The counts are done and the results are coming in. Check out the summaries of the Carson City, Pyramid Lake and Minden CBCs below.
Carson City CBC, December 20, 2015
The Carson City CBC had 28 participants surveying birds under mostly cloudy to partly cloudy skies, with the day ending with good food and conversation during the potluck "tally rally".
Using the great, more detailed maps that Jasmine Kleiber of Lahontan Audubon Society so graciously prepared for each area of the circle, the total of bird species observed was 94 (93 excluding 2 Mute Swans), with a total number of birds of 15,748, which I believe is a record in the 4 years that I have been the compiler for the circle. Given that not many birds had been observed in the Carson City area in the week or two previous to the count by several local birders (for whatever reason) and considering that most of the ponds/lakes in the area were frozen, it still ended up being a great count day.
Some highlights of birds observed during the count follow:
Long-Eared Owl-only the third count that one has been reported
Cackling Goose-only the fourth count that one has been reported
Varied Thrush-only the third count that one has been reported
Say's Phoebe-only the second count that one has been reported
The number of the following bird species either tied or were new highs for the count day:
Rock Pigeon (feral)-2,917
Say's Phoebe-1 (tied)
Red-Breasted Sapsucker-2 (tied)
Peregrine Falcon-1 (tied)
Canyon Wren-2 (tied)
American Dipper-1 (tied)
Varied Thrush-1 (tied)
Many, many, many Thanks to everyone that once again made this Carson City CBC another great success! I'm already looking forward to next year! Rob Lowry, Count Leader
Pyramid Lake CBC, January 1, 2016
In sub-freezing temperatures ranging from a low of 13 to a high of 23, 14 participants tallied 2548 individuals of 74 species of birds. There were very few water birds on the lake, especially at the south western corner, which was frozen solid. However we did have a few highlights including a Pacific Loon found by Meg Andrews, Dave McNinch, and Lauren Gonce at the Rawhide Lookout. This is only the 5th time this species has been recorded on the count.
Another highlight was a Burrowing Owl found by me, Becca, and Mary Luzier just south of Sutcliffe in the same spot where the Common Redpoll and Lapland Longspur were a few years ago. This is only the 3rd time this species has been recorded on the count, the last being in 2000.
Count week birds included Mew Gull (December 30) at Popcorn Rock and an Anna's Hummingbird (December 31) at the Quail Run Ranch (private property). If seen on count day the hummingbird would have been a first for the count. A big miss was Ruddy Duck. This is the first time in 25 years that this species was missed on the count.
Thanks to all who participated and to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe for waiving day use fees for the participants. Dennis Serdehely, Count Leader
Minden CBC, January 2, 2016
We put together 16 field surveyors and 11 feeder watchers for a cold Christmas Count. The day started at 12F and ended at 28F with snow cover over 95%. The adage that bad weather makes good birding held true, and with as killed group of folks we managed to find 24,917 birds of 86 species with an additional 9 species seen in the Count Week (but not on Count Day).
The frozen waters held the duck numbers down, but we did post 1600+ Canadas, 49 Snows, 3 Cacklers. The best find was 28Tundra Swans.
Among wading birds were 7 Great Blue Heron, 3 Black-crowned Night-Heron, some Greater Yellowlegs, Wilson's Snipe, and Killdeer. We found 791 Eurasian-Collared Dove and 192 Mourning Dove, but they were no match for the 2939 Feral Rock Pigeons hanging around the back yard corrals(the feedlots were omitted).Two Red-breasted Sapsuckers , 54 Northern Flickers and some Downy’s and Hairy’s rounded out the woodpeckers,
For raptors, we found 33 American Kestrel, 4 Merlin, 9 Prairie Falcon, 211 Red-tailed, 18 Cooper’s and 16 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 19 Northern. Harriers, and 17 Bald Eagles (no Golden Eagles on Count Day, but they were seen in the Count Week). We also tallied 6 Barn owl and 6 Great horned Owl.
Other miscellaneous birds found were 1 American Dipper, 1 Townsend’s Solitaire, 1 Black. Phoebe, 5 Loggerhead Shrike, 5 Northern Mockingbirds, and 376 Dark-eyed Juncos. The 2639 European Starlings came in second to the 10,035 Horned Larks that were mixed with 500 American Pipits found on the Bently Ranch.
A first for the Circle was the 5 Red Crossbills and 2 Sandhill Cranes. It was a great time with great birders and we closed it out with a blow out Tally Dinner. See you next year. Thanks to all who participated. Jim Woods, Count Leader