That about sums up the Linwood CBC this year (held Sunday, December 30). We did see lots of hawks as usual but the real story had to be the massive flocks of Redpolls we encountered during the day. Our area ended up tallying 2097 Common Redpolls plus 5 Hoaries and a single "Greater" (rostrata) subspecies. The latter two taxa were likely seriously under-counted since we only had good looks at about a quarter of the redpolls we saw. Here's our full list for the day.
The best way to get this insane number across is with a photo, so here's one. I snapped this of a portion of one of the flocks when they landed in a shrub for a few minutes. We had the scope on them and this is how we got our Hoaries and the Greater. There is also a Lapland Longspur in the shrub with them. Keep in mind that this is only part of the flock and by my count there are over 500 birds in the photo!!!
Flickr to view the big version. I put up three different photos on Flickr - they are all pretty much the same but there are a few birds that change positions between photos.
And on that note, Happy New Year everyone! My 2013 year list is up to 1 species....Common Redpoll at my feeders!