For the last couple of days I've been enjoying a flock of Crossbill at Wentwood Forest. Seeing them flock up like this in the open is quite a thing considering they spend most of the year at the tops of conifer trees, deep in the forest for nobody to see. They are specialists at extracting seeds from pine cones, using that unique cross-bill to pry the casings open wide enough to get the seed out with their tongue. I watched them doing this sort of thing also on regular beech seed heads with much the same technique. Every now and again they'd drop down to drink all at the same time, as to keep an eye out for predators at a time where they are particularly vulnerable. I did my best to get as close as possible without disturbing them. Like the recent influx of Hawfinch, these have probably travelled a fair way and now we're in forestry felling season, we can expect to see a few more unexpected visitors further south. 

Crossbill Drinking

I tried my best to get recordings of the Crossbill flock despite getting interference from a nearby telephone mast. Between that and the typical plane noise, cars and drones! yes drones, I really did well to get this recording. It has been filtered to death so apologies about the quality as it's below my usual standard. 

Just as I mentioned about Hawfinch on the move, a sizable flock of 15 + Hawfinch just as the light faded, Couldn't even fit them all in the same frame so was sure there must have been at-least 20 birds. They were about to touch down but changed mind and carried on North. Other notables came in the form of Brambling, Siskin, Redpoll, Kestrel and all the typical species for Wentwood this time of year. 

Hawfinch 9th November.jpg