Crossbills Exmoor

Alastair Stevenson
Alastair Stevenson
Total Posts:  72
Joined  24-09-2018
02 December 2023 18:52

Six Crossbills this morning along Wooton Ridge which lies just to the north of Wooton Courtenay. Also 34 Crossbills in total in small groups on the Croydon/Monkham Hill complex. Biggest flock was 21, but none seen perched. This site is one of the best in Somerset and birds have bred here in the past. Proving breeding is difficult and best confirmed by the presence of streaky juveniles.

Crossbills have been recorded as breeding from December to June but mostly February to April. The timing is to do with taking advantage maximum cone supplies in the form of new crops of pine cones. Crossbills are a nomadic species and an opportunistic breeder. Irruptions in this country often occur in June and July and they will search widely for a forest that holds a good food source and will breed when that source becomes available.