Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Crossbills Don't Like Helicopters!

A bit of a belated update but on the last day of my 'Autumn Migration 2 Weeks Off Work Holiday' (23rd Oct) Gary and myself headed out a little later than earlier in the week and arrived at Lynford Arboretum about 10.30am. As soon as we arrived the flock of Crossbill flew off over our heads, with according to the other birders present at least 1 male Two-barred Crossbill. We contented ourselves looking at fungi, plants and a couple of moths. The birds returned and we got good scope views of the male Two-barred Crossbill, even if it flitted about too much to photograph. The flock was then spooked by military Helicopters flying low over the tree tops, and despite waiting around they did not return quickly so we headed off towards the Titchwell.

Before we arrived news of a Swift sp. at Cley had us hoping to catch up with something exciting on a quiet day of very quiet week on the migrant front. At Cley we soon located the bird over North Hide, but ID was inconclusive, with the bird looking like a Common Swift and then a Pallid Swift as it climbed and fell against the cloudy sky. We intercepted the bird at Salthouse where we got better if brief views, the bird was later confirmed as a Pallid Swift.

While at Salthouse we got new of two reported Parrot Crossbill in Bacton Woods. We spent the next 3 hours hunting around this area of Gary's Patch. We eventually found the Crossbills or rather they found us, as they flew over we could heard the call of a Parrot Crossbill in a small group of 7 Crossbill, but they then perched out of view. The birds feed silently in a tree yards from us only spooked by a helicopter flying over, we failed to relocate them after that and as it was getting late decided to head home. Frustratingly we knew we had seen a Parrot Crossbill but were unsure which one of the 7 it was! Gary later caught up with the birds a couple of days later, confirming a Parrot Crossbill was definitely in the flock.

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