FOLSOM, Sacramento County (12/30)—Compiler Chris Conard reported: “With 144 species, we beat the previous record by one. We also had an impressive 70 participants--the third most in the count's history, stretching back to 1978, when there were 79 participants in the first year. The morning had a little drizzle and thick fog in some locales, but generally it was very good CBC weather. There were few rarities, but an excellent showing of all the likely geese (all but Canada Goose can be missed on Folsom) plus Tundra Swan, and very few misses of expected species led to the excellent total. This was only the second time Ross's Goose has been recorded. “Highlights included the continuing Red-necked Grebe on Lake Natoma, Peregrine Falcon (often missed in the past, but is becoming more regular as it is everywhere), American Avocet (a count first), Western Gull (another count first--a near-adult at Nimbus), a Red-naped Sapsucker , Northern Rough-winged Swallow (a count first), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Western Tanager (two years in a row--last year was the count first). Bruce Webb counted over 70,000 gulls on Folsom Lake. On 1/1 he reported a Pacific Loon for count week (the three days before and after count day). “There was a good showing of raptors, with seven Bald Eagles, seven Ferruginous Hawks, and also seven Rough-legged Hawks--the latter after being missed for the previous two years. There were two Golden Eagles after being missed for the last two years. Five Western Screech-Owlswas a nice total. “Yellow-billed Magpie numbers may have stabilized, but data for the next few years will be telling. After dropping from an average of over 150, the past three counts recorded 67, 41, and, this year, 47. Hopefully this is a bottoming out of the sharp decline. “Misses included Canvasback, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Canyon Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Varied Thrush, Common Yellowthroat (recorded only four times!), White-throated Sparrow, and Pine Siskin. Thanks to all for their help. Thanks especially to Dan Brown who created web-viewable maps for the Sacramento Audubon sponsored CBCs. Scroll down to see the maps. SACRAMENTO (12/29)--Compiler Mark Cudney reported: “Because of great weather conditions and well-organized area leaders, we had163 species. This is the highest total in Sacramento Christmas count history. We also set the record for most individual birds seen. Great birds included Orchard Oriole, (Kumlien's) Iceland Gull, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Eurasian Wigeon, Blue-Winged Teal, Swainson's Hawk,Western Gull, Eurasian Collared Dove,Townsend's Warbler, and White-throated Sparrow. PUTAH CREEK, Yolo County 12/16)—Compiler Steve Hampton reported: “Under clear and cold skies, the 2007 Putah Creek Christmas Bird Count set records for both birds and birders.Most significantly, 73 birders combined to set a new record with 207.5 party hours, breaking a 30-year-old record by 30 minutes.Birders traveled 111 miles on foot, 412 miles by car or ATV, and 10 miles by boat. “We found 143 species, the fourth highest ever.Record high counts were set for 18 species and tied for 6 others.New high counts were established for American White Pelican, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Merlin, Mourning Dove, Anna’s Hummingbird, Acorn Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Brown Creeper, Western Bluebird, Wrentit, Phainopepla, Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Cassin’s Finch.Species in italics enjoyed high counts for the second year in a row, suggesting a recent upward trend.Audubon’s Warblers smashed their old record of 1,269 with 4,602 individuals, a number that will compete for the national high.Record highs were tied for Greater Scaup (the first on the count since 1972), Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Orange-crowned Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler (sixth time on the count), and Fox Sparrow.The only record low count was for Ring-necked Pheasant, which was missed for the first time ever. “Both Yellow-billed Magpie and Oak Titmouse, the two species apparently most impacted by West Nile Virus, climbed slightly but remain well below historical averages.” LINCOLN, Placer County (12/27)--Compiler Ed Pandolfino reported: “We got ourfirst good weather for this count since year one(2002) and that, plus a great turnout of excellent birders (over 50 total participants) allowed us to shatter the previous high species total.We recorded 146species compared to our previous high of 137.Seven new species were added to the list: Eurasian Wigeon, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Horned Grebe, Western Screech and Long-eared Owl and Lawrence’s Goldfinch. Other good finds included Western Sandpiper, numerous Short-earedOwls in various locations, Blue-winged Teal, Cattle Egret, many Rough-legged Hawks, White-throated Swift, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Brown Creeper and Lapland Longspsur. STOCKTON (12/16)—Compiler Jim Rowoth reported: “’The Stockton CBC started out cold and foggybut by late morning, the fog had mostly cleared. The remainder of the day was quite pleasant. We tallied153 species for the day, the best we have done in 10 years. “Species of particular interest for the day were: Common Loon, Horned Grebe, American White Pelican, Cattle Egret, American Avocet (Lodi Sewage Ponds), Golden Eagle (Terminous Tract), Rock Wren (Staten Island), Phainopepla, Black Rail (voice only--White Slough), Red-necked Grebe (1st winter plumage, White Slough; photographed), Nashville Warbler (Lodi Lake), Black and White Warbler (Lodi Lake). “Nearly all species of waterfowl were down, probably due to the mild weather in the days leading up to count day. New to the count was Eurasian Collared Dove, found by two teams, and Great-tailed Grackle appears to have become an unfortunate, regular species on this count.Our biggest misses were Varied Thrush, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Swainson's Hawk, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Common Merganser. “Thanks to Sacramento Audubon for putting forth a seasoned team of counters once again who came up with 106 species all on their own. We couldn't do as well without your help.”. GROVELAND, Tuolumne County (12/29)—Compiler Bill Zachman reported that 28 participants on foot, in cars and in two boats observed 99 species and just over 9,800 birds. Highlights were Smew on Priest-Coulterville Road, 16 Bald Eagles on Lake Don Pedro circle section; White-headed Woodpecker in Pine Mountain Lakearea; 2,300 robins, mostly in the Deer Flat Area; 10 Red Crossbillsin old Highway 120 area, and 10 Evening Grosbeaks in Pine Mountain Lake area. WOODFORDS, Alpine County (12/15)—Dan Brown reported that, in clear and cold weather in the Sierra,76 species were recorded (2006 total was 85) and almost all individual species totals were much lower than last year.Exceptions wereeagles (9 Bald Eagles and 12 Goldens) and Rough-legged Hawks (18).Other highlights: a Canyon Wren was found by Phyllis Wilburn, Maureen Geiger and Ken Poener on the housetops just south of the Woodfords store.In downtown Markleeville, Jeff Mangum’s group found a Red-naped Sapsucker.
RIO CONSUMNES (1/3/08) Sorry for the delay in getting the results of the Rio Cosumnes Count out, there were some issues getting some of the reports updated and confirmed. We squeezed the count in on the leading edge (figuratively and actually) of the major front that hit California on the 3rd and 4th of January. Over 60 observers recorded 160 species of birds and nearly 1 million individuals on count day. The species makes two consecutive years of 160 species for Rio Cosumnes. There were 4 additional count-week birds including: Yellow Warbler, Rusty Blackbird, and Barn Swallow, and Bald Eagle. The count yielded a few firsts. Perhaps the best bird found on count day was a Hermit Warbler located by John Trochet in Area 7 (forests of the Cosumnes Preserve). This was not only a first for the Cosumnes Count, but is one of the first mid-winter records in the area. A Common Loon (Count First) was found on the Sacramento River across from Merritt Island (Area 11) and a male Eurasian Green-winged Teal (count first) was located (along with an American x Eurasian intergrade) both at the Cosumnes Preserve in area 8. Other goodies included: Horned Grebe and Barrow's Goldeneye (Area 2 - Laguna Lakes), all of the other regular waterfowl including several Blue-winged Teals at Cosumnes (Area 8), up to 6 Rough-legged Hawks, a high count for Rio Cosumnes, owl "slam" (Barn, Great Horned, Western Screech (second record), Short-eared (several teams), Long-eared (2 at Orr Ranch, Area 6), and Burrowing (several teams)), warblers included high counts of Black-throated Gray, Townsends, and Orange-crowned, a single Grasshopper Sparrow and Yellow-headed Blackbird (both in area 7 Main Cosumnes Preserve). High counts of Tricolored Blackbirds (over 500 birds), Brewers Blackbirds over 150,000 birds, and the huge European Starling flock at the Sacramento County Bufferlands (700,000 birds!). The latter species count of 1 million birds last year gave the Rio Cosumnes Count the dubious distinction of having the highest overall total for Starlings in the US or Canada. The 700K this year may again give us this notoriety! Shorebird numbers were very low but species were well represented. Both Great-tailed Grackles and Eurasian Collared-Dove numbers are increasing, with over 300 and 70 birds found respectively). In general, teams reported very high area totals (120 species at the Bufferlands (Area 1) led the way. My special thanks to all the area leaders and all the participants on this count. Andy Engilis
ANGWIN, NAPA COUNTY, Jan. 1 -- Compiler Floyd Hayes reported that "fortunately the weather cooperated and we had 43 participants. We tallied 131 species, which was only the 15th highest count of 43 thus far.Highlights included two new species for the count, two Cassin's Finches and two long overdue Cackling Geese.Other noteworthy birds included Mountain Chickadee, House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Common Yellowthroat. SONOMA VALLEY,Dec. 28 - Co-compiler Tom Rusert reported that on a cold, foggy, rainy day, a record 135 participants counted a record 176 species in the third annual Sonoma Valley Audubon Society count.Notable birds included four Spotted Owls (SVAS led the nation with five in 2006), two Short-eared Owls, nine Golden Eagles, and three Ospreys. Others: Mountain Quail, Lawrence's Goldfinch, Brewer's and Grasshopper sparrows, and Caspian and Forster's terns. BENICIA, Dec. 17 -- Compiler Robin Leong reported that on the 78th annual Benicia count, birders reported 166 species, including for the first time Eurasian Collared-Dove and Clay-colored Sparrow.Previous high species total was 171. With fair weather, participants registered record highs of Lesser Scaup, 4,809; Green Heron, 4; Peregine Falcon, 8; Anna's Hummiongbird, 321; Nuttall's Woodpecker, 70; American Crow, 579, and Great-tailed Grackle, 6.
AUBURN AREA, Dec. 15--Compiler Deren Ross reported: "Because of the good weather and the possible species that might show up as a result of the recent storms, we were hoping for some uncommon visitors this year. While Stellar Jay, Hairy Woodpecker, Common Raven, Mountain Chickadee, and Red-breasted Nuthatch numbers were up, the only montane surprise was the nine Cassin's Finches in Meadow Vista.As for unusual species, the list included 30 Eurasian Collared-Dove, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 4 Cackling Goose, 4 Cattle Egret, and 1 Snow Goose.In addition, a fully Leucistic ('washed out' plumage) Black Phoebe was seen and photographed. A few high count species of note were: Golden Eagle, Lesser Goldfinch, and the Black Phoebe. Good to see the Sierra Foothills Audubon Society mascot, the Black Phoebe, is doing well. On the downside, we had low counts for only two species- Yellow-billed Magpie and Wrentit. On behalf of the Sierra Foothills Audubon Society, I wish to thank all the participants for time and effort on this year's count. See you next year!"