The Rockford CBC was held on December 15, 2012 in a steady, persistent rain that lasted all day. The rain was compounded by winds that gusted up to 24 mph, making observation difficult and conditions very unpleasant for the counters. Nevertheless, 40 counters in 12-17 teams braved the elements to help count.
Final totals, pending the receipt of 1-2 more feeder forms, are 72 species, 22,221 individuals. Highlights were new count highs for Sandhill Cranes (38 at Nygren) and 12 Tundra Swans, seen by a couple of groups in the west and southwest parts of the circle. 3 Carolina Wrens tied the count high. 4 Red Crossbills were also seen in a small stand of tamaracks on Ingersoll Golf Course. 57 Rusty Blackbirds were a nice total, and there was a single Ruby-crowned Kinglet found in the vegetation inside the dog area at Searls Park. Lows were American Crows (302), Horned Larks (50), and several species of woodpeckers. I suspect that the weather conditions kept many cavity-dwellers inside their holes. The lack of snow cover kept Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs and Horned Larks away from the roadside. A mixed flock of ~200 birds seen inside the circle during count week were not able to be relocated on count day.
Misses included Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Rough-legged Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-rumped Warbler and White-crowned Sparrow.
Thank you to all who participated. I will be sending an email report out to the participants for whom I have an email address in the next week or so. If you are looking at this report, I almost certainly have your email address already. Next year’s count will be held on Saturday, December 14. Please save the date.