This blog is about my birding exploits, which mainly take place in the Weymouth/Portland area, in Dorset. Will also include stuff from elsewhere, plus some other critters too. Hope you enjoy. All photographs are © Brett Spencer, unless indicated otherwise. The above image is of a Siberian Rubythroat, taken in Holland in 2016.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Two-barred Crossbill

A lifer in the bag.  Something I should have seen by now in my years of birding, but have been too much of a lazy ass about it. Having said that, it does incorporate doing something I truly hate, birding in conifer plantations. You can compare it to seawatching at Chew Valley Lake. Yep, that's right, apart from the odd goodie it's shit. Our motley crew set off in the early hours and arrived at Hemsted Forest in Kent. Yeah, I know, fucking long way to go for a poxy crossbill. These places can seem so devoid of life and although I did wander quite widely looking for the bloody thing, after 4, yes, 4 long hours the bird appeared in it's favoured perch, announcing it's presence by it's trumpet call. Relief swept over me and then I was able to enjoy this cracking male Two-barred Crossbill. Worth the effort in the end. Other birds noted were Common Crossbills obviously, though only one was seen perched, Peregrine and perhaps most unusually, a juvenile Marsh Harrier. Much appreciation goes to Pete for doing the long drive, thanks buddy.

Present for only a few minutes and so the only image that's any good. The flank feathers were all fluffed up and so covered the upper wingbar. After dipping on the Hermit Thrush the other Friday, this bird certainly salvaged my week off work. Back to work Tuesday though.

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