I want to thank everyone who came out to cover the immense area contained within the Atascosa Highlands CBC circle. True, we technically have the same number of square miles as every other CBC in the world, but most of ours doesn't have good road access! So thanks for making the effort, no matter what section you surveyed.
Below is a copy/paste of the final numbers from Excel. If this doesn't render properly in your browser, let me know and I can send it to you individually. We tallied 131 species, which is on par for this count circle. This year we had 68 observers, a pretty reasonable turnout for such a remote area.
The big news is that we added two species to the all-time list for the Atascosa Highlands CBC: Nutting's Flycatcher (in the Warsaw/Holden Canyon area) and Rufous-capped Warbler (Rock Corral Canyon)! Congrats to the teams that picked up those unique species. The Nutting's Flycatcher represents the 4th occurrence for the species in Arizona and is only the 6th record for the United States. Not new for the count circle but very much noteworthy was a Least Grebe found on Bear Grass Tank.
We also set 11 records for all-time high counts within the CBC circle. These species were: Common Merganser (35 individuals), Sharp-shinned Hawk (15), Sora (7), Great Horned Owl (21), Dusky Flycatcher (21), Eastern Phoebe (4), House Wren (53), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (89), Black-capped Gnatcher (13?!), Common Yellowthroat (9), and Lincoln's Sparrow (293). A special note on two of these: Rock Corral Canyon broke the record for Black-capped Gnatcatchers all on their own with 7 unique individual (previous high count for the entire circle was 3); and Arivaca Lake and Chimney Canyon broke the Lincoln's Sparrow high count all on their own (with 99 - previous high for the entire circle was 98!)
With some help from the primary compilers (Jake Mohlmann and Rich Hoyer), I hope to offer an assessment of how we did compared with the rest of the United States fairly soon. Regardless, it's pretty neat to have a number of vagrant species from Mexico - including at least one that inspired some birders to buy plane tickets to Arizona.
Other species highlighted in yellow were noteworthy in my mind because they either came close to breaking the all-time high counts, or they're just rare within the circle or the region in general. I'll let everyone peruse the list below, rather than summarizing that in another long paragraph.
Thanks again, and we hope to see everyone next year! We'll try to get a date for the 2017-2018 season posted ASAP.
2016-2017 season compiler
|Atascosa Highland Christmas Bird Count|
|January 2, 2017|
|2||Lilac = new species to all-time list|
|18||Yellow = notable sightings|
|11||Green = new high count|
|Great Blue Heron||6|
|Great Horned Owl||21|
|Yellow-rumped Warbler (unknown subspecies)||39|
|Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)||123|
|Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)||2|
|Black-throated Gray Warbler||7|
|White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's)||652|
|White-crowned Sparrow (Mountain)||2|
|Dark-eyed Junco (TOTAL)||443|
|Dark-eyed Junco (unknown type)||86|
|Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed)||111|
|Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)||62|
|Dark-eyed Junco (Pink-sided)||184|