Wednesday, May 29, 2019

5/29 Sparrow, whale hit, boat threat, derelict crab pot, third party, Einstein's eclipse

White-crowned sparrow [Wikipedia]
White-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
In most parts of the West, the smartly patterned White-crown is very common at one season or another: summering in the mountains and the north, wintering in the southwestern lowlands, present all year along the coast. Winter birds usually live in flocks, rummaging on the ground near brushy thickets, perching in the tops of bushes when a birder approaches too closely. Different populations of White-crowns often have local "dialects" in their songs, and these have been intensively studied by scientists in some regions. (Audubon Field Guide)

Ferry hits whale in Elliott Bay while on Bainbridge Island run
Passengers on the ferry Wenatchee were shaken Tuesday night after the vessel collided with a whale in Elliott Bay. The Wenatchee was running on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route near Pier 66 when it hit the whale around 8:30 p.m. Washington State Ferries spokeswoman Diane Rhodes said the crew initially thought they hit a log but later spotted a whale bleeding to the side of the boat. Asia Fields reports. (Seattle Times)

Small recreational boats pose threat to endangered killer whales, says marine biologist
Keep your distance. That’s what all boaters must do when new whale watching rules become effective June 1, 2019. Boaters will now have to steer clear of southern resident killer whales by 400 metres. But some whale watching operators say they’ll do more than that. “We’ll be doing everything we can to avoid watching Southern Resident Killer Whales,” says Ben Duthie, general manager of Prince of Whales.... But not all boaters may be on board with the new rules.... “It’s not just the commercial whale watchers, it’s the opportunistic whale watchers,” says Lauren McWhinnie, marine biologist at UVic. “They aren’t as aware of the regulations. They don’t have as much experience on the water and how to behave around marine mammals.” According to a B.C. Boating Association 2015 report, nearly 1.9 million British Columbians get out on the water every year. Aaron Guillen reports. (CHEK) See also: Campaign launched for San Juan County Orca Protection Initiative  Sorrel North writes. (Islands Sounder)

$221,200 awarded to Jefferson and Clallam counties for derelict crab pot removal  
Each year an estimated 12,000 crab pots are lost in the Salish Sea, according to the Northwest Straits Foundation. These pots sit at the bottom of the sea and continue to trap crabs with no one to harvest them, resulting in the mortality of nearly 180,000 harvestable crab every year. To combat this problem, the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Foundation was awarded a $221,200 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Marine Debris Program. With matching funds from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Martin Foundation, the Northwest Straits Foundation has begun a three year project to remove derelict crab pots from the Port Townsend and Dungeness Bays. Lily Haight reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

'We were wrong': Washington PAC supporting independents sees no future for centrist third party 
Eighteen months ago, a former Washington state Republican Party chair and a former Democratic congressman came together to launch Washington Independents, a new political-action committee dedicated to supporting centrist, independent candidates for office. “The American people are hungry for an alternative to the status quo, to the dysfunction and the gridlock in the two political parties,” former state Republican Party Chair Chris Vance said at the time. Not that hungry, it turns out. Vance and former Democratic Rep. Brian Baird announced Tuesday that they were suspending all operations of Washington Independents after the national group they partnered with, Unite America, chose to focus on electoral reforms rather than supporting independent candidates. David Gutman reports. (Seattle Times)

The Eclipse That Made Einstein Famous
Before 1919, cosmology was as subjective as art history. A solar eclipse, and a patent clerk’s equations, changed everything. A century ago, on May 29, 1919, the universe was momentarily perturbed, and Albert Einstein became famous. Siobhan Roberts reports. (NY Times)


Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  300 AM PDT Wed May 29 2019   
TODAY
 W wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 4 ft at 16  seconds. 
TONIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. SW swell 4 ft at 16 seconds.

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