Illahee 2/4/18 Wrong Bird Identified — Black Turnstone not Surfbird, King Tides, Community Ditch Cleanup, Local Blossoms

Wrong Bird Identified – Black Turnstone not Surfbird .  I misidentified the shorebird in the last Illahee Update.  I was so happy to see what I thought was a Surfbird I didn’t closely examine its close cousin the Black Turnstone.  If that wasn’t bad enough I had a photo in a book that shows the two look alikes side by side, including an easy giveaway, the color of their feet.  The Black Turnstone is the bird on the right and has purple tinted colored feet.  A Surfbird has yellow feet.  Thanks to Chris for quickly catching my error.

King Tides.  We noticed the Black Turnstones when trying to capture the height of the first King Tide in January (1/5/18) by photographing the concrete stairway at the Port of Illahee dock to use as a reference point.  Without strong winds or extreme low pressure all the recent 13 foot plus tides have not seemed excessively high, and come up to the third step under the top landing. 
Community Ditch Cleanup.  When this ditch at the end of Hicks Ave got clogged the neighbors gathered this past Saturday morning and cleaned it out.  The water in now flowing freely down the ditch and into the culvert as can be seen from the last photo taken today.
Local Blossoms.  Mostly end of January photos of local plants.
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/8/14 New Power Pole, Sewer/Water Work, Owl Report, Film Report, Septic Meeting Jan 22, King Tides, Downy Woodpecker, Piano Concert

New Power Pole.  Traffic was slowed somewhat along Illahee Road on Tuesday (1/7/14) when a new power pole was installed to replace an old one, see the photos below.

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Sewer/Water Work.  Also along Illahee Road new private water lines and a new sewer hookup are being put in.  There have been a number of hookups to the stretch of sewer line that runs under Illahee Road from the Ambleside development to the Illahee North development.
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Owl Report.  Thanks to Paul for the following information regarding the aggressive owl attack report in the previous update.

            Regarding the “Owl Problems” item from the newsletter:  There are several species of owls living in this area.  An owl that “dive bombs” a human is doing so in defense of its nest or territory.  The solution to the “problem” is for the human to avoid the area at night for a few weeks until uber-protective owl parents lighten up.  Unlike most other birds, some owl species will nest at any time of the year that sufficient prey is available.

            Here is a passage from the “Owl” section of the Seattle Audubon Society’s website:

Dive-bombing Owls

Most aggressive behavior from owls (barred owls and great horned owls are the most often reported) is motivated by defense of their territory or young, or their search for handouts.

In winter owls establish territories, build nests, and rear young. During this period, adult birds may engage in belligerent behavior, such as attacking creatures many times their size. In this case, the owls are simply trying to protect their homes, their mates, or their young.

When possible, stay away from nesting areas with aggressive birds until the young are flying (three to four weeks after eggs hatch) and the parents are no longer so protective. If you must walk past a nest, wave your arms slowly overhead to keep the birds at a distance. Other protective actions include wearing a hat or helmet, or carrying an umbrella.

Film Report.  There has been slow but steady sales of the Illahee film, with 5 DVDs sold this past week.  Also selling the film is the filmmaker, from whom we received the following note:
Someone from VA bought the illahee film and called me. She was so inspired
by your story and wants it to inspire their community to do the same…
So your efforts are being appreciated all the way to Virginia…

Septic Meeting Jan 22.  We have been asked to pass the following information on which is followed by a copy of a post card that is being mailed out:
We’ve continued our PIC work in the Port Orchard Passage area, now focusing on Enetai Creek, Steele Creek, and shoreline areas that have concerns about high bacteria that effects shellfish growing areas. We’ll be having a meeting on Wednesday, January 22. This will include talks on septic systems, and Q&A on storm water drainages, rain gardens, improving backyard habitat, and farm/livestock management. If I send you a meeting summary and PDF, would you be willing to forward it to your contacts in the Illahee community?
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King Tides.  While we have had some high tides recently (which are referred to as king tides) they haven’t seemed excessive, primarily because the atmospheric pressure has been high, and no rain or winds.  It seems to take a combination of those factors to make a high tide a king tide.
Downy Woodpecker.  A good photo of a downy woodpecker.  The red spot in back of the head indicates it is a male.
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Local Free Piano Concert.  We have been asked to pass the following information on:
There will be a free Piano Concert by John Nilsen at the Brownsville United Methodist Church.  The concert is on Friday Jan 10 at 7 PM.  It will feature a varied selection of music.  HTTP://   I have heard him before and he is fabulous.  Could you please announce it in the News Letter?
Jim Aho

Illahee 12/7/13 Work Party Cancelled, New Wheelbarrows, King Tides, Humming Bird Feeders

Work Party Cancelled.   The Illahee Preserve work party scheduled for Sunday (12/8/13) has been cancelled for a variety of reasons, with one being the cold weather.  There are two big loads of wood chips that were delivered this week close to the new trail that should still be there in January 2014 when the work party is rescheduled.  The storage container in the Almira parking lot was delivered before the cancellation, and is scheduled for pickup on Monday.  It houses the wheelbarrows and some of the work party tools.

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New Wheelbarrows.   Over the years we have used a variety of wheelbarrows to move wood chips to the trails, including some new ones.  The preferred ones are light with good handles for going up and down the trail hills. Below is a picture of one of the new wheelbarrows recently purchased, which should make for happier volunteers.
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King Tides.   This is the time of the year when we experience extreme high tides, also called King Tides.  We are especially concerned about the high tides since the errant concrete float is still located between Illahee’s two major docks.  We missed a good tide when the salvage boat was fogged in a couple of weeks ago, so we are hoping that maybe they can get out here this coming week.  The dates of the king tides are noted below from Ecology’s website, which just listed Seattle and Tacoma, but they should be close to Illahee’s.
Kitsap Sun’s outdoors reporter Tristan Baurick has a blog regarding the king tides.  The site is:, and a screen shot of it posted below.
Humming Bird Feeders.   We had several recommendations for frozen humming bird feeders – which were simply to take them inside on the cold nights and put them out early the next morning.  We forgot to do that last night so we have ours unthawing on the gas heater.
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Jim Aho