Observers: Mono Basin All-Stars
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
Time: 01:00:48 PM
The 26th Mono Basin CBC took place yesterday, a mad vortex of snow, skis, feathers, and amazing birders. Sources nod solemnly in agreement: we had more counters (22) than ever before. Preliminary tallies put us at 74 species on count day (3 of them new to the Mono Basin CBC) and 6 CW species (one of them new to the MBCBC) and including today, we still have three days of CW remaining. The previous MBCBC high was 76 species, 70 has only been exceeded in 3 of the count years. All this was done in 2-5 feet of snow! Highlights include: a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK by the Zatorski/Reis team on Lee Vining Creek, a first for the Mono Basin CBC, a dozen LESSER GOLDFINCHES in Lee Vining for the Stallcup/Cameron team, another new species for the MBCBC. Justin Hite skiied up Lundy Canyon and discovered a GREAT-BLUE HERON sitting in a fir tree, at over 8000 feet in elevation. JH also detected the count's first BLUE GROUSE since 1985, and the circle's only PYGMY NUTHATCHES. Near Williams Butte, Kelly and Bartsche Miller earned 66 CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS, nearly a quarter of the count's record tally for CLNU, which doubled the next highest year's sum. The Millers also found the count's first-recorded PINK-SIDED JUNCOS (2), at their feeder near Mill Creek. Sacha Heath solo skiied (one i or 2?) up Tioga Road, observing the count's first WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN at 10200 feet. On her own, Sacha surpassed the count average for 4 species, skiing 12 miles to do it. Joel Ellis had a great day northeast of Black Point, scoring the count's only CANADA GEESE, PRAIRIE FALCON, HORNED LARKS, SAVANNAH SPARROW (first since 1988), and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. On lower Mill Creek, the Gates/Cutting/Federico team found a COOPER'S HAWK, a RING-BILLED GULL (first RBGU counted since 1981), a SHORT-EARED OWL, and for count-week, River relocated the lingering BARN OWL, another new species for the count. At the Rush Creek delta, the Culp/McCreedy team turned up the count's only GADWALL, COMMON GOLDENEYE, GOLDEN EAGLE, PEREGRINE FALCON (first counted since 1984)and LEAST SANDPIPER. The dynamic Dunn/Nelson duo counted a NORTHERN PYGMY OWL (meaning 4 owl species on the count), a RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER and the count's only MARSH WREN (where did they all go?) on Mono Lake's NW shore. Kristie also found a SAGE THRASHER on New Year's Day, the first seen during CW since 1989. The House/Adams team scored a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at Conway Ranch, while the DULEN/BOONE team found a COOPER'S HAWK at Dechambeau Ranch. River and Chris again want to thank everyone, it was a great count!