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Using the /questions method, I tried to get upvote and downvote counts, along with question Ids. This is the request I sent:

http://api.stackexchange.com/2.2/questions/857455%3B857454?site=math&filter=!w-1qg-_wOmTqzZSU1Z

The last_activity_date is returned despite being excluded by the filter. I re-checked on the docs page that the filter !w-1qg-_wOmTqzZSU1Z indeed excludes last_activity_date parameter.

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Confirmed.
The path seems to use a default sort key on last_activity_date and that corrupts the filter somehow. (I checked for caching by waiting more than 1 minute and by varying the question ids.)

If I create a new filter and explicitly specify a sort key on votes, it worked for a time or two (no last_activity_date returned).

But somehow it still inserts last_activity_date randomly on subsequent runs. I haven't figured out the pattern to it yet.

As a partial workaround for this bug, always specify a sort key that doesn't rely on a field not returned by the filter.

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1  
Here's a fun fact: So far, adding &type=jsontext to the end of the request clears up the misbehavior! This is flaky stuff. – Brock Adams Jul 8 '14 at 6:41

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