Three showing well in the late afternoon sunshine today.
Saw a group of 9 Crossbills at 1:30pm today. One Red, One Orange the rest being olive/green, yellow and one grey in colour. Within 5 minutes of them landing in the Pine tree they were chased off by a Sparrowhawk. During this time there was also not far away a Kestrel watching their every move. This was almost a repeat performance of what I saw last week and several other times. I believe these Crossbills are constantly being chased around by the local raptors.
flock of at least 30 this afternoon including 4 splendid males
all descended on a spruce, taking cones from lower reaches and flying with cones in beak to top of tree where cones wedged and kernels eaten. quite splendid
The Car Park was packed and despite the many walkers the Common Crossbills were showing really well in perfect light.
I first saw a noisy flock flyover and land in a Pine tree. I counted 17 in my bins on the same tree seen from the main path. There were 4 stunning Red ones, and 4 Orange ones, as well as 1 Yellow. The rest were olive green in colour.
I managed to get some photo’s of them (See links below). They flew off after about 10 minutes and in less than a minute a second flock of 9 landed in the same tree. These were all yellow and olive/green colour only. What they appeared to be doing was taking the cones off and dropping them. Each bird did this 3-4 times without eating the pine nut kernels. They eventually nearly stripped the tree of all its cones. A Sparrowhawk then from nowhere came in fast towards them and they flew out of site into the forest. The flock of 9 appeared briefly again and as soon as they appeared a Kestrel did exactly the same but sat in the same tree they were in and posed nicely for me. As I walked away I turned around and noticed that above my head behind me there had been a buzzard watching them all the time.
I also saw a group of 4 & 3 Goldcrests, but could hear many more as I walked around. Lots of Blue/Great tits, 2 wrens, 1 GSW, 6-7 LTT’s and what surprised me 2 distant Bramblings. I thought I saw one with Chaffinches in the car park but cannot be certain.
Excellent views of the highly mobile Crossbills this afternoon. Very vocal and flying around in three small groups.
Only 3 Bramblings seen on the forest track (2 Males and Female)
and while in the car park, the superb sight of a Treecreeper pulling out a large spider from under the bark.
At least 6 crossbills flying around the woods calling yesterday, and feeding on the tops of the conifers 5th November. Also bramblings feeding with chaffinch , nuthatch and coal tits on the forest track .
Crossbills heard calling Sunday, but woods were packed with walkers enjoying the sunshine, so didn’t get any good views.
Quite a few Crossbills at Stockhill this afternoon and difficult to assess just how many there are. Largest party numbered about 15+ but there were smaller groups at other points feeding at the tops of the conifers. I could hear distant Crossbills further to the East. 3 Bramblings also flew over.
Returned there this morning and spent 1.5 hrs in the general area looking for the shrike without any luck, not even a single Crossbill.
Also from an email sent in this afternoon a Great Grey Shrike seen at lunchtime today (23rd) about ‘halfway along the Forestry Commission road from the car park’.
A 1.5 hrs walk about in the main area of cone-bearing firs behind the car-park as far as the main forestry cross track gave us two sightings of small flocks of Crossbills, one of 10 and the other of 14, but it was hard work and none seen perched. Also a flock of 15 Siskins and a flock of c.60 Redwings that flew over to the SE.