Female PARROT CROSSBILL at Blackdown, West sussex
Another day with John and this time we drove south to West Sussex to hopefully see a PARROT CROSSBILL that was discovered last weekend at Blackdown. It was bright and below freezing and we joined the small crowd on the one of the main tracks over looking a small frozen pool where the Crossbill comes into drink. We could hear crossbills all over the shop and they came in and out of the area in small numbers. A few of the crowd departed when news broke of yesterdays Paddyfield Warbler at Pagham Harbour. It didn't take long for the parrot to arrive and I gave a shout when I spotted it on the left in a small Birch. It was all too brief and it flew off out of sight. Every one managed to get onto to it before it disappeared, but a few minutes later I relocated it again on top of a pine nearby. It then flew into to one of the pines above us and from here we all observed it for a good ten minutes at close range in good light. As the Paddyfield was only 20 miles down road, John and I decided to go with the flow and give it a try. We arrived and was told that it had not been seen for 30 minutes. There was a bite in the every increasing wind and at 13.30, we both had enough. We had made the right decision as it was not seen again after we left.
Although I had not seen one before, when I first got onto the bird, I was surprised to see that it was not the heavy chunky bill I exspected. I could clearly see that the bill was heavier than that of the other Crossbills and everyone that I spoke to, seemed to be very happy that it was a Parrot Crossbill.
At Pagham Harbour a lot of birders, who have seen Parrot Crossbill before, but not this one, also looked at me pics and were in favour that it was a Parrot Crossbill too.
This Wren popped up in front of me while waiting for the Paddyfield
Dave Grohl singing live 'Razor' with the Foo Fighters.