We’re 5 days away from the Carpinteria Christmas Bird Count!
A lot of great scouting activity has been happening in our 15-mile-diameter count circle. The Carpinteria CBC 2021 — Scouting trip report in eBird currently shows 133 species. The output of my tool to summarize all sightings within our circle, not just from those who’ve joined the trip report or shared their checklist with the CarpCBC eBird user, shows 144 species reported in the past 14 days.
One of the things I like about CBC scouting is that I end up birding in places I don’t usually visit, like the area around the Casitas Fire Station northwest of Lake Casitas that I visited last week. I didn’t find the Lark Sparrows I was hoping for, but Lori Gaskin, who will be covering that location for our count, went there yesterday and did find Lark Sparrows, yay! (eBird list).
North of there, west of Highway 33, is the northeast quadrant of our count circle. It’s pretty much Terra Incognita for the Carpinteria count: as far as I know we’ve never covered it on count day. I haven’t been able to find anyone who can cover it this year, but I went there last Saturday just to see what we were missing, and wow; we’re missing a lot!
I started at the Matilija Falls trailhead at the west end of the public road, and after a half hour I’d reached the edge of our count circle in Murietta Canyon. I spent the next several hours hiking up the canyon and back down along the fire road on its northern slope, and saw so many birds. I tripped the high-count filter in eBird by reporting 41 Spotted Towhees. I also had 34 California Scrub-Jays, 20 Hermit Thrushes, and 101 (!) Yellow-rumped Warblers. (eBird list)
This Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. we’ll have a Zoom tune-up meeting for count participants (and anyone else who’s interested). We’ll talk about procedures for count day, look at the latest scouting results, and answer questions. See this post for the Zoom link: Carpinteria Birdwatchers meeting and outing for December: Christmas Count! For more information about the count see the instructions page here:
There’s rain in the forecast for this week, which may shake things up a bit. At least for now, though, the forecast is clear for count day itself. I have my fingers crossed for a great count on Saturday!
— John Callender