I’m sad to report that good friend, great birder, and faithful Seattle Audubon volunteer died on Saturday morning, Jan. 11. He had been in declining health for several months with 3 difficult-to-diagnose, complicated types of leukemia. Initially he continued to bird, but became increasingly debilitated as he was unable to absorb nutrients. He finally passed away peacefully, probably listening to some of the classical music he loved, in the company of his wife, Barbara, and other family members.
Paul was a Master Birder (2004), a long-time Nature Shop volunteer, and for several years wrote a lovely column for Earthcare Northwest, “Birds in the Balance,” until he shifted over to writing on more expansive birding and travel topics for Tahoma Audubon. The man could write up a storm, as many of you likely noted on his Tweeters posts. He and Barbara (also a shop volunteer) led field trips, particularly in their own West Seattle area and to Whidbey Island, and Paul, along with other 2004 MB graduates, coordinated the subsequent class, attended by Barb. I don’t think he was allowed to grade her papers, but he was the author of most of the excruciating homework! Avid county birders, he and Barb dragged David and me into the fascinating pit early in 2011 with our first trip to Skamania County in winter. Little did we imagine the four corners of the state we’d be exploring, sometimes with the Websters, in subsequent years.
I know that many of us will miss Paul, his wit, and his avian wisdom. It’s been a tough few weeks in our little birding community, but maybe Paul is somewhere out there birding with the “original” county birder, Ken Knittle.
Penny Koyama, Bothell
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