Wednesday, 21 January 2015

20 January 2015: Common Crossbill in the Forest of Dean.

A grey day in the Forest of Dean, hoping to track down those elusive Hawfinch. It was unusually quiet and I saw very few birds at Parkend green or even at Nagshead RSPB reserve. The other place where Hawfinch had been reported was Parkend Church. As I was unpacking kit from the car I noticed some bird sdrinking and at first thought they were chaffinch until I realised the male was redder than usual. A quick glance through the bins showed me Common Crossbill and I tried to get off some quick shots. As I took my first shot, the male took off but the females even waited until I got the camera mounted on the tripod.

The male had flown into a tree and was very badly backlit.

Eventually they flew off. I looked for Hawfinch and found none but could see some Siskin high in the trees above but they were too badly backlit and too high up. I decided to move on to Crabtree Hill to look for theGreat Grey Shrike. Everyone I met coming down said he was not to be seen but as I wa sthere and there was no timeto go anywhere else I pressed on. I found a small group of Fallow Deer
and a Treecreeper but no Shrike to be found.

Then it started to snow so time to beat a hasty retreat.

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