Bishop Christmas Bird Count 2004 – Preliminary Results

Observers: Chris Howard
Remote Name:
Date: 12/20/2004
Time: 12:28 PM -0500

The 23rd annual Bishop CBC was held on December 18, 2004. Fifty-two people divided into 14 teams scoured every bush, tree, feeder, and phone pole every bird in the 15 mile count circle. The weather was beautiful - a low of 23F quickly warmed to a high of 66F, no wind and not a cloud to be found. The preliminary total number of species seen on count day was 107, just shy of the record of 108 set in 2002. Highlight sightings were two lingering DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and a possible BARROW'S GOLDENEYE at Pleasant Valley Reservoir. The goldeneye was a difficult identification; at this time I’m awaiting further details and observation. A BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON was found, always rare in winter. One CINNAMON TEAL, normally absent in December was found at the Bishop Sewer Ponds unable to fly. One adult SANDHILL CRANE at the Sunland alfalfa fields was only the second seen on the Bishop CBC. A BARN OWL, hard to find in winter. One WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER at Bishop Elementary School and two others the previous day in the count circle were exceptional finds at lower elevations. An adult male YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER at the Bishop Country Club was carefully scrutinized to separate it from the more expected Red-naped Sapsucker. Two woodpeckers with characteristics of Nuttall’s and Ladder-backed were thought to be NUTTALL x LADDER-BACKED HYBRIDS. Unprecedented in December was a very late HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER. For the second time on a Bishop CBC, the rarer WESTERN BLUEBIRD (15) outnumbered Mountain Bluebird (0). Rare in fall and winter, one SWAMP SPARROW near Dixon Lane. Two HARRIS'S SPARROWS, one adult and one immature were at a backyard feeder. A PINK-SIDED race of the DARK-EYED JUNCO was carefully separated from other races. Notable misses were WOOD DUCK, HORNED LARK, PINYON JAY, MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD, TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, HERMIT THRUSH, and CEDAR WAXWING. ‘Count-week’ had not yet finished, but so far WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD, COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD, and CACKLING GOOSE were added to the ‘count week’ list. Many thanks to all the participants. Mark your calendars for the 2005 Bishop CBC on Saturday, December 17, 2005.

Immature Harris's Sparrow (C) Larry Sansone
Male Western Bluebird (C) Todd Vogel
Sandhill Crane (C) Valerie Ortmayer
Immature Ferruginous Hawk (C) Todd Vogel