Sunday, 15 March 2009

Lovely Weather for Crossbills

I had a much needed lie-in this morning and when I eventually ventured out I took the dog to Trinity Hill again because I figured it may, just possibly, NOT be windy there. It's a rare occurrence but I was right, there wasn't a breath of wind in the woods and even though there were lots of dog walkers around, there was very little noise apart from birdsong, the drumming of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and the surprisingly loud sound of falling pine cones, which could only mean one thing, feeding Crossbills. I soon located them too, there must be at least eight altogether because there were two males today (last time I saw six females) a really red one and a younger orangy one, I counted three females but there were probably more. I tried to get some photos but it was difficult because they remained high in the trees, and were more often than not in front of the sun or behind lots of twigs. It was made extra difficult by my inability to look up for very long, due to my painful neck. I was determined though, because it's not often that they show themselves at all! I came away with a few half decent attempts. Not very long after leaving I was back, hoping to show Nick the Crossbills but predictably they had disappeared. There was also a Brimstone butterfly, my first this year, I haven't even seen a Red Admiral, mind you it's been A LOT colder than normal this year.

This one's the closest I got to the red male, nice view of the under-tail coverts though!

Look at the size of that bill, looks like a Parrot.

I really like this one even though I had to filter it for noise pretty heavily.
Crossbills are great. I really can't get enough of them.

This afternoon I managed to miss Sand Martin again, not to worry though, they'll be EVERYWHERE soon! I spent a couple of hours at Colyford Common this evening with Gav, we were hoping to see at least a summer plumaged Water Pipit or even a 'Scandinavian' Rock Pipit. They remained well hidden though. I'd love to see a summer plumaged Water Pipit one day, it will have to remain on my something nice to look forward to list for now. :-) There were two Green Sandpipers on the new reed bed, a few Reed Buntings and' Itchy' the Pale-bellied Brent Goose. I'm sure she has parasites of some sort, her plumage is really gammy and she's always scratching!

While here we had a text from Bun saying that the Ruff which Phil had found on Bridge Marsh this morning was now at Coronation Corner, I hadn't seen it this morning so had a quick look on the way home. It was getting dark but at least I saw it. It was keeping company with our Black-tailed Godwit flock. I digiscoped a couple of 'likenesses', as you do. It looked very nice, coming into summer plumage, though you wouldn't know from looking at these:

Ruff amongst Godwits

It really was getting too dark.

I really love spring, such a surprising time of year, all the same things appear but always feel new somehow. I love this quote from Ellis Peters it sums up what I'm trying to convey nicely." Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment"

No comments: