Date: 6/27/20 10:06 am From: Kevin Spencer <rriparia...> Subject: [obol] Farwell to Dave Hewitt and family
A Farewell to Dave and Mandy Hewitt, and family,
There was a small outdoors gathering at Running Y yesterday, mostly
to see Dave and Mandy Hewitt before they leave for Alabama, but to
also note the contributions they made to the Klamath Basin and let
them know our appreciation, and thanking them. It was great while you
were here, but we now wish you the best as you move to Alabama and
closer to your roots.
I hardly knew Dave when he practically became an icon among the
Oregon birding elite, about twelve years ago, by having a
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD coming to his feeder. He thought it was
funny that an east coast guy, just moving to a place near Keno, would
have the same species of hummingbird coming to his feeder out west.
The only difference was that Oregon birders would make a trek to see
the rare bird. The Hewitts didn’t stay long at that location. I
wonder if the move was the direct result of the bothersome dust that
was kicked up by all the cars coming down the road to see the bird.
Over the twelve years he was here there were other memorable occasions
of viewing rare birds together with him. One time I was up at Aspen
Ponds on the east side of Stukel Mountain, with Dave and Julie Van
Moorhem, sort of standing around talking about something after a
morning of observing birds, before we would begin to head back down.
Off not too far, an Ovenbird began to sing. We heard it a few more
times and then saw it briefly. Of course that also is a bird Dave was
already familiar with. Later, while at Moore Park one late spring
Saturday, he heard a Hooded Warbler. Again, numerous people made a
trip to that spot. He was fortunate to have had a COSTA’S
HUMMINGBIRD come to his feeder. I think he was the one who first found
the TUFTED DUCK down on Straits Drain. And he has seen the grebes
dance. So, he has had a good experience with western birds.
While he was here he involved himself mostly with Winter Wings,
taking charge of ebird and keeping track of the festivals’ bird
finds, leading fieldtrips with birding celebrities or with Big Day
Birding, being the moderator for Klamath Basin Bird News, and as an
ebird reviewer for Klamath and Siskiyou Counties. He has also been a
participant of the two local Christmas Bird Counts. These activities
were beyond his work as a USGS as a Research Fish Biologist, and being
devoted to his family. All of those extra jobs took time, and I’m
sure I’ve missed some. Whatever he took on, he committed to it, and
got things done.
He also has his family, with his wife, Mandy, who now leaves Mazama
High as a biology teacher. I heard Karl and Anne Wenner telling Mandy
that they appreciated her influence on the young minds of the Basin,
and that her students were lucky to have her, and she will be sorely
missed. Together they have two children. I know he’s been involved
as a soccer referee, which started when his daughter Phoebe and son
Brooks became involved with soccer. I think he has been a soccer coach
too, but not sure. They are nice children, and I’m sure he has never
had to hold up a red or yellow card for them at home! He did have an
intense year of birding in Klamath County, encountering 259 species in
one year, an all time high. But since, he has spent much more time
with his family.
So, Anne Wenner and Diana Samuels planned a gathering to let Dave and
Mandy know that we appreciated knowing them, and all the hard work
they have done that resulted in educating others in many ways
regarding what is amazing here in the Klamath Basin. We wish Dave and
Mandy and their family well. We are jealous that another place gets to
have you. And, with Dave’s luck, I wonder what Western bird that he
is now so familiar with, will show up at his place, and cause a
pilgrimage to his yard in Alabama, stirring up dust, and starting it
all over again. Good luck.
Those at the Running Y gathering included: Anne and Dr.Karl Wenner,
Diana and Darrel Samuels, Gerry Hill, Marshal Moser, Tom and Kathy
Essex, Jim Rooks, and I, Kevin Spencer.