The results of the Oceanside-Carlsbad Christmas Bird Count have been compiled and it appears we have once again reached 192 species (plus 49 Nutmeg Mannikins).
We are grateful for the generous volunteers at Buena Vista Audubon Society who put on a great hot lunch for hungry birders at the Nature Center as birders returned from the field. They promise to be back at next season’s Oceanside-Carlsbad CBC on December 26, 2011 (Mark your calendars).
Our express thanks goes to the team captains and the participants who braved a chilly but sunny morning to count more than 37,000 birds.Welcome (and thank you!) to new Team Leaders Paula Theobald (Bonsall Moro Hill), Ann Hannon (Batiquitos), Jan Nordenberg (East Vista – Brengle Terrace), Gary Van Velsir (Palomar College – Twin Oaks Golf), Becky Wilbanks (Anstine Property – S. Guajome) and Dave Batzler (Lake San Marcos).
And thanks to our returning leaders who “take charge” of their areas, organize their team, pre-scout their area, contact golf course managers to gain access and handle all the paperwork fortheir teams:Steve Brad (Aviara Golf), Stan Walens (La Costa Golf), Pete Ginsburg (Gopher Canyon North), Jerry and Carol Manning (Gopher Canyon South), Joni Ciarletta (Dawson Creek), Jeff Coker & Geoff Rogers (Calavera), Andy Mauro (Agua Hedionda), Andy Brumbaugh (Mira Costa College), Pete Suffredini (Oceana), Ken Weaver (Guajome), Dennis Huckabay (Mission), Ross Christie (Oceanside Muni Golf / Libby Lake), Bruce Rideout (Whelan Lake), John Haddock (Fire Mt – Eternal Hills), Tim Burr (Santa Margarita river mouth), Phil Unitt (Camp Pendleton central), Robert Patton (Camp Pendleton Windmill Lake), Doug & Mickey Nail (Buena Vista Lagoon), Tom Blackman (Oceanside Pier & Harbor), Dave Povey (35 years doing the pelagic portion and counting), Guy McCaskie (Buddy Todd Park), the Wandering Orphan Paul Lehman (Wandering) and extra gratitude to Tom Troy and Jim Pea for enthusiastically leading and inspiring a class of 30 new birders, many on their first Christmas Bird Count.
Species that have been missed on previous counts but recorded this season include: Eurasian Wigeon, Least Bittern, Ross’s Goose, Brant, Wandering Tattler, White Pelican, Black Turnstone, Mew Gull, Common Murre, Rhinoceros Auklet, Cassin’s Auklet, Red Phalarope, Wilson’s Snipe, Common Ground Dove, Cassin’s Vireo, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Fox Sparrow, Bullock’s Oriole, Lawrence’s Goldfinch and Red-breasted Nuthatch.
Seldom recorded surprises include:Orchard Oriole, Vermilion Flycatcher, Burrowing Owl and Tropical Kingbird.These may be the first count records of Orchard Oriole and Vermilion Flycatcher (they certainly have not been recorded in the past 20 years); the Burrowing Owl was the first CBC record since 1998.
Not quite as uncommon (but often not recorded) species include Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, Glaucous Gull, Yellow-breasted Sapsucker, American Redstart, Green-tailed Towhee, Plumbeous Vireo, Bullock’s Oriole, Reddish Egret and Western Tanager,
Black-necked Stilts have never been plentiful in North County in the winter, averaging about 30 per year on this CBC.This year one was recorded.
A startlingly high number of 735 Tree Swallows were recorded, breaking the 20 year high count of 186.Tree Swallows generally average from a handful to 100 each count.
The explosive range expansion of Allen’s / Selasphorus Hummingbirds seems to have reached a plateau.The first (1) “selas” was recorded in 2006; 17 in 2007; 27 in 2008, 90 in 2009 and 56 this count.Incomparison, Anna’s Hummingbirds averaged about 500 per count through the 1990’s, and 750 per count through the 2000’s.
Eurasian Collard Doves first appeared in 2006 and have numbered 5, 32, 18, 70 and 63 over the past 5 counts.In comparison, Rock Pigeons have averaged about 1000 per count for the past 20 years.
American Crows increased from about 500 per count in the early 1990’s to 1000 per count in the late 1990’s increasing to 1500 per count from 2002 – 2006.Their numbers then increased rapidly:1930 in 2007; 2351 in 2008; 5077 in 2009 and 3571 this year.Crows made up nearly 10% of this year’s totalspecies of slightly more than 37,000 birds.In comparison, Common Raven, appears to be slowly declining.Ravens averaged around 200 per count in the early 1990’s – the trend has been slowly downward each year since - to about 60 per count the last few years.
MISSED IN 2010:
Wood Duck, Red-throated Loon, Red Knot, Thayer’s Gull, Loggerhead Shrike, Violet-green Swallow, NRW Swallow, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin.
Again, thank you to the team leaders.Their important role is that of providing continuity from year to year, surveying the same areas and recording data that provide essential context to the ebb and flow of birds in our region.
W. Terry Hunefeld, Encinitas Life is short. Seabird often. In memory of Luke Cole and Mike San Miguel "Come on out with us to see what's out there."
Southern California Seabirding Trips by: Buena Vista Audubon Society http://www.SoCalBirding.com Los Coronados Islands & Nine Mile Bank all the way to the edge of the Continental Shelf
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