Illahee 5/31/17 Old Bear Photo, Bear Reports, Golden Eagle Report, Spring Young, Kildeer Nest, New Sign, Class Visit to Preserve, Preserve Shelter Progress

Old Bear Photo.  This photo is from June 2014 of a local bear that could be the same bear that has been seen recently in the area.
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Bear Reports.  More reports of bears moving through Illahee, including by me who had the bear and her cub walk by me this past Thursday about 9:15 am, as I was working in my yard.  When they saw me they quickly left and walked north along the beach.

My neighbors report a few minutes earlier was more interesting.  
 
Carol had just finished hanging clothes on the outdoor clothesline when she noticed movement to her right on the lawn at the top of the path to the beach.  A mama bear and her older cub were about 20 ft. from her.  She slowly backed away toward the house, then came running in the house and told her husband there were two bears in the yard.  We went out on their deck as the bears ran up toward the Illahee Rd.  We lost track of then and phoned our next door neighbor when we heard a loud crack.  We stepped back out on the deck to see the mama bear tearing a limb off our Hawthorne tree to get at a small bird house, that was hanging on a branch.  She was eating something,  When she saw us she bounded off into the underbrush going south.  We didn’t see the cub at that time.
 
A photo of the bird house, which had a bumblebee nest in it, and the limb that was broken off are shown below.

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Golden Eagle Report.  Another report of an irregular visitor to the area from Dody.
 
I live in the housing complex across from Rolling Hills golf course and saw my first ever golden eagle in a large fir tree yesterday. The crows were going crazy over something in a large fir tree, so got the binoculars out and sure enough, it was a golden eagle eating something (lost pets?) for at least twenty minutes before leaving with a large entourage of angry crows. Saw it twice later in the afternoon with the same murder of noisy escorts. Biggest bird I’ve ever seen. Didn’t know they were indigenous to this area until I looked it up in our bird books. Made my day, but I’ll be keeping a closer eye on my 7-pound poodle mix for sure!
 
Spring Young.  We haven’t seen the ducklings lately, but are seeing more goslings.
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Kildeer Nest.  Will this nest survive better than the nearby goose and duck ones that were discovered by raccoons?
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New Sign.  A new private sign has been posted at the top of Ocean View with the following note from Mark:
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I also purchased a professional Bushnell speed gun and I’ve been tracking speeds as people make the corner. The good news is that many of the cars I thought we’re going too fast we’re actually very close to the speed limit I think a lot of it has to do with the sound as vehicles are making the turn. That said we still have a number of young people mostly who race up the hill those I intend to capture with the speed gun and pictures and post them on the Illahee Facebook page asking people to let those individuals know they’re just going too fast and they could kill someone or some one’s pet.
 
Class Visit to Preserve.  Another teacher is using the Preserve for learning experiences.  A few weeks ago we included a photo of a 2nd and 3rd grade class.  This is an Olympic College class that met at the Preserve on Tuesday.
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Preserve Shelter Progress.  A major investment in the Preserve has been made with the installation of shelter by the Rotary Club of East Bremerton at the Almira entrance to the Illahee Preserve.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/22/17 Photos, Facebook Reports, Bear Sightings, Port of Illahee Meeting Report, Sheriff’s Sale, Contaminated Site, Thimbleberry

Photos.  Some photos from the past two weeks.

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New ferry ‘Chimacum’ going through trials in Illahee last week.
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First Canada geese goslings.  Between the eagles and seagulls many goslings don’t make it.  Also, most of the geese and ducks in our area had their eggs eaten, likely by raccoons, before they even hatched.
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Another domestic rabbit sighted out in the wild.
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Chipmunk next to the Preserve
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Common Loon that is late if it is just passing through.
 
Facebook Reports.  Day to day reporting from suspicious activities to lost pets appears on the Illahee Community Facebook page, and more recently of more bear sightings.
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The loss of a dog was reported recently followed by the following sign by where the dog was hit. 
Facebook bear report
The above report was most likely in the area closer to Gilberton.  Later on FB there was a report and video of bears in East Bremerton that can be seen at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/kitsaplnfpetsearch/permalink/1706073776077147/
East Brem Bears
Port of Illahee Meeting Report.  The Port of Illahee’s attorney Ken Bagwell gave a brief at the Port’s May meeting of the status of the attempt by the Port to purchase the abandoned Illahee Store.
 
Sheriff’s Sale.  A sheriff’s sale is planned in the near future, as soon as 6 weeks, at which time the Port can bid on the store.
 
Contaminated Site.  The store property is a registered contaminated site with the Department of Ecology from past leaking underground petroleum tanks.  The Port noted that funds are normally available to Ports for cleanup efforts, which is why they are moving ahead with a possible purchase.
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Thimbleberry.  Thimbleberry is a native plant is found throughout Illahee and in the Illahee Preserve.  It has exceptionally soft leaves, which during Preserve tours is pointed out as nature’s toilet paper to help people identify it.  More information about thimbleberry can be found on the internet.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/6/17 Photo, Class Visit to Preserve, Comcast Work Party, Rotary Shelter Progress, Port Meeting on Wednesday, New Forage Fish Maps

Photo.  Thanks to Chris for this great photo. 

Towhee as shot
From yesterday’s walk, here is a Spotted Towhee in some huckleberry right next to the trail around the Compass Circle area. The Robins, Song Sparrows, Juncos and White-crowned Sparrows are everywhere right now. I even caught a glimpse of an adult Bald Eagle flying low through the trees this morning near the Almira parking lot! 

 
Class Visit to Preserve.  Several weeks ago a class of 2nd and 3rd graders visited the Illahee Preserve.  
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An unexpected surprise was two Barred Owls who greated the children.  The students each sent a thankyou note with hand colored covers like the one shown below.  
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In addition to the owls another favorite was the ~500 year old Douglas Fir.
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Comcast Work Party.  On Earth Day Comcast employees gathered for an all day work party at the Illahee Preserve.  We are waiting for their official photos as they accomplished many great projects. 
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Rotary Shelter Progress.  The Comcast Care work party coincided well with the work being done on the Rotary Shelter being installed at the Almira parking lot.  With the footings in the work can begin above ground.
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Port Meeting on Wednesday.  Just a reminder that the Port of Illahee will be meeting on Wednesday at 5 pm.  The Port’s lawyer is scheduled to give an update on the Illahee Store, which the Port is attempting to purchase.
 
New Forage Fish Maps.  Who knew we had such a diversity of forage fish spawning sites in the area?  The newly released maps show documented spawing locations of Pacific Sand Lance, Surf Smelt, and Pacific Herring, and there are likely more as these are just the documented sites.  http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/research/projects/marine_beach_spawning/
Spawning Map
Forage Smelt Illahee
Forage Details
Jim Aho