23RD PAGE - Protection Island Nat'l Wildlife Refuge

1ST PAGE - Peter & Lori Stateside Photos 2ND PAGE - HUNGARY 2007 3RD PAGE - Hungary 4TH PAGE - Hungary 5TH PAGE - Hungary 6TH PAGE - Stateside 7TH PAGE - A TRIBUTE TO MOTHER 8TH PAGE - USA, Canada, Alaska 9TH PAGE - Alaska 10TH PAGE - Alaska, Yukon, BC and USA 11TH PAGE - In the US and THAILAND 12TH PAGE - Thailand 13TH PAGE - Thailand 14TH PAGE - Thailand 15TH PAGE - Thailand, Past Stateside 16TH PAGE - Past and Recent Photos 17TH PAGE - HUNGARY 2008 18TH PAGE - Hungary 19TH PAGE - Hungary 20TH PAGE - Hungary 21ST PAGE - Hungary 22ND PAGE - Back in the USA 2008 23RD PAGE - Protection Island Nat l Wildlife Refuge 24TH PAGE - Back in USA and NEPAL 2008 25TH PAGE - Nepal 26TH PAGE - Nepal 27TH PAGE - Nepal 28TH PAGE - Nepal 29TH PAGE - Nepal 30TH PAGE - Nepal 31ST PAGE - Nepal 32ND PAGE - Nepal 33RD PAGE - THAILAND 2008 34TH PAGE - Thailand 35TH PAGE - Thailand and LAOS 36TH PAGE - Laos 37TH PAGE - Laos and Thailand 38TH PAGE - Thailand and Back In The USA 39TH PAGE - USA 2009 40TH PAGE – PROTECTION ISLAND NWR 2009 & 2010 Peter A Davis Lori J Davis peterloridavis Peter & Lori Davis 41ST PAGE – Protection Island NWR 42ND PAGE – Protection Island NWR 43RD PAGE – Protection Island NWR 44TH PAGE - Protection Island NWR 45TH PAGE - Protection Island NWR and NEVADA 46TH PAGE - Nevada and Travel 2010 47TH PAGE - Nevada and Travel 2011 48TH PAGE - JOPLIN Missouri, U.S. 2011 and OLD PHOTOS

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Lori & I are thrilled to be selected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the official volunteer caretakers of 364-acre Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge in the Strait of Juan de Fuca 60 miles northwest of Seattle. We'll follow our friends Tom & Margarita on the Island as they finish their time there at the end of Mar 09. (We note the Island is closed to the public as it is a sensitive seabird nesting and seal haulout refuge, and boaters may not approach the Island shore closer than 200 yards. Prohibiting approach closer than 200 yards is necessary to protect fragile seabird nesting and seal pupping.) + In Jun 08 we completed and passed the Department of the Interior-required boat operator's course taught by the US FWS. We had the privilege of going to the Island in June for an official visit with Tom & Margarita. (We learned our duties on the Island and got proficient with and checked-out on the boat we'll use.) Then, in July, we stayed on the Island six days as the official temporary volunteer caretakers while Tom & Margarita were out of the state. It was a wonderful experience for us and we look forward all the more to our "tour-of-duty" on the Island starting Apr 09. + The Island is a wonderland.  Rhinoceros auklets, tufted puffins, pigeon guillemots, black oystercatchers, double-crested and pelagic cormorants, glaucous-winged gulls, and bald eagles nest on the Island.  The Island also has a large harbor seal haulout and smaller numbers of elephant seals. About 70 percent of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca nest on the island, which includes one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world and the largest nesting colony of glaucous-winged gulls in Washington. The Island has one of the last two nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area. About 1,000 harbor seals depend on the Island for pupping and resting.

07 Jul 08 This is a portion of a nautical map showing Protection Island. Water depths are shown in fathoms (6 feet per fathom).

07 Jul 08 Here's Lori with the US FWS boat we'll use going to and from Protection Island. We're in the Protection Island harbor here.

07 Jul 08 Here we are on Protection Island. On this day we helped visiting researchers count glaucous-winged gull nests. Professor-Researcher Jim Hayward, a delightful man, took our photo--he's been doing official research on the Island each summer for the past 22 years.

Jun-Jul 08 364-acre Protection Island is covered with grass and low brush and has a small timber area, high sandy bluffs for seabird nesting and low sand spits on its west and east ends. (As we noted above, the Island is necessarily closed to the public in an effort to protect sensitive seabird nesting and seal pupping.) In this two-photo image, the top shows a view from the upper floor of the cabin looking west toward Sequim; the bottom photo shows looking south-south-east from the water tower.

07 Jul 08 This seal pup appeared along the dock in the Protection Island harbor as we cleaned the dock and prepared for researchers visiting the Island. He still had a couple inches of umbilical cord attached. As is necessary with the seals, and all the animal life on the Island, we stayed away from him. Later in the day he rested on the beach in the harbor (this photo).

24 Jun 08 We've seen as many as 14 bald eagles at once on the Island. They're King on the Island--they eat pretty much any of the seabirds and will occasionally eat a lost and weakened seal pup. The eagles enjoy flying low over the gulls' nesting areas and creating havoc--hundreds upon hundreds (thousands?) of gulls take to the air and some gulls are brave enough to harass the eagles, to the point of grabbing their feathers while in flight--we saw it happen! In this photo a nearer eagle flies by as another one farther away eats its prey.

05 Jul 08 We're at the west end of the Island off the south side--we, as official US FWS volunteer caretakers must also abide by the 200 yard minimum from shore. We're using a telephoto lens to get these stand-off photos of harbor seals on the beach. See the really big one out there? It's a female elephant seal.

05 Jul 08 This pigeon guillemot was out in the water far off the south side of the Island.

05 Jul 08 We're off the east end of the Island. Again, these are harbor seals. See the pigeon guillemots flying over the water on the left side of the image?

05 Jul 08 These double-crested cormorants (and we think, some pelagic cormorants) nest on the navigation-warning buoy far off the south west end of the Island.

04 Jul 08 There are some 60 or so deer on the Island. They're fat and not afraid, as they have no predators on the Island.

24 Jun 08 This little song sparrow was just below the cabin on the Island.

24 Jun 08 These double-crested cormorants nest on the Island--they build big nests of long grass (and brush?).

07 Jul 08 These are glaucous-winged gull eggs. They build their nests in the grass on the Island. The eggs are as large as big chicken eggs.

07 Jul 08 Here's Lori holding a very recently hatched glaucous-winged gull chick. Normally we'd never handle any of the wildlife on the Island. However, while photographing the gulls and their nests, Professor-Researcher Jim Hayward, who studies the gulls specifically, picked up and handed this gull chick to Lori. Lori was thrilled to hold the little guy.

24 Jun 08 Oh, to watch the gulls in flight! I took many hundreds of photos of glaucous-winged gulls in flight--it's a real challenge to follow them in flight (with the camera) and get them in the frame and in focus!

24 Jun 08 This gull was landing and just about to touch down. What perfect wings and feathers. And the Lord God created them all!

Jun-Jul 08 Glaucous-winged gulls in flight.

24 Jun 08 Again, glaucous-winged gulls in flight.

07 Jul 08 And still again.

07 Jul 08 I was never bored photographing them. This guy was on his landing approach.

07 Jul 08 In flight. Such grace and beauty.

07 Jul 08 Just touched down.

07 Jul 08 Gulls.

07 Jul 08 More gulls flying and landing. Ever wonder how our aircraft engineers came up with such radical designs for our advanced aircraft?

07 Jul 08 This gull, just landed, is protecting turf from another gull.

07 Jul 08 In flight.

07 Jul 08 They're everywhere!

07 Jul 08 This guy, just landed, looks rather harried.

07 Jul 08 These birds are art indeed!

07 Jul 08 Their flight is perfect. (We're thrilled our Boss at US Fish and Wildlife Service may use some of our photos in US FWS publications.)