Illahee 2/3/18 Surfbirds, Global Heat Map Articles, Area Strava Maps, Preserve Trails, FM Homeless Camps, OC Speaker Report

Surfbirds.  This is a first for us, Surfbirds in Illahee.  They are normally found on rocky areas along the coast or the San Juans.  Some interesting information from the website


Surfbird: This species breeds in rocky mountain tundra habitats throughout much of Alaska and the western Yukon Territory. Outside of its breeding season, it can be found on rocky shores along most of the Pacific coast, from southeastern Alaska and British Columbia south to Tierra del Fuego in southern Chile.

  • The Surfbird is usually classified in a genus of its own, as Aphriza virgata, but recent data suggests it is very close genetically to the Red and Great Knots and should be included in Calidris genus. Indeed, the Great Knot looks similar to a larger, longer-billed, somewhat darker surfbird.
  • The USS Surfbird (AM-383) is one of 173 Auk Class minesweepers built during World War II for service in the United States Navy. She was eventually decommissioned and sold. Renamed the Helenka B, she was involved in the March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill clean up.
  • They remain on the nest until the last moment, and then fly up in the intruding animal’s face, a defense mechanism used on humans as well.
  • A group of surfbirds are collectively known as a “board” and a “kahuna” of surfbirds.
Global Heat Map Articles.  This week all the local papers (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, & Kitsap Sun) covered the story of security concerns with troops using exercise trackers after Strava published the Global Heat Map.  Local runners and bike riders have been using Strava for years to track their activities so we checked the site out to see what was happening locally.  This first map shows Illahee and across to Bainbridge Island.
Strava IP-GLP
Area Strava Maps.  This next map focuses in on Illahee and shows both bicycle and running activity.  The website is:
Strava - Illahee
Preserve Trails.  This screen shot shows the program options with the Illahee Preserve on the right showing there are many using tracking devices as they run the trails.  If we tracked bicycle use the trails don’t light up as bright showing running is the predominate trail activity.  Strava is a free cell phone app, with a paid enhanced version available.
FM Homeless Camps.  Another Kitsap Sun article on Friday (2/2/18) shows the cleanup of the homeless camp across from the Illahee Preserve beginning.  We went through the camp site on Saturday and there was still lots of garbage and a few campers.  Below are a few photos showing the mess, which will hopefully be less after this weekend.  This is one reason homeless camping is not allowed in the Preserve.
OC Speaker Report.  It was good to see at least four Preserve volunteers attending the OC presentation by Amy Lawrence on Thursday, and to hear what students are learning about the natural resources we are blessed with in this area.
Jim Aho

Illahee 10/21/15 Timbers Edge Cleanup, Preserve Trails, Brush Picking Season, Port Ballot Proposition, Mussel Monitoring, Wood Chip Info

TE Cleanup.  During discussions regarding Phase 2 we received permission to begin cleaning up some of the old campsites on the Timbers Edge properties we would like to eventually purchase.  Thanks to the group this past Saturday who filled up enough garbage bags to fill a pickup, and the nearby property owner who volunteered to haul the garbage off.  

2015-10-21 Misc 022 
Preserve Trails.  We receive many compliments on the trails in the Illahee Preserve and yesterday were told Bremerton Parks also receives lots of compliments, and people are surprised it is a county park and that it is maintained by volunteers.
Brush Picking Season.  Time to watch out for illegal brush picking in the Preserve.  If you see this happening, call 911 and/or let us know and we will pass the information on.  Last year was the first time we didn’t see any signs of brush picking in the Preserve.
Port Ballot Proposition.  There is an important Port of Illahee ballot measure “Elimination of Commissioner Districts” to be voted on by Illahee residents that is described in the local voters pamphlet.  There were no arguments against the measure in the voter’s guide so if someone has some objections we would be glad to share them in an update.
Mussel Monitoring.  On Monday evening (10/26) at low tide a mussel cage will be placed in Illahee to evaluate chemical pollution along Puget Sound’s shorelines.  If you would like to help with this on Monday evening, let us know.
Misc 11-14 034 
Wood Chip Info.  In our last update we mentioned we would pass on the information of those who wanted wood chips.  There were a handful of people who responded and we will be passing your information on to the tree companies.  Below is more information.

When the wood chip guys call they want immediate communication and access with whoever may be interested in chips.  Tree Service guys approach from different directions.  They like the shortest distance to dump.  With these points in mind, it would be helpful to have the following information for each interested party.

1. Name

2. General location

3. Specific address

4. Phone number(s)

5. How much chips are desired. 


There are no guarantees.  Chips are available VERY inconsistently.  I welcome info from whoever may be interested, and I will try to send chips as I am contacted.  Finally, when someone no longer wants wood chips, please notify me so I don’t waste any one’s time calling them. 

Jim Aho