Marking the 113th Christmas Bird Count I coordinated my newish circle (5th year) covering Rock Cut State Park and some nice forest preserves in Boone County (northern Illinois).
This year was the lowest in terms of counters so we did not find too many birds. One group had a misunderstanding of when the count was and we lost data for a large section of the circle.
That said, we still were spread thin so our numbers were really low. We found 46 species of birds with 3 more count week species. We counted 5,474 individual birds, the majority of them Canada Geese.
Other highlights include: 2 Barred Owls (one which my nephew spotted and we saw really well), 1 Northern Shrike, a Great Blue Heron, Northern Harrier, 2 Red Crossbills, 1 Lapland Longspur, and 1 Hermit Thrush.
There were some big misses with no American Robins or Yellow-rumped Warblers. They were found in good numbers on last year’s count.
I was surprised by the variety of birds considering the low number of counters. Just shows what a great birding area northern Illinois is and how great the birders are that show up.
I am considering dissolving the count since there is such a lack of interest (this year and past years).