The Blue Mountain Audubon Society will ring in the New Year with several events.
The group’s January membership meeting will be open to the community and will be held on Thursday, January 19th at 7:00 pm in Room 129, Olin Hall, on the Whitman College campus between Isaacs Avenue and Ankeny Field. A campus map is available at whitman.edu/campus-map.
Wearing a mask is now optional at group events on the Whitman College campus.
Member Kathryn Howard said the focus is on “Books, Books and More Books!”
“Books on birds, conservation, the natural world, and all related topics. Includes three book reports and an opportunity for participants to briefly share what they have read. Something that inspired you, made you think, or something you think your friend should do. Read.”
The names of the books discussed will be recorded on a list distributed after the meeting and included in the group’s February issue of The Magpiper.
If you are unable to attend the January meeting but would like to share your book with the group, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 19th with the title, author’s name, and a description of the book’s excellence. I can easily explain why.
Audubon members Sue and Jim Parish stroll down South Fork Russell Creek Road on January 21st. – Take a walk on a country road. The walk is through a riparian habitat with views of the Walla Walla Valley, wheat fields and diverse habitats. I plan to be home by lunch.
MerryLynn Denny reports in The Magpiper that the 50th Annual 2022 Christmas Bird Count on December 17th has joined forces. The sun broke through a few times in 20 degree cloudy and mild weather.
Thirty-eight counters and 10 feeder watchers in 12 sections spent the day looking for birds in all kinds of habitats, from urban areas to foothills, from Lake Bennington to northern arable land.
Most enjoyed a follow-up potluck at the seasonally bustling Fort Walla Walla Museum.
“People discovered 81 species of birds, 4 of which were counted birds, and although they were not seen on the day they were counted, they were seen within 3 days before or after.
Two new species were discovered this year. A small blunt or brent goose was seen on Mill Creek tally day and a California scrub jay visited the College Place feeding station.
Other highlights include a record 72 Western Bluebirds seen in several areas. 17 birds is the previous high. 24 hummingbirds—he had 7 spotted last year. 3 purple finches — 3rd record only. Harris’ sparrow, just 11 times in 50 years. 6 long-eared owls, ties if outnumbered. Snow Goose — 7 records. White goose — 5 records. gadwall — 20 high counts; and Lesser Goldfinch — 302 high counts.
The worst failure was the Brewer Blackbird, seen 41 times, the first failure in 10 years. Western Meadowlark, seen 42 times. And “You must have known this bitter cold was coming,” Killdeer.
Audubon.org reports that bird numbers are important because they inform “strategies that help protect birds and their habitats and identify environmental issues that also affect people.”
For more information on your local Audubon chapter, email BlueMtnAudubon@gmail.com or visit blumtn.org/magpiper/.
Annie Charnley Eveland is a freelance writer who writes the Etcetera column and feature articles for Union-Bulletin. She retired from UB after her 42.5-year newspaper career as an editor, columnist and journalist. She will send the news with her contact name and daytime phone number to email@example.com or call 509-386-7369.