Over the past few weeks we participated in two area Christmas Bird Counts, one being the long-running Rockford CBC and the other a newer count along a favorite river corridor, the Kishwaukee. Both were enjoyable but not as birdy as we had hoped.
The Rockford count would have been perfect for digiscoping except snow depth was over a foot deep and we didn’t feel like dragging the scope over several miles of trudging. Thus, we missed a gorgeous juv. Bald Eagle and two exciting sightings of Eastern Coyotes.
The Kishwaukee count happened to be held on what turned out to be the foggiest day we’ve ever seen (and birded in). Visibility was zero and outbursts of rain (and no hiking trails in our area) forced us to bird from the car for most of the time. We were able to find a good number of birds but it was a strain on the eyes to stare through the fog.
Our best finds were a cluster of five White-crowned Sparrows, a gang of nine Northern Cardinals, and a ghostly sighting of a raptor that went unidentified as it disappeared into the fog.
It is likely that count numbers this season will be a bit “interesting” to say the least.