Thursday, December 7, 2017

Atascosa Highlands CBC countdown dinner 12/19/17

CBC Participants -

The countdown dinner is often the most exciting part of the day!  Teams will each have a chance to tell of exciting events that happened as well as any notable bird sightings. Having a warm place with good food is crucial to this end of the day activity which is why I am happy to announce that Wisdom's Cafe has again graciously offered to host our count-off dinner this season! If you've never been here before I can highly recommend!  It's delicious authentic Mexican cuisine at its finest!

Check out their website for the menu.

They are located 3 miles south of Tubac and 1500 feet north of the Tumacacori Mission, on the east side of the road. Take the Tumacacori/Carmen exit and head north on the east side frontage road. This exit is just 9 minutes south of the Amado Exit for those covering the west side of the circle and escaping via Arivaca Road rather than the Ruby Road exit on I-19. Just look for the giant white Rooster!

The restaurant opens at 5:00p.m. so you can arrive anytime after that.  I will try my best to arrive by 6:00p.m. shortly after which I will begin the count-off.


Jake Mohlmann
Atascosa Highlands CBC

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hello Atascosa Highlanders,

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.

Good birding,
John Yerger
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
Species                                                           Area Totals
Gadwall 39
American Wigeon 48
Mallard (Northern) 27
Mallard (Mexican) 6
Northern Shoveler 22
Northern Pintail 1
Green-winged Teal 22
Redhead 13
Ring-necked Duck 81
Bufflehead 12
Common Merganser 35
Ruddy Duck 44
Gambel's Quail 52
Montezuma Quail 129
Least Grebe 1
Pied-billed Grebe 23
Eared Grebe 1
Great Blue Heron 6
Great Egret 2
Green Heron 4
Black Vulture 3
Northern Harrier 13
Sharp-shinned Hawk 15
Cooper's Hawk 7
Accipiter sp. 2
Red-tailed Hawk 38
Golden Eagle 8
American Kestrel 27
Merlin 1
Peregrine Falcon 3
Prairie Falcon 2
Sora 7
American Coot 271
Killdeer 17
Wilson's Snipe 9
Eurasian Collared-Dove 1
White-winged Dove 12
Mourning Dove 372
Inca Dove 7
Common Ground-Dove 7
Greater Roadrunner 6
Western Screech-Owl 15
Whiskered Screech-Owl 4
Great Horned Owl 21
Common Poorwill 2
White-throated Swift 19
Elegant Trogon 6
Belted Kingfisher 2
Acorn Woodpecker 50
Gila Woodpecker 109
Red-naped Sapsucker 38
sapsucker sp. 2
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 74
Arizona Woodpecker 11
Northern Flicker 87
flicker sp. 1
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 2
Hammond's Flycatcher 4
Gray Flycatcher 75
Dusky Flycatcher 21
Empidonax sp. 5
Black Phoebe 73
Eastern Phoebe 4
Say's Phoebe 40
Vermilion Flycatcher 7
Ash-throated Flycatcher 7
Nutting's Flycatcher 1
Loggerhead Shrike 38
Hutton's Vireo 32
Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay 5
Mexican Jay 301
Chihuahuan Raven 2
Common Raven 124
raven sp. 2
Bridled Titmouse 123
Verdin 117
Bushtit 58
White-breasted Nuthatch 11
Cactus Wren 14
Rock Wren 140
Canyon Wren 113
Bewick's Wren 247
House Wren 53
Marsh Wren 19
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 389
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 8
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher 89
Black-capped Gnatcatcher 13
gnatcatcher sp. 2
Eastern Bluebird 4
Western Bluebird 237
Mountain Bluebird 90
bluebird sp. 3
Townsend's Solitaire 8
Hermit Thrush 84
American Robin 9
Northern Mockingbird 57
Sage Thrasher 1
Curve-billed Thrasher 5
Crissal Thrasher 27
Phainopepla 18
Orange-crowned Warbler 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (unknown subspecies) 39
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 123
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 2
Black-throated Gray Warbler 7
Townsend's Warbler 8
Common Yellowthroat 9
Painted Redstart 10
Rufous-capped Warbler 2
Green-tailed Towhee 68
Spotted Towhee 23
Canyon Towhee 187
Abert's Towhee 4
Rufous-winged Sparrow 84
Cassin's Sparrow 5
Rufous-crowned Sparrow 162
Five-striped Sparrow 2
Chipping Sparrow 3071
Brewer's Sparrow 61
Black-chinned Sparrow 27
Vesper Sparrow 112
Lark Sparrow 143
Black-throated Sparrow 86
Savannah Sparrow 88
Grasshopper Sparrow 9
Song Sparrow 29
Lincoln's Sparrow 293
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-crowned Sparrow 2
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
Hepatic Tanager 18
Northern Cardinal 91
Pyrrhuloxia 50
Lazuli Bunting 1
Red-winged Blackbird 32
Eastern Meadowlark 20
Western Meadowlark 67
meadowlark sp. 47
House Finch 277
Lesser Goldfinch 199
House Sparrow 1
Total species 131
Total individuals 11080