January 08, 2006

Cruising for Crossbills

Male Crossbill, Southey Wood

With news of Crossbills a few miles away, the opportunity to catch up with these notoriously difficult birds in our home county was too good to resist. So after breakfast, we headed for the gay-cruising capital of north Cambridgeshire - Southey Wood.

It was disappointingly easy locating them - we could hear them crunching on the pine cones - so for an hour, we enjoyed very good views of up to eight birds, at least five of which were males. They are amusing birds to watch as they clamber parrot-fashion along branches and are surprisingly acrobatic for such chunky finches.

First Kingfisher of the year! Ferry Meadows

After lunch, went for a quick walk around the nature reserve at Ferry Meadows as it would be our last opportunity to go birding together until next weekend. We were duly rewarded with our first Kingfisher of the year. This species is especially vulnerable to cold spells so the recent freezing conditions will have claimed a few lives. It was good to see that this bird (a male) had survived.

Species added today:
101. Common Crossbill
Coal Tit
103. Kingfisher

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