By Rob Denholtz
Carpinteria’s fifth annual Christmas Bird Count was supported by 81 birders who combed a circle that ran from the Santa Ynez Mountains foothills to the sea and from Fernald Point to Seacliff. Our final count was 144 species, including “our” Gray Hawk (likely a returning bird, this year as an adult).
Several birds made first-time appearances on the CBC: Canada Goose, Redhead, Rufous Hummingbird, Yellow-shafted Flicker, Rough-winged Swallow, Pacific Wren, Prairie Warbler, Harris’s Sparrow, Bullock’s Oriole, and Nutmeg Manikin (countable this year for the first time).
First-time misses included Pintail, Lesser Scaup, and Western Sandpiper.
Two important factors contributed to this being our second lowest count. A few light showers prompted the forest service to close the road to Jameson Lake, preventing us from entering an area that last year had contributed a number of unique species to our count. And, we were unable to secure a boat for our pelagic trip until three days before the count and then were unable to find birders to handle that assignment on short notice.
With the number of participants increasing yearly, and with better planning (and better luck with the weather) we hope to see our list growing with each count.
View our 5 year species summary here: CBC Carp 2013 5 year chart