day : 28/07/2023 12 results

BIRDS: Third year of tragedy for Caspian Terns

(Photos courtesy Kersti Muul)

Some WSB readers have asked about the status of the Caspian Terns – those prehistoric-sounding, angle-winged seabirds heard passing overhead in the past, when they nested on a roof along the Duwamish River – where a heat wave had catastrophic effects in 2021. Then they lost that nesting site entirely. West Seattle-based wildlife biologist Kersti Muul has continued to research and monitor them. Attention is now on a colony in north Puget Sound that is being ravaged by yet another problem. Kersti tells us:

It brings me great sadness to report that a fragment colony (more than 1,000) of nesting Caspian terns on Rat Island (Port Townsend) is being decimated by avian influenza (HPAI) and hundreds have died already. WDFW has collected over 800 adult carcasses so far and and over 150 chicks.

The nesting colony I’ve been researching since 2018 didn’t really materialize here this year; about 100 or so showed up in April and I spent the following months trying to locate them.

Their historical nest site was demolished in January and the Coast Guard had USDA put deterrents up where they attempted to nest last year. They weren’t in any other alternate sites. I went out with the Port of Seattle last month and went up river to investigate derelict barges also, but no nesting.

I had wondered if the colony got hit with HPAI in migration areas and just didn’t come back in the big numbers (colony was 4000+).

There are some nesting currently on Rat Island and somehow bird flu popped up with a vengeance. The area is closed and being closely monitored by WDFW. So far we have not had any positive pinniped cases, but has happened elsewhere in the world at these kinds of preserves where they share close spaces with nesting seabirds. It may be a matter of time. Three deceased seal pups were tested, but they continue to be negative, and no eagles yet either. They will be doing another body collection and count early next week. There are some oystercatchers nesting there as well and still have not been infected. That may change when WDFW assesses nest week.

This is the 3rd year in a row that has been catastrophic for the terns. As you remember, 2021 heat killed a lot of babies (over 200). 2022 total nesting failure, as they were flushed from nesting site and nested late. I hypothesize that embryonic development was corrupted by heat. 2023 local HPAI outbreak, and colony is being wiped out during nesting…. This colony fragment had become the largest and most important in the region. Last September I collected fish bones from the Coast Guard roof for diet analysis by NOAA Fisheries.

I spoke with Steve Hampton yesterday, Kitsap Audubon Conservation Chair, and now a docent at Fort Flagler, for the specific situation. He says adults are still coming in with food, which means there are still chicks to feed. They are nesting in a swale but it is impossible to see them from there.

It is likely that some of this colony is part of the colony that nested at T-106, and the Coast Guard roof respectively. The colony this year there is the biggest it has ever been. But we are still missing 3000+/- birds.

Rat Island also had an almost complete nesting failure last year as the colony was completely flushed on the 4th of July at low tide by human harassment, and then again in August when they attempted to nest again, via coyote predation on chicks. There were around 500 adults nesting and only 10 chicks were successful unfortunately after the second, very late attempt.

Rat Island remains closed and WDFW requests people refrain from going to the area. As you know, HPAI is highly infectious and can be moved to new areas on shoes and clothing, and dogs can be infected by inhaling viral particles of infected birds or carcasses.

(Tern babies at Terminal 106 in better times)

ROAD-WORK ALERT: Here’s what you’ll see and hear Saturday evening at Highland Park Way/Holden

Most work on the Highland Park Way/Holden project is done during the day, but SDOT has sent an alert that evening work is planned tomorrow (Saturday):

Evening work on July 29 from 5 – 8 PM: Highland Park Way SW & SW Holden St Safety Improvements Project

We are removing the existing traffic markings at the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St intersection. Removing this paint requires special equipment that is noisy, and we will be working outside our normal construction hours.

We will run equipment that sounds like a giant vacuum, but no vibration or banging is expected. Noisy work will be done by 8 PM. Alternating traffic lanes will also be closed, but there will always be one lane open for cars to get through.

The project includes a permanent traffic signal, curb improvements, and public art (a giant Steller’s Jay, as announced last fall).

SATURDAY: Colman Pool closing early

(WSB file photo of Colman Pool)

If you’re thinking about swimming at Colman Pool – the city-run beachfront saltwater pool at Lincoln Park – tomorrow (Saturday, July 29th), be forewarned: It’s closing early “for a staff event,” Seattle Parks says – 3:15 pm. It’ll be back to normal hours on Sunday.

Brown water in Morgan Junction

July 28, 2023 4:32 pm
|    Comments Off on Brown water in Morgan Junction
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

Thanks to the texter who reported brown water from their taps in the Morgan Junction area this afternoon. Reminder that lately it’s usually because of fire-hydrant testing, but not always, so it’s important to always report it to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800.

BIZNOTE: Lake Washington Physical Therapy-West Seattle invites you to two free rooftop workouts!

July 28, 2023 3:33 pm
|    Comments Off on BIZNOTE: Lake Washington Physical Therapy-West Seattle invites you to two free rooftop workouts!
 |   Health | West Seattle news

Want to work out with a view? Free? Lake Washington Physical Therapy-West Seattle (1309 Harbor Avenue SW; WSB sponsor) has announced two more free classes on the rooftop of the building that houses its clinic. If you’re interested, sign up fast before the spaces are all spoken for:

We want to share two FREE rooftop classes for the community happening in August at Lake Washington Physical Therapy. These are great opportunities for people to learn more about what these local fitness businesses have to offer.

Bodyweight Core Workout with HIIT Lab
Sunday, August 6th at 9:00 am
Register at the QR code in the flyer attached
Bring a yoga mat/towel and water bottle
Limit of 30 participants
Drinks and snacks provided following the class

Fit4Mom Free Preview Class
Saturday, August 26th, 9:00 am
Register here
Limit of 30 participants
Bring a yoga mat/towel and water bottle
Drinks and snacks provided following the class

WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: Canaries found – are they a pair?

Earlier this week, we heard about a canary sighting, but the bird flew away. Now we’ve found out from wildlife biologist Kersti Muul, who shared the photos, that there were two, both now captured.

Kersti explains: “One was found at Fauntleroy, the other near Jefferson square. Same day, so likely escaped or released pair. Wings aren’t clipped and no bands. One is on Vashon at Haven, the other is still housed in West Seattle awaiting transportation to Vashon to reunite (assuming it’s a pair).”

P.S. We usually include lost/found birds on the WSB Lost/Found Pets page (listings can be emailed to, surfacing unusual situations like this one to the news stream too.

YOU CAN HELP: Tutoring volunteers needed for West Seattle school this fall

(Photo courtesy Brad Ogura)

If you can break away during the day once a week, for one hour, you can help local students. Brad Ogura has done it himself and is getting the word out on behalf of Invest In Youth (for which he also serves as a board adviser):

Give back, support the local community, have fun by tutoring a student at Roxhill Elementary at E.C. Hughes, starting this fall! As a tutor, you’ll be paired with a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader and work with that same student each Tuesday during the school year from 2:40 pm to 3:40 pm. This match allows you to see your impact on the student’s week-to-week progress.

No experience is necessary; just a commitment to help narrow achievement gaps and promote educational equity right here in West Seattle. The tutoring program is run by Invest in Youth, a nonprofit that has been working with Seattle Public School students for over 25 years, and after a brief absence from West Seattle the program is returning to Roxhill this fall.

Tutors typically work on math skills, reading fundamentals as well as being a friend and mentor to their student. Time is spent in the classroom after school ends with other student-tutor pairs, and a teacher as well as an Invest in Youth staff member is onsite and always available to help when needed.

Tutoring is offered at no cost to families or schools and Invest in Youth is actively recruiting volunteer tutors to sign up now. Both tutors and students consistently report that the program is a highlight of their week and an extremely rewarding experience.

Helpful Links: About Invest in Youth, FAQs, all about tutoring including an online signup form.

Contact Cherrise ( if you have questions.

BIZNOTE: Shop local and get what you need to get outdoors @ Mountain to Sound Outfitters’ big summer sale

July 28, 2023 11:30 am
|    Comments Off on BIZNOTE: Shop local and get what you need to get outdoors @ Mountain to Sound Outfitters’ big summer sale
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

We’re only a third of the way through summer – lots of time left to enjoy the outdoors. Mountain to Sound Outfitters (3602 SW Alaska; WSB sponsor) can help you do that – with its biggest sale of summer starting today. Mountain to Sound is offering up to 50 percent off on items throughout the shop: “Every department has something on sale up to 50 percent – kayaks, SUPs, paddles, PFDs, carts, skates, winter, sunglasses, and clothing. Come save big and shop local. Don’t forget, we’ve also got a lot of last-minute backpacking gear for you to grab now too. Thanks for the support, West Seattle!” The shop is open until 6 pm tonight, 10 am-5 pm Saturday, 11 am-5 pm Sunday.


Here’s the lineup for today/tonight, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

GARDEN CENTER OPEN: Need more plants for your garden, containers, etc.? You can shop at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Garden Center, open with a wide variety of student-grown plants, until 2 pm. (North end of campus, 6000 16th SW)

FUNDRAISING SALE: Until 4 pm, and again 10 am-4 pm tomorrow:

Vintage and collectible LINENS, hundreds of pieces of beautiful JEWELRY, large quantity of PUZZLES, and miscellaneous items. Proceeds benefit Providence Mt St Vincent. 5637 42nd Ave SW

MEET YOUR COUNTY COUNCILMEMBER: Q&A with County Councilmember Joe McDermott, 11 am at Brookdale Senior Living (4611 35th SW)

SPRAYPARK OPEN: 11 am-8 pm, Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale) is open daily.

SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS: Here’s the list of local sites where free food is available for kids on weekdays this summer, 11:30 am-1 pm lunch, 2-3 pm snacks.

DELRIDGE AND HIAWATHA WADING POOLS OPEN: Noon-5:30 pm. (4501 Delridge Way SW and 2700 California SW)

LINCOLN PARK WADING POOL OPEN: Noon-7 pm. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

COLMAN POOL OPEN: Noon-7 pm on the shore at Lincoln Park; session schedule here.

SCRABBLE CLUB: You’re invited to play 12:30-1:30 pm at Margie’s Café inside the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: 1-6 pm on the north side of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), student-produced wine by the glass or bottle.

VISCON CELLARS: Tonight, visit Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) for wine by the glass or bottle, 5-9 pm (5910 California SW).

KIDS’ NIGHT OUT: Outer Space Seattle (2820 Alki SW) offers a three-hour drop-off, ticketed event for kids 3 to 12 – more in our calendar listing.

BRAD AT EASY STREET: Live in-store performance celebrating Brad’s album release, 7 pm at Easy Street Records (4559 California SW) – here’s how to get in.

COFFEEHOUSE MUSIC: Anthony Lee Phillips performs at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm.

SUMMER SUNSET SOUND BATH: 7 pm at Solstice Park (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW), $35.

LIVE AT THE SKYLARK: The Victory Lap: Carl Christensen & The Lake Flora Band, Zphrisms, Drew Martin, doors 8 pm, music 9 pm at The Skylark – $10. (3803 Delridge Way SW).

Something to add to our calendar? – thank you!

West Seattle photographer shows you how to safely capture the International Space Station as it crosses the sun

The image was sent by Kevin Freitas, who’s offering you the chance to capture something similar, safely. Here’s his announcement:

Join local amateur photographer, sky watcher, and meteor hunter Kevin Freitas to learn how to capture a solar transit of the International Space Station. We’ll talk through how to set up your photo or video gear and apps to use to find transits and measure precise time. Then, just before 3:30, we’ll try to capture a transit!

The most important item you need is a solar filter to put atop your camera lens to filter out most of the Sun’s burning light. Don’t have a filter? Make your own with these filter sheets and some black tape. CAUTION: Never stare at or photograph the Sun without a proper solar filter!

When: Monday, July 31, 2:30-3:30 pm
Where: (update) New location – Magnolia Boulevard Viewpoint (map) – see comment discussion
RSVP: or text 253-229-5093

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Friday info + weekend notes

9:27 AM: Signal malfunctioning at 35th/Alaska, police have told dispatch.


6:01 AM: Good morning. It’s Friday, July 28th.


Sunny, high in upper 70s. Today’s sunrise was at 5:42 am; sunset will be at 8:49 pm.

(Thursday post-sunset, photographed by Doug Eglington)


-If you’re going downtown Saturday, the Seafair Torchlight Parade has moved to the daytime, starting at 3 pm, heading from Seattle Center southward across downtown via 4th Avenue.

-Alki and Don Armeni will likely see increased support-vehicle/truck-trailer traffic because of canoe events Saturday and Sunday – Da Grind” outrigger race Saturday, Paddle to Muckleshoot arrivals Sunday.


Metro – regular schedule – check here for advisories.

Water Taxi – regular schedule.

Washington State Ferries – 2-boat service. Check Vessel Watch to see where the boats are.


Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Henderson), cameras are also up at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Orchard, and Delridge/Oregon.

High Bridge – the main camera:

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):

Low Bridge – east-end vicinity:

1st Ave. S. Bridge – alternate route across the river:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander.

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: See all working traffic cams citywide here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.

If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stabbing in Sunrise Heights – or not

1:20 AM: Seattle Fire is sending a “scenes of violence” response to the 7700 block of 34th SW, where a man is reported to have stab wounds. We haven’t heard much about circumstances. Police are already on scene.

1:22 AM: They’re downsizing the response and canceling the medic unit, indicating the injuries aren’t major.

4:18 PM: We followed up today with SPD to ask for details on what happened. The reply: “Officers responded to a ‘stabbing’ but when officers arrived the injury was minor, and it could not be confirmed to be a stabbing. Neither party wanted to be a victim. Officers documented the disturbance and cleared the scene. Based on the investigation, no arrests were made.” (“Wanting to be a victim” is roughly another way of saying “wanting to press charges.”)