>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.
>Illahee Orca Video Makes KIRO TV News. We were surprised to get a phone call Friday evening from Issaquah that they saw the Illahee orca video on the Channel 7 News (they called for permission but we didn’t think they would use the video), and calls from others who saw it on the Kitsap Sun website. If a little video gets that much exposure, we are optimistic the professionally made video of Illahee’s watershed issues (currently being filmed) will get even more.
Seals Vacated Float. Since the seal eating orcas came through here we haven’t seen any seals on the float north of the Illahee community dock. We attached some photos to show what it looked like nearly every morning this fall, that is until this week.
Channel 12 – Comcast
Channel 3 – WAVE
Please call the District office if you are still experiencing discolored water.
This is truly amazing.
Be sure to click on ‘NEXT PAGE’ at the bottom of each page; there
are 5 pages in all.
A lady found a hummingbird nest and got pictures all the way
from the egg to leaving the nest. Took 24 days from birth to
flight. Because you’ll probably never see this again in
your lifetime, enjoy and share. The very last picture is
CLICK THIS ADDRESS….
>We have gotten behind in passing wildlife information on and other information and will try to catch up.
New Years Greetings!
Lost Dog Report on 1/1/09.
We lost our female, great pryenees (big white dog) on a walk on the beach 1/1/09 about half way between the Illahee dock and the Brownsville marina. Her name is Koda and she is very friendly. Please call 360-633-7224 if you see/find her.
Thank you, Josh Jablonski
Website Used. Josh used the illaheecommunity.com website email address to post his lost dog notice. We want to send it out via email as not everyone monitors the website. Website posts are forwarded to several of us so if you want to get something out to the community quickly, send it to the website and it is likely someone will respond soon.
More Hummingbird Items. We continue to be amazed at the number of hummingbirds that winter over in our area, and the response we had to our email updates. Attached is the most authoritative we’ve received, from our blog:
fieldguidetohummingbirds has left a new comment on your post “Miscellaneous Items – 12/21/08”:
The wildlife rescue person misinformed you. The commercial hummingbird “food” sold in most stores (a.k.a. “instant nectar”) contains no extra nutrition. It’s just overpackaged, overpriced sugar with unnecessary dyes, flavorings, preservatives. There is a complete artificial diet for hummingbirds, but it’s very expensive, not sold in ordinary pet stores, and only necessary for long-term captive hummingbirds.
Free-living wild hummingbirds get the bulk of their nutrition from eating insects and spiders, and while there are not many of those to be had when the temperatures get very cold, your local Anna’s Hummingbirds are tough and cold hardy and can get by on sugar water until the weather gets back to normal.
You’re already doing the best thing you can do to help them survive unusually cold weather by to making your sugar water a little stronger than normal. A solution of 3 parts water to one part sugar will give them extra energy as well as freezing at a lower temperature than the standard 4:1 solution. Any stronger than that it it starts becoming too syrupy and hard to drink. See my blog for more. http://fieldguidetohummingbirds.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/helping-hummingbirds-through-winter-weather/
Robins. We received the following email and can respond that there are a number of robins that winter here. We’re not sure what the red berried bush is though which is visible in the first attached photo. There were a number of robins and varied thrushes observed near the Illahee Preserve during the snow. They were working the underbrush areas where the snow had not accumulated.
Robin or not … we love our wildlife, and just a few days ago, a ‘flock’ of about 6-8 “robins” appeared in the yard. Their target was a rigid bush growing up the chimney which was full of red berries. Don’t know what the bush is.. but the birds picked the branches clean and then went on their way … isn’t it too early for robins ??
Maybe your addressees might know what kind of bird this was ..
Snow Issues. We know that a number of Illahee residents were snowed in until this past Sunday. The most surprising for some was View Crest Drive, and at this time of year it is often referred to as Candy Cane Lane, when they went to view the Christmas lights on the evening of the 25th and found the street had not been cleared and they were barely able to get through. Evidently neither did the mailman for over a week to the disappointment of many residents.
Roosevelt Street. Roosevelt is probably one of the steepest roads in Illahee and one of the residents sent in the following snow comment to us early on, and probably wishes we had sent it out earlier:
Snowbound as we are near the top of the hill on NE Roosevelt, and with snow still falling, and with the prospect that we may not be able to get out by car until late this week, or whenever we have a significant thaw, I started wondering if there might be other Illahee residents who might want to contract for snow-removal service in the future. Maybe we won’t have another snow like this in our lifetimes, but the idea seemed worth bringing up.
Snowbrush. One of the more interesting shrubs around is the Snowbrush which is a native evergreen, it was especially susceptible to the heavy snow. Several residents went walking in the snow by Audrey Boyer’s residence on Ocean View during one snowy night during the storm and found Audrey working on trying to get several fallen Snowbrush branches out of her driveway. They helped her cut them up and haul them aside. We have attached some photos of Snowbrush shrubs in case you are not familiar with them. There are a number of them on Rest Place that came down as shown in the last photo.
Keep Passing on Information.
A Day Late. This email is a day late as a Fir tree branch took down our Comcast internet line on Sunday and they just got through splicing the line late on Monday.
Commissioner’s Meeting Delayed to Tuesday. The County Commissioner’s meeting that was scheduled for Monday evening will be held on Tuesday at 1 pm. This is the meeting where the Commissioners will be voting on the Illahee Community Plan. The county offices will be closed on Monday because of the inclement weather.
Timbers Edge Closing Arguments. The closing arguments for the Timbers Edge project were due this past Friday (12/19/08). We will see if we can get copies of both sides arguments to pass on, since they are public records.
Illahee Community Boundaries. We have had added a number of new email addresses and some have wondered what the exact boundaries of the Illahee Community are. The map is also available here on the Illahee community website.
Snow Photos. We received some snow photos and rather than try to attach all of them we have chosen one to attach and the rest are available by clicking on this link.
I noticed what seemed to be a small swarm of hummingbirds out my eastern window about three days ago. The same day I noticed a hummingbird sitting on a feeder looking lethargic and then it fell off. I looked out on the deck and couldn’t find it. In the mean time I started a vigil of keeping the feeder food in a liquid form and pulling our two feeders into the house at night. Day before yesterday I saw another hummingbird fall off the feeder and ran out to see if I could find it. There it was. I placed it in a towel and shoebox and brought it into the house. It was ready to leave within 15 minutes. I held it in my hand and it flew away. LaRae called a veterinarian to ask if we were doing the right thing. She was referred to a wildlife rescue (206 855-9057). They told her not to use sugar water and to use commercial hummingbird food because it has nutrients that the other does not have. Also, they said that some hummingbirds do go away for the winter but others choose to stay in the Puget Sound area.
Use at my hummingbird feeder was active all day today. The sugar/water solution (mixed a little rich for the cold weather) freezes at about 23 or 24 degrees, at which point I bring it into the house for a brief warm-up.
We have an interesting situation at our house where we have one dominate male hummingbird that has decided the birdfeeder is his very own and he is not about to share it. He sits on a tree branch about 20 feet away and guards the feeder attaching any other hummingbird that comes near. He sits there nearly all day watching the feeder ready to fly whenever another bird comes near. We decided to set out another feeder some distance away to see if some of the smaller hummingbirds will use it, or if he will chase them away from that one too.
Keep Sending Us Information. Keep on sending us information and we will pass it on.
We had several more comment on how timely the hummingbird information was.
We received a phone call about a hummingbird who was at a bird feeder and fell over onto the ground. The person picked it up and put it in a box and brought it inside. After awhile it evidently warmed up and became active and they released it outside.
A similar type of story as the previous entry was received.
A very timely subject! I had a humming bird going into hypothermia today. Usually the ones that winter over, they tell you to not worry if they go stiff on a branch, it is normal and often they thaw out and go on their way. This was different, I had one guy going to sleep on the feeder, fluffed out and not moving. I actually went out and picked him off the feeder with my hand, and warmed the little guy up. I put him on the porch with the fushia, we have it behind some plastic (it seems to make it through the cold that way) and the little guy then flew on out into the open air. Within the hour he was back on the feeder, again motionless. As I watched, a bigger one literally knocked him off the perch, and he fell to the ground. I went out to check, and he was sitting in the snow, addled.
He’s now in my room, I’m letting him fly around in here, and hung a feeder just for him from my overhead lamp. Had to put him in a cage as the sun went down, as he fell to the floor and was hiding, I was afraid I’d squish him. He seems to be a very young naive bird, and when the snow melts, I’ll try putting him back out again. I hate to interfer with Nature, but a cat would have had him anyway.
I brought my feeder in twice today, and set it near a heating vent, it melted in a half hour, and out it went again. It’s my understanding that hummers also eat bugs, so the feeders are not their only source of food.
We had a report of a number of different kinds of birds at a bird feeder today.
Birds at my feeders today (black sunflower seed and suet):
- Varied thrushes
- Mourning doves
- Pileated woodpeckers
- Oregon juncoes
- Red breasted nuthatches
- Chestnut backed chickadees
- Black capped chickadees
- Stellars jay
- Downy woodpecker
- Red shaftted flicker
- Song sparrow
- Song sparrow
- Hairy woodpecker
- Rufous sided towhees
We inquired about the Audubon’s Christmas bird count and found it was postponed today because of the poor road conditions due to inclement weather until January 4, 2009. If anyone wants to participate they should contact Vic Ulsh at 479-6900.
Quick Response. We received three quick emails regarding wintering hummingbirds in response to the photo and the person who was wondering what to do about about her hummingbird sugar water freezing.
Saturday Bird Count. Saturday is the day scheduled for the Audubon’s Christmas bird count, which we presume is going on today. So it is appropriate that we cover one of our local Puget Sound birds on this day.
We put out our humming bird feeder and have a visitor.
Hi, Jim…In regards to feeding the humming birds, we have had 4 or 5 that stayed over the last few years. In freezing weather we bring the feeder in after dark and put it back out early in the morning. Also the feeder is hanging under the eves on the southeast side of the house, so it gets some protection. It also helps to keep the feeder full. If you keep the feeder out and full after you think the season is over, they will stay around, but you must keep feeding them once you start.
It occurs to me I hadn’t yet sent you the attached photos of the male Annas hummingbird I mentioned. The little Annas humming bird has taken up residence in our backyard this winter. The photos were taken from 400mm lens last Tuesday afternoon when skies were sunny and bright.
My wife and I are rotating two humming bird feeders to keep them from thawing, then bring them in at night. We put the feeder out at day break and within 30 seconds the hummer is at the feeder. Annas area known to winter-over in Puget Sound area, but this is a first for us.
Apparently, the Annas humming birds can go into a torpid state which is essentially short term hibernation overnight during sub-freezing temperatures, then wake themselves up in morning. It’s remarkable these little guys can survive in such frigid temperatures. We’re mixing at just over 2 parts water to 1 part sugar for winter time feeding. It helps the juice from freezing so fast. So far, so good.
Thank you for your input and the photos.
We received some photos taken in Illahee on Thursday 12/18/08. Please send us any photos you want to share and if you want credit let us know, so in case they get picked up by others, you will receive the credit.
The first ones are of an accident at the corner of McWilliams and Sunset that occurred Thursday afternoon.
The bird photo is of a humming bird that evidently decided to stay put over the winter. We will try to get more information from the person who is feeding it, like how do they keep the sugar water from freezing.
The picture of the sledding group was from the top of Roosevelt Street.