Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Gull's and Crossbill's!

A journey out to Sheepwash was rewarded with a LITTLE EGRET which was feeding along the river. Just before dark however, the bird flew over onto Pumphouse pool to roost with the ever present Grey Herons,

A trip up to Cannock with Neil Duggan was very productive for winter Gulls. Our first stop was at Kingswood lakeside. my favorite gulling spot in the midlands, where i quickly located a stunning giant of a 1st winter CASPIAN GULL on the roof of the ARC building. It was fairly distant from our viewpoint, but on 60x through Neils scope i managed a few shots before it flew off.

With the light now rapidly fading, we decided to head off to Chaseater to look for the white wingers that have been present. The first of the white wingers i picked up was a 1st winter GLAUCOUS GULL, which was showing distantly. As if by coincidence though, having just guided the crowd onto the bird, another white winger swam through the scope view! The 2nd winter ICELAND GULL. Awesome!

The Iceland eventually moved far closer and we had some very nice views as it swam around
 off the powerboat club. 

Not a surprise at all.

When i heard news of a small flock of TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL just down the road from my weekend residence at Postmeplain i can't say it came as a shock.

Needless to say, the next morning i was staking out the area, and having seemingly taken the long walk around we reached the crowd in the distance, and immediately the 'trumpeting' call of the Two-Bars!
Within seconds, a flock of around 15 Common Crossbill flew over my head and landed in the top of a larch, scanning through them and a male on the top left hand side of the tree had 2 massive wing bars! A TWO-BAR! Quickly however, the flock flew back into the pines. I moved up, and soon after i was watching 3 of these beauties (2 males and a female) in another clump of Larch, calling very frequently! After around 30 minuites however, the flock decimated, and the birds suddenly became very elusive.

I did however, manage to get onto a stunning male which perched on the top of a pine calling for a few seconds before flying off.

With the birds having moved off, and the crowd becoming more and more agitating, i took my chance and also left to explore the area.
I soon located a calling bird, and then i saw another flying across the Postemplain compound, also calling.
I took the decision to the explore a ride to the NE of where the birds had been seen, and i was rewarded when a new female TWO-BAR, my 4th for the day, dropped into the top of the larches, a completly different individual to the bright green bird i had seen in company with the 2 males.

A long wait ensured, getting occasional views of the birds as they flew around, untill eventually, 2 males settled in a nearby Larch, giving stunning views!
What birds!

Once the birds flew, i waited for a little longer, but the cold got the better of me, and headed home.

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