Thursday, 17 October 2013

Three Crossbill Species in a Day

The weather looked good for a visit to Hemsted Forest and an attempt to see the Two-barred, Parrot and Common crossbills. As is often the case, as I was walking to the site, wonderful views of the two-barred were being had but gone when I arrived on the scene! Typical, however, the drill was to sit tight and await their return and after an hour they duly returned, that is a dozen commons and one two-barred, all descending onto the lone oak and pine. Distant for the camera, even with converters  but you have to have a go, so a few record shots.

Two-Barred and Common Crossbill
Oddly, crossbills were the only birds seen most of the time as throughout the morning and early afternoon returning every hour or so. Many of them flew across to pines on the left where they descended down to a large puddle to drink but this was a dark area and no good for photos except perhaps early morning when the light may have been ok.

Around midday a flock of crossbills landed back down the track towards the 'car park' and amongst them at least one Parrot Crossbill but too far for a photo.  Meanwhile, the two-barred returned within another flock giving a few more photo opportunities.

I nipped back to the car for some food etc., during which time the parrot crossbill made a closer visit near the oak tree I was told. Walking back to the site a brimstone butterfly was a surprise to see, whilst during the morning a couple of red admirals were flying about plus a party of l.t.tits. The after lunch session didn't come up with anything better, most views were distant in other corners of the forest but I was very happy with two Kent ticks in one day!

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