1993 Annual Conference — Walla Walla
About 120 birders, the largest
contingent ever to attend a WOS annual meeting, trooped into Walla
Walla on the first weekend in June
with great expectations. Barely a week
earlier, local birder Jim Nestler discovered
the state's first Yellow-crowned
Night-Heron along one of the
many creeks that bisect the city. Then
just a day before the meeting started,
Keith and Jan Wiggers from
Burlington pulled into a campground
on the west side of the city and
promptly discovered a Lark Bunting
Much to everyone's regret, particularly
Walla Walla birders who are
justifiably proud of their county's bird
life, neither bird could be relocated for
the visiting WOS crowd.
Nonetheless, the two-day event was
a great success, highlighted by over
130 species seen in a countryside unusually
green and lush after rainfall
more than twice the seasonal average.
Some of the species highlights included
Ferruginous Hawks, turkeys, numerous
owlroosts (mostly Great Horned),
a large variety of warblers (including
redstarts and chats), Grasshopper
Sparrows, Black-chinned, Rufous and
Calliope Hummingbirds, various
vireos and a number ofstrange-sounding
flycatchers. Clearly heading the
list had to be the Green-tailed Towhees
of Biscuit Ridge.
Who can forget
the battalion of birders lurching
down a steep hillside in the morning
fog and Larry McCloskey's brilliant
smile as the towhees finally appeared
to the (quietly) cheering crowd.
Our lasting impression, however, is
one of hospitality and great company.
Local birders set a high standard organizing
comfortable and inexpensive
accommodations at Whitman College
and van tours crisscrossing the southeast
corner ofour state.
to Priscilla Dauble, Mike and
MerryLynn Denny, Larry Goodhew,
Ken Knittle, Shirley Muse, Bob
Woodley, and Larry, of course.
Westsiders Harold Christenson and
Bill Tweit also did duty as drivers.