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