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