Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Crossbills at Mere Sands Woods

I visited Mere Sands Wood today to, hopefully, cross off an item from my expanding 'Fings to do before I'm Fifty' list - see a crossbill.

The best way to find one, I think, is to take a blanket and lie down - it saves an aching neck but unfortunately causes too much attention from passing humans!

Thanks to friend, I knew exactly where to look so decided to risk the aching neck. I thought I saw some movement high in the pine canopy but couldn't be sure ... then I met another birder also looking for the crossbills. Two pairs of eyes being better than one, we walked and chatted ... and an hour later he spotted some movement and found a male crossbill, then we saw another, and another... then a male that was showing well began stripping a cone so we were able to watch the whole procedure. A minute later a male and female were spotted preening at the top of a pine - again great views. We saw movement below so thought there was another one there but after a sudden noise they all flew off - all six of them.

Photo of male crossbill by Neil Smith see www.lincsbirdclub.co.uk

8 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

That's one you can cross off then Carol. I have never seen a crossbill, but would love to. I have once seen hawfinch - they love the very tops of trees and again you get a very sore neck. But it is worth it!

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh i would love to see a crossbill (or a hawfinch for that matter, Weaver!). It must be worth the sore neck...

Coastcard said...

Congratulations! Which is their country of origin, I wonder? How long before you spot a hoopoe? (I have been posting about these birds ...).

Mistlethrush said...

Weaver - I haven't seen a hawfinch but one day....

CGP - Yes it was worth a stiff neck. If your local natural history society have a website recording sightings it would be worth taking a look at what's in your area.

Coastcard - they're resident in central and eastern Europe and also Scandinavia. How long before I spot a hoopoe? Absolutely no idea! But you never ytour luck...

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I'm visiting via Weaver's blog - I loved your comment about finding beauty in your morning porridge - I couldn't agree more!

How lucky to see six crossbills!

Mistlethrush said...

Hi Raph - thanks for visiting. It's true - I find the slow energy releasing of porridge can keep me going way past dinner time. Porridge and prunes are great for breakfast - granny would be proud of me!

I was really thrilled to see the crossbills. Now I'm after a hawfinch....

Susan Richardson said...

What a treat - I's really like to see a crossbill too...

(and I'm a fellow porridge fan!)

Mistlethrush said...

Hi Sue,

I hope you see crossbills too. I'm looking for a firecrest now...

You're workshop in Fort William sounds very inspiring.

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.