We had beautiful weather for the Carpinteria CBC. Last Saturday, December 18, 2021, roughly 32 parties and 53 participants fanned out across the Carpinteria count circle and found a preliminary total of 152 species. Among the highlights:
- Hugh Ranson, Mark Bright, and Penny Owens’ pelagic trip on the Channelkeeper, in which they saw two species previously unreported on our count: Red-necked Grebe and Short-tailed Shearwater.
- Jenny Slaughter, Craig Murray, Peter and Lucas Gaede, and Alan Prichard, who braved sketchy roads to spend the day birding around Jameson Lake. Highlights from their list were 4 Common Goldeneye, 6 White-throated Swift, and our count’s only Black-crowned Night-Heron.
- I took advantage of my status as unassigned count compiler to attach myself to Rob Farber’s group so I could bird a location I’d never visited before: Rincon Island off the coast of Mussel Shoals, where the California State Lands Commission caretaker graciously showed us around the facility and we had close-up views of hundreds of Brown Pelicans, 2 Black Oystercatchers, and a blasé Peregrine Falcon.
The full results from the day will eventually be viewable at the following eBird trip report:
I say eventually because some paper-based checklists have not yet been added; I plan to do that over the next week. But all unique species from those lists have been added via placeholder lists, and all the checklists that started off as eBird lists can be seen there now.
The species total is more or less accurate, pending some final calls based on rarity documentation. Also, we’ll pick up one additional species based on the weird-looking Baltimore or Baltimore x Bullock’s Oriole hybrid that was near the wastewater treatment plant along Carpinteria Creek late in the day; as Rebecca Coulter helpfully reminded me during our count-night compilation Zoom meeting, the fact that we had no other orioles means we get to count that one in our total even if it can’t be identified to species.
Thank you to everyone who participated. I look forward to another great count next year, when the Carpinteria count will take place on Saturday, December 17, 2022.
— John Callender, Carpinteria CBC compiler