Monday, 16 February 2015

Better Crossbills

No soaring eagles today as the area was decked in low cloud which combined with a fresh wind made it quite unpleasant outside (temperature was -7C) and a 5mm thick layer of ice covered everything. With the appropriate clothes on though I took the kids out tobogganing and snow hole excavating and had my ears cocked for any sound of birds. There was not much to hear but eventually I did hear crossbills and located a small group not far away in some small trees. I collected the camera and was able to get close. A pair of Common Crossbills had the company of a (the?) male Two-barred Crossbill and whilst feasting my eyes at less than 10 metres range I could hear that there had to be another 2BC and sure enough a female joined the male. The male yesterday seemed to be alone so these may well have been new birds. Either way I enjoyed the couple of minutes they gave me before they moved on.

Later in the day whilst trying to relocate them (unsuccessfully) a Pygmy Owl (spurveugle) shot over my head with a couple of very agitated Common Crossbills flying away from it – a shot of a Pygmy Owl with a red male Crossbill in its claws would surely classify as a money shot?
pair of 2BC - great birds

the female - probably a 2cy due to quite thin white tips to the tertials

the male is an adult with thick white tips to the tertials

male Common Crossbill (grankorsnebb)

female Common Crossbill


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