I participated in my second CBC of the season, this time along the Kishwaukee River Corridor.Â This area is loaded with forest preserves so the birding is usually pretty good.
We started at one end of our circle with nice quanitities of the usual suspects – White-breasted Nuthatches, Downies, Chickadees, a Hairy Woodpecker or two, Canada Geese, and American Goldfinches.Â To our surprise and enjoyment, a group of seven Eastern Bluebirds flew across.Â This are somewhat rare on our count so a good find.
We hiked for about 2 miles and came back to an area buzzing with activity.Â It was the group of Bluebirds (we assume the same ones).Â They were feeding and flittering about a Wood Duck box, probably where they roost at night.
This was the best picture I could get (full zoom on my Panasonic Lumix).Â I like it because the brightest one was eating a berry.
In the same area by the duck house, a Carolina Wren scolded loudly and flashed his bright plumage.Â The cloudy weather seemed to make the birds brighter and crisper.Â This was another rarer species for our count.Â (We ended with two.)
We stopped at another forest preserve and found some Tufted Titmice and continued on after finding more of the same (nutties, chickadees, goldfinches, woodpeckers).
We visited a place called Atwood Park and immediately were rewarded with a Hermit Thrush.Â I climbed up a muddy bank to try and get a photo but was unsuccessful.Â This was a good find for our area.Â Our next big find was a large (and I mean large) group of Cedar Waxwings.Â We tallied 101 but there were probably more.
One of the 101 Cedarbirds
Cedar Waxwings bathing in a mud puddle
A way cool suspension bridge over the roaring Kishwaukee River
Our count finished across the river with a Bald Eagle flyover.Â We ended with 29 species, lower than our Rockford count, but still OK for a windy, cloudy day in December.