direction. It was a narrow gauge ATV with a wheel span of not more than a yard. It appeared that the river had been several inches higher recently. The sand had dimples from the rain overnight, but close to the water it was smooth. I am guessing the rain caused the river to rise briefly.We crossed back over to the beach where the dunes started again. There were some posts here and there all facing the river prohibiting entry as there were Snowy Plover nesting areas. We saw no plovers or nests but did see a metal cage in the distance which we thought might be protecting a nest. On our way south along the beach we did encounter a man and woman accompanied by a young child. It appeared they had also forded the river as one of them was carrying their shoes. When we crossed the river to go home, we couldn’t find the exact right spot, and the water came up to my waist. It was 5:40 pm. Fortunately, we were just five minutes from our house where we shared a hot shower.
Notable Wildlife:
Apparent bald eagle sitting on sand bar at mouth of New River
Dead Birds:
Total:
0
Stranded:
Total:
0
Fish & Invertebrates:
Dozens of complete crab carapaces, few small clear jellies, some crab parts.
Driftline:
Kelp or Algae·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Shells·Small rocks·Wood pieces
Few oyster shells, one or two razor (?) clam shells
New Development:
Modifications:
European beach grass dead, apparently from being sprayed with teal0colooured herbicide last Fall.
Natural Changes:
Mouth of New River has moved North a couple of hundred yards from where it was in the Fall of 2012.
Comments:
None
Summary:
Beach fairly clean, occasional pieces of bull kelp and a frilly kelp on the wet sand. The European Beachgrass on the dunes was dead, apparently the result of being sprayed with teal-colored herbicide last Fall. One Bald Eagle sitting on sand bar who took flight as we approached.
Other Mile 95 Reports (16)

2013

November 23, 2013 - John Hull
Unusual number of people, saw what we took to be a family of three walking south along the west bank of the New River and a fisherman, first seen walking north, then in the water at the mouth of the...

2012

November 4, 2012 - John Hull
Saw a large pelican with an injured wing and at least three (but probably more) pinnipeds in the New River near where it joins the sea. Beach was pertty clean. There was less driftwood than in the...

2011

September 18, 2011 - John Hull
Saw one pinniped in the surf and found a dead Steller's Sea Lion about eight feet long on the dry sand. Shells, animal casings, jellies and pieces of jellies, piles of Bull Kelp, small rocks and...
May 22, 2011 - John Hull
Saw what appeared to be perhaps a dozen Harbor Seals in the surf at the mouth of the New River and several solitary ones and one pair we took to be a mother and pup further south. A minimum driftline...
April 3, 2011 - John Hull
Driftline very clean, no jellies, less than a dozen pieces of mussel and crab shells, some small wood pieces, virtually no seaweed. At least five pinnipeds swimming in New River near its mouth. New...

2010

October 29, 2010 - John Hull
Two guys with two fishing rods on ATV. I thought that beach was off limits to ATVs. Some jellies, mussel shells and crab parts. Large clumps of Bull Kelp. Two types of gulls as well as two flocks...
April 25, 2010 - John Hull
No people save ourselves. Unusually large amount of driftwood on the dry sand. Lots of little pieces of wood at edge of the water (first time I've seen that). Kelp/algae, small rocks, Styrofoam...

2009

September 15, 2009 - [email protected]
Animal casings, kelp/algae and ocean-based debris in the driftline. About 30 Snowy Plover feeding with Sanderlings near surfline. Low human impact (1)-BLM ATV carrying Snowy Plover exclosures to...
September 3, 2009 - [email protected]
Animal casings, kelp/algae and ocean-based debris in driftline. About 40 Sanderlings foraging by water's edge. One dead sea lion reported to Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Low human...

2008

September 22, 2008 - [email protected]
The European Beachgrass is moving north and building sand dunes with the progression. BLM had bulldozed the dunes in 2002 and pushed the beach grass into the ocean. It's back and doing quite well. My...
  • Birds at Two Mile Creek and New River ocean mouth
July 2, 2008 - [email protected]
I crossed New River at the Lower Four Mile trail end. The water was about 18 inches deep; the river must be breached south of Lower Four Mile Creek. The mud was soft, but the water was fairly clear....

2007

November 2, 2007 - [email protected]
I accessed the beach from the north end of Roaring Surf Lane trail. New River was about 8 inches deep, walked south along New River to the end of Bandon State Park and crossed the dunes to the ocean...
  • New River and Two Mile Creek convergance looking north from Mile 95
  • Beached Northern Elephant Seal, south end of Mile 95 at the high tide line
  • Northern Elephant Seal
October 2, 2007 - [email protected]
I crossed New River at Four Mile Creek Trail, the water was 29" deep. The river bottom was hard sand. I walked North along mile 94 to access mile 95. There were a lot of shore birds (gulls and...
May 19, 2007 - [email protected]
The trail to New River was dry. The New River water level was lower than I have seen it in 5 years, my socks didn't even get wet on the crossing. Last weeks winds had pushed waves topping the dune on...
March 11, 2007 - [email protected]
I accessed mile 95 from the Lower Four Mile trail Sunday 3/11/07. One-third of the trail to New River was under water from runoff. The depth was as deep as 18" in a couple places. The water level in...
  • 12 foot 4x4
  • Tracks identified as Red Fox
March 4, 2007 - [email protected]
I attempted access from the Lower Four Mile access Saturday 3/3/07. One-third of the trail to New River was under flowing water from runoff. The depth was as deep as 18" in a couple places. The water...