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Butterbredt Spring Christmas Count: Saturday, 18 Dec., 2010

December 19, 2010

Our count day came in the middle of all those rainy days in December, but since there were no weather breaks forecast, we decided to go ahead. Chris Lord,  myself and Alice joined Jean Garrett and Ellen Vahan at the edge of the circle in Jawbone Canyon about 8:15 a.m. It was a little below 50 degrees and raining very lightly – but that was enough to keep most birds in hiding. We moved up a mile or so and got lucky – most of us spotted a Le Conte’s Thrasher. Little did we know that was to be the high point of the day, and at 9 a.m.!

As we made our way to Butterbredt Spring we began to slip a little in the very fine mud on the road. It was only an inch deep, but it was a perfect lubricant. By the time we reached the Butterbredt turnoff we were having difficulty going forward on the slightest of grades. So, thinking about the steeper roads to come, and the lack of cell phone coverage and other road traffic, we decided we had to turn back. Rats.

On the other side of the 15-mile diameter count circle people were having more luck. Keith Axelson and Mary Prismon covered the back roads near Sageland Ranch without difficulty. Bob Barnes had to skip part of his area, but only a part. Ali Sheehey covered several habitats without spinning out. Everybody reported fewer birds than usual, so we ended up about 10-12 species short of a typical count, and below half the number of birds.

Thanks to all the participants for coming out this year. If you believe in Birding Karma, next year we’ll get record numbers and the weather will be perfect. See you then!   [Chuck Bragg]

Butterbredt Christmas Count 12/18/10
Mountain Quail Oreortyx pictus 1
California Quail Callipepla californica 45
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis 4
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura 4
Western Screech-Owl Megascops kennicottii 1
Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus 2
Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris 1
Nuttall’s Woodpecker Picoides nuttallii 1
Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus 1
Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker Colaptes auratus 4
Say’s Phoebe Sayornis saya 1
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus 2
Steller’s Jay Cyanocitta stelleri 31
Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica 16
Pinyon Jay Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus 3
Common Raven Corvus corax 13
Oak Titmouse Baeolophus inornatus 3
Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus 1
Bewick’s Wren Thryomanes bewickii 2
Wren sp. 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula 1
Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana 18
Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus 1
California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum 2
Le Conte’s Thrasher Toxostoma lecontei 1
Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler Dendroica coronata 2
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus 4
California Towhee Pipilo crissalis 13
Black-throated Sparrow Amphispiza bilineata 2
Sage Sparrow Amphispiza belli 19
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia 7
Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii 2
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys 436
Golden-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla 12
Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco Junco hyemalis 233
Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco Junco hyemalis 1
House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus 2
Pine Siskin Spinus pinus 62
Totals 955
Species Total 36
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