A Sad Gray Whale of a Tail
Unfortunately, we found one of the Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robustus) that have been washing up on the west coast during our COASST beach survey. This was at the southern end of our survey near Strawberry Point.

A Sad Gray Whale of a Tail

Despite the foulness riding the breeze from the south, curiosity kept us moving forward. We knew we had to be close to our target.

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Winter Storms Creating Havoc with COASST Surveys
After enduring 4 days of storms trying to get enough beach to survey for the COASST project we finally had to call it quits. However we were rewarded with this beautiful sunrise the last day.

Winter Storms Creating Havoc with COASST Surveys

We haven’t had quite the cold weather we usually get but the wind has been remorselessly beating up Washington and playing havoc with our attempts to get to our beach for a COASST survey

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First Beach Cast Bird Found
A Glaucous-Winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) is our bird #302. Photo Credit: Steve Weileman

First Beach Cast Bird Found

I really don’t want to think about the number of miles or the total elevation lost and gained that were traveled to find our first bird but it finally paid off with the discovery of our first bird (and second) to document for the volunteer COASST program.

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Third Survey at Toleak Beach
Sunset over James Island. This was our view from Basecamp. Helped make up for the grueling hike to the beach.

Third Survey at Toleak Beach

Bending down for a better look I saw yet another bit of cougar scat. It wasn't fresh but that didn’t keep my head from constantly swiveling as I started up the trail to Scott’s Bluff.

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First Attempted Survey at Toleak Beach

As I was crawling through the rain slick log jam, I thought, “This can’t be the rain I’m feeling, it can’t be raining that hard, the surf must be dumping on the logs”! Well, it was both. And that was in direct competition with all the noise. This time the battle was between the wind in the tree tops and the dumping surf. Was I on Toleak Beach or an alien world.?

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Beached Cast Bird Workshop with COASST
Learning to identify our birds based on just a wing. Photo credit: Steve Weileman

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.

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