The weather had held out so we decided to try and find the 5 reported Parrot Crossbill along with a Two-barred Crossbill at Hamsted Forest in Kent on the way home. Arriving at the forest we first walked the wrong track before a kind dog walker pointed us in the right direction. On parking at the correct end of the forest, the rain started to fall. We soon found the assembled birders, who very soon left us, as the rain became harder and harder. Hiding under and umbrella but still getting wet, we waited 40 minutes before the rain finally stopped. Almost as soon as the rain stopped we heard the call of a Parrot Crossbill. A few Common Crossbill flitted along the clearing back edge, and among them a male Parrot Crossbill perched up. Although slightly distant the much more chunky beak was clearly visible, compared to the Common Crossbill in the same tree. After enduring the rain we decided to wait a little longer, hoping for better views and possibly the Two-barred to reappear. However by 5.15pm the clouds had started to form again so we headed back to the car, heading home via the Dartford crossing we completed a full lap of the M25 and arrived hope about 9pm.
Breezy seawatch at Winterton
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