[Tweeters] Ken Knittle

Tim O'Brien kertim7179 at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 8 15:48:10 PST 2020

I have already lamented the loss of Ken on Facebook, but since my birding adventures started with Tweeters, I will add my two cents...

I will always remember my first time meeting Ken and Laurie.  It was at the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival.  As a blossoming birder, I was so excited to finally meet them as they were listed as part of the vendor/exhibits for the Festival.  Why the excitement?  I got hooked on birding by being given a copy of Washington Birder and WOS News by Ruth and Patrick Sullivan when I happened to cross paths with them out on the Brady Loop.  They had given me the Spring edition which featured all the county lists.  Being one of the few active birders in Grays Harbor, I set my sights on moving on up the list.  As my birding knowledge grew, I wrote a couple site guides for the county to some of the less traveled areas.  Remember the famous Satsop Mountain Quail?  So I was delighted to meet Ken and Laurie, whom I felt great appreciation for their work on Washington Birder.

Then, I joined Ken on some of his field trips to SE WA.  He was so much fun in his own way on the trips.  His style of birding all day and not leaving any corner unchecked really rubbed off.  Timing the day with lowland birding while it was cool and then bee-lining for the mountains when it got hot was a great method.  Sleeping on the ground with no tent was unique and he seemed to always have a stash of buttermilk that you weren't sure where it came from just added to the fun.  Ken led me to meet some awesome people in the birding world while on his trips.  Of course, when I started leading trips myself, I styled my trips as close to his as possible.  Lunch stop?  What is that?

My heart goes out to Laurie.  Ken surely will be missed, but never forgotten.

Rest in peace Ken!

Tim O'Brien
Spokane Valley, WA

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