Crossbills, Crossbills, lots of lovely Crossbills

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Thanks to Tropical Thomason for the call this morning after he bumped into a fine big flock of between 50 and 70 Crossbills in Birkdale Local Nature Reserve – always a highly valued species locally.

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Paul had the heads up after John Kelly picked up a few smaller flocks in the last week or so, and with a free day, heading down to Birkdale seemed sensible.
I saw the remains of the flock up in the treetops in the distance as I neared the first Silver Birch copse – big, blobby bull-necked finches, sitting motionless against the cold, grey sky.
Trops was still watching them, but there were far fewer birds by the time I arrived – perhaps 12 birds – which was hardly surprising after a Sprawk tore into the larger flock and grabbed one right in front of him.
Let’s face it, sitting up on top of bare branches when you’re bright red, green and yellow, is hardly the best defensive strategy against an expert woodland hunter like a Sprawk.
I managed to ‘scope the remaining birds before they began to drift back to the pines on Hillside Golf Course.

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Birds were calling and one was even “singing” as far as the mutterings of Crossbills can be described as “singing”.
Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Siskin, Great Tit, Wren and Dunnock also getting into the spring groove despite the cold.

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Thanks to Paul (and John!) for the Crossbills – mmmm resiny…

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5 thoughts on “Crossbills, Crossbills, lots of lovely Crossbills

  1. Marshside 2/3/16: Drake Scaup on Junction Pool, at least four Avocets on Marshside One. Coltsfoot, Common Whitlow Grass flowering away. Anyone else seeing anything anywhere??

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  2. Bumble bee in the garden; Dunnocks Chaffinches and Song Thrushes singing in Coronation Park Ormskirk; Skylarks larking and Mipits “parachuting” over the dunes; Rooks “dancing” on their nests. Lots of gorse in flower. Oh – and snow on the car (!!). But two days’ safari at Birkdale produced no Crossbills, sadly.

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  3. Four Sprawks displaying and calling together above Rimmer’s Avenue, Freshfield, this afternoon.
    The pinewoods between Ainsdale and Freshfield on the NNR were stuffed to the gunnels with Siskins.
    Also one Raven, Freshfield end of the pines.

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  4. Watched a Mistle Thrush in Ruff Woods Ormskirk this morning as it wrestled beak-full after beak-full of moss from a hign branch and set about lining its nest with it. Nuthatches were prospecting a couple of last year’s nest holes too, though it looked like one might have competition from a Great Tit when it comes down to it.

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