Friday 13 December 2013

Nearly as sick as a ...

Broomhead Reservoir
Spend a whole day trying to get to grips with Parrot Crossbill. After a couple of hours with the Two-barred Crossbills, I spent the rest of the full daylight hours chasing flocks of Common Crossbill (much to the amazement of some gathered to to see Two-bars). There were several (or the same!) flocks of up to 20 over a large area from the car park to the edge of Wigtwizzle Plantation. After drawing a blank, and feeling as sick as one, I decided to round the day off with a gull roost count. In a final bid to find one I cut back towards the feeding station, but was not expecting anything as contractors were working on the new footpath. As I rounded the path towards the feeding station I noticed 3  crossbills in the tops of a pine. I got my binoculars on them but two immediately flew off. Luckily the third one didn't and I had a good 4 minutes grilling it through the 'scope. A definite male Parrot Crossbill - the other two? probably Parrots. Managed to get a quick (very poor) sketch off then decided to put my camera on the tripod ...and yes you've guessed it off it went in the same direction as the other 2.
Highlights (as well as the above):-
31 Mallards, 1 Cormorant, 1 Moorhen, 10+ Goldcrests, 6 Nuthatches, 40+ Siskins, 14 Lesser Redpolls, 8 (5 males & 3 females) Two-barred Crossbills, 1 (3) male Parrot Crossbill(s) and 60+ Common Crossbills.
Gull roost - 2500+ Black-headed Gulls, 67 Common Gulls, 389 Herring Gulls and 134 Great Black-backed Gulls.

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