>Wildlife Report – 5-31-11

>Deer Herd?  What constitutes a herd of deer?  It was reported that two bucks, three does, and two fawns was too much for one gardener to have in her yard and she tried to make enough noise to scare them away.  They reported looked at her and slowly walked across the road stopping oncoming traffic.  Gardeners we have talked to are seeming less patient as the number of deer in the area increases.  But maybe we should consider the number of deer in an area as an indication of where the great gardens are?  We will be checking next month to see if those interesting in hosting a garden tour are still interested, assuming the deer have left them something to show.


Coyotes?  There have always been coyotes in the area, but some who live next to the Preserve, say the coyotes are getting more aggressive around their residents and pets.  We would like to post some pictures of local coyotes so if you have any you would share please forward them.

Baby Ducks.  We had reports of two baby mallard ducks along the waterfront and we saw two baby mallards in the Illahee North detention pond (see attached photo).  Years ago we watched a mother duck try to get her ducklings from the waterfront to the pond and they didn’t make it.  

Canada Geese Families.  We have watched three families of Canada geese come and go (see attached photos).  Once the goslings get bigger the seagulls seem to leave them alone.  The first photo is of a single goose that is raising two young ones by herself and is usually seen with the family in the second photo.



Killdeer Nest.  We have been led away from Killdeer nests several times this spring and finally we have discovered a nest.  Actually it isn’t much of a nest at all and it appears the eggs were laid on the beach sand and broken shells.  The attached photos show the eggs in the nest, the Killdeer on the nest, and the Killdeer doing its broken wing dance to draw us away from the nest.  



Bird Tour.  There was a bird tour in the Illahee Preserve early on Memorial Day morning.  These tours are held regularly and quickly fill up.  They are led by a Master Birder and past president of Seattle Audubon. If this is something that interests you, please let us know and we will pass the information on so you can be notified of the next tour.  The photos were posted on Facebook and the link is:  http://tinyurl.com/3f4z9ys

Lazuli Bunting Report in Last Update.  This is a follow-up of the Lazuli Bunting sighting that was reported in our last Update.  Joan Carson does a bird report in the Kitsap Sun each week and noted several sightings of these amazingly beautiful birds and also responded to the Illahee resident who reported the sighting with the following email:

It sounds like you were one of the lucky Friday the 13th birdwatchers! Seems like a wave of Lazuli Buntings hit Kitsap County that day. I had reports from west of Keyport and Bainbridge Island. Considering where you are, that’s a wide area. A very small number of these birds migrate through our area in the spring, but they don’t seem to show up every year. Certain conditions influence them somehow and I suppose it is the wind. Anyway, you were lucky and I’m still waiting – one of these years I hope.

Wildlife Pictures?  We would love to pass on any wildlife photos or stories you have.  We normally pass them on anonymously unless give specific authorization to use your name.

Jim Aho

>Preserve, Wildlife,&BD Party – 5-18-11

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Preserve Litter & Cleanup?  Tuesday morning we were asked to check on a campsite that had been in the Illahee Preserve for about a week.  On the way in we were disappointed to see a stack of phone books and “Little Nickel” newspapers along one of the trails (see attached photo).  When we came back later in the morning to clean up the campsite, the litter had been removed.  We know of several people who regularly walk the trails who pick up the litter of others and we want to thank them for their efforts to keep the Preserve clean.  


Illegal Campsite.  We did find the campsite (see photo) and came back later with garbage bags to clean it up.  The good news is that it was reported to the sheriff’s department and a deputy visited the site and left a note that they had to leave.  We found part of the note that had been burned.  Others also reported the site and we thank all of you for notifying officials and us.  After we cleaned up the site, the Park’s department was notified that we had left the bags by the mutt mit station, and they came by later to pick up the trash.  

Deer & Cat.  We get a number of emails and photos and try to remember to send them on.  This one came to us on Mother’s day along with the photo.

I always enjoy my newsletter and Mother’s Day morning, I had an interesting event in my backyard when the domestic and the wild came face to face.  As one of my cats was in the back yard, she had a visitor.  They were very curious about each other and watched each other for quite some time.  I did run the visitor off when my raspberry bushes became a morning snack.  What a great gift on this special day.

Amazing Colorful Bird.  We have had some interesting birds in Illahee.  Today an osprey flew over the area.  But the bird in this story is amazingly beautiful.  The response email is from Vic Ulsh along with the attached pictures of the Lazuli Bunting.
I live on a street just up the hill from the entrance to Illahee St Park and have a bird feeder and suet feeder on my deck.  I enjoy watching all the different birds that come to the feeders so I look out my windows quite often.  On Friday, May 13, I looked out and saw a bird on my deck railing that I have never seen before.  It was about the size of a finch and had a orange-beige chest, a blue head and back, and dark wings with two white wing bands.   It was just beautiful.  My daughter looked it up in her bird book and we determined that it is a Lazuli Bunting.  According to the information in the book, it’s not common to this area.  I’m wondering if anyone in the area has seen this bird and if so have I identified it correctly. 
Jim Aho forwarded your inquiry to me.  I work with him at Illahee Preserve.  Lazuli Bunting do occur in this area, but not common.  It is a treasure to see one.  I saw my first Lazuli Bunting within the Eastpark development area near YMCA last Memorial Day weekend.  The day had awful, bright glare lighting with brisk winds, but I “chased” the little rascal around for some photos.  The wind fluffed out his chest feathers in the first photo.  See attached. 

 
Here is another quick reference web site I like to use. 
 
 
You seem to have described a Lazuli.  Does this look like your bird?  Lazuli bunting is a beautiful, sweet little bird.  Count yourself to be very fortunate. 

Thank you for your email and for sending your photos.  Yes, that is the bird I saw.  He actually came to my deck twice that day.  I can’t say if there was a female with him because I was so focused on the beautiful little male I was seeing and there were quite a few other birds at the feeder at the time.  I’m hoping he will come back, but it sounds like it may be a one time sighting.  I count my self lucky for seeing him and wish I would have had my camera handy.
Audrey Boyer Turns 93 Next Month.  Audrey Boyer is one of the persons who was instrumental in the county obtaining the Illahee Preserve.  We found out she will have a birthday soon and her children are having a party next month for her.  See the following notice:
Audrey Boyer, Illahee Community Leader and Activist, Celebrating 93rd Birthday  Audrey Boyer’s family is planning a community gathering to celebrate Audrey’s 93rd birthday.  The gathering will be at Audrey’s home in Illahee, on June 19, 2011.  If you have worked with, known, or know of Audrey and her many accomplishments, as a teacher, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, campaigner, Community Club leader, environmental activist, leader in establishing the Illahee Forest Preserve, Amnesty International member, and friend to many students and neighbors, she and her family hope you will be able to stop by to say hello.  Also, if you know someone whom you think would like to hear about the celebration, please pass this invitation along to them:   
Audrey Boyer’s 93rd Birthday Celebration
5625 Ocean View Blvd
Bremerton, WA 98311
Sunday, June 19, 2011, 3-6 PM
Open House style, come when you can, cake-cutting at 5 PM
Your present is your presence.   
Please walk or carpool if you can, as parking will be limited. 
RSVP to Helen Boyer, helenaboyer@comcast.net

Jim Aho

>Miscellaneous – 5-14-11

>Where Are The Updates?  We have been asked about when the Updates will resume, so it must be time to continue them.  We had a nice trip around the Baltic Sea, visiting and touring in Germany, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.  We were surprised at the low salinity and lack of tidal fluctuations in the Baltic Sea.  After the trip I ended up with pneumonia and have finally recovered enough to want to sit at my computer.  Not too many items to report so should be able to catch up with all I know in this Update. 


Fawn Reports.  Two sets of twin fawns have been reported, with one being hit by a car last Saturday just south of University Point.  Some gardeners are reporting daily and nightly visits by deer and are realizing they need to get nets up if anything is going to survive.

Gosling Report.  Not as many young Canada goose goslings reported, possibly because some of the seagulls are reportedly getting them when they are really small.  We have seen this ourselves a few years ago where the goslings were swimming in a line between the two parent geese, and a seagull quickly swims up and takes a gosling before the adult geese can react.

Baby Possums.  We had two reports of strange looking rat type creatures, which of course were small baby possums.  These babies are cute when they are small and we have been surprised that cats seem to leave them alone. 

Humming Bird Report.  We received the following email regarding a large hummingbird:
Today 5-4-11, I saw or at least what I thought was the largest Hummingbird I have ever seen around this area (off of Wise Street). It seems to be about 4 or 5 inches long. Has a dark hood with white stripe from back of eye to back of head. Body is green, but may have dark/ Dk Blue back. I think at times you can see a red spot on the forehead area.  It perches on on top of a 40 to 50 foot ceder tree of a neighbor. Attached are photos taken through a telescope. I could not ID this bird. See attachment.
Beverly Deitch Obituary.  Received the following note while on our trip and heard a number of Illahee residents attended the memorial service.
Just to let you know that Bev Deitch has passed away.  Her obituary appeared in the Kitsap Sun this morning (Thursday) . We are saddened to learn of her passing. 
Commissioner Brown’s May Newsletter Mentions Illahee Film.  There is a nice write-up about what is happening in Illahee in Josh Brown’s May newsletter, which can be read by clicking on the following link:  


Garden Tour?  Have not had a chance to find out if a determination has been made about an Illahee garden tour this summer.

Jim Aho