Despite Record Snowfall A Successful Beach Survey

Tides and weather are the keys to whether we have can conduct a successful bird survey. Tides are predictable; the weather has been anything but this year.

beach survey

Any trip to the Washington coast is worth the time it takes to get out there. For Theresa and I that’s about a 3.5-hour drive one way. There’s a beauty here despite the weather, rain or shine. Completing a beach survey is the cherry on top.

But when the goal is to conduct a beach cast bird survey for COASST and that same weather prevents you from completing the mission then a bit of frustration does creep in. Especially when it’s back to back mission scrubs. 

First, we had to deal with the wind producing storm surges that were driving the waves into the log completely covering our beach. This last time we were threatened with failure with the record snowfall we were experiencing. 

Lucky for us we had enough of a thaw window that cleared the roads allowing us to get out to our staging ground in La Push.  Once on the trail, the amount of snow in the woods was surprising, but it wasn’t enough to stop us from reaching our beach.

And finally, we were able to complete and document a survey for this winter. 

member of the following

We are the learned society for geography and geographers.
Working to provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to make a difference as they play in the outdoors.
Working to translate long-term monitoring into effective marine conservation solutions.
Sea Grant Washington
Provide integrated research, communication, and education to coastal communities that lead to the responsible use of the nation’s oceans.
Latest Tweets
MGL Twitter error: Error: 89 Invalid or expired token.
Just some of the trees damage from this winters high winds and heavy snow falls.
giants graveyard
Looking for beach cast birds with the impressive Gaints Graveyard in the backgound.

trail cameras

Unrelated to the bird survey and more of a pet project of my own is I set out some trail camera’s to capture whatever predator is leaving scat on the trail. I suspect it’s a cougar (Puma concolor), possibly a bobcat (Lynx rufus) or maybe even a coyote (Canis latrans). I’m not an expert but it’s certainly a meat eater as I’m finding fur in the scat. 

We had placed two trail-cameras on the path and were able to recover them. Earlier deployments fo the trail camera had resulted in Roosevelt Elk and deer photographed. 

I’ll try repositioning them to a better location next month and with any luck will capture our predator. I sure he’s still out there as I found scat fresh enough this time that I could actually smell it.

Please share this:

More to explore


A Summer Hunting the Green Crab

This was only our second year for this site, and actually our first full year. Last year we had a late start as we waited for the permits to make their way through the system. I mention this because it makes is somewhat difficult to come up with any hard conclusions regarding the data.

Read More »
bird workshop

Beached Cast Bird Workshop with COASST

I’ve been anxious to work with this group for sometime. When I submitted my application last year, I was disappointed to find out that I had missed all of the bird workshops scheduled for 2017. But, as they say, good things come to those who wait.

Read More »

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.