Sunday 3 December 2017

Chasing Crossbills

Dawn on Bicton Common - below Woodbury Common.
Nick and I were on Bicton Common for dawn yesterday, hoping to find Crossbills. Within about 10 minutes we had three fly over, but their calls were a bit different - a bit deep! All three headed towards the plantation at the bottom of Woodbury Common so we gave chase. An hour or two later we'd drawn a blank. I managed to get back up there in the afternoon and I eventually located a feeding flock of eight birds, but I couldn't get anything on them before they flew off 'chupping' as they went. Again the calls sounded interesting but I'm not at all familiar with Parrot Crossbill calls.
Nick and I tried the plantation again this morning but we could only find ones and twos of Crossbills, all just flyovers and all sounding Common Crossbill-like.
The plantation in question is the rectangular plantation below Woodbury Common (it's actually part of Bicton Common) called Upham's Plantation, accessed from the road down to Yettington - the next carpark down from the model aircrafraft carpark.
Other species recorded up there this weekend include, c100+ Linnet, 100+ Pied Wagtail (over to roost site somewhere), 8+ Dartford Warbler, c20+ Brambling, c5/10+ Siskin, c10+ Redpoll, 3+ Mistle Thrush, c20/30+ Redwing, 7+ Fieldfare, c5+ Bullfinch, 2+ Reed Bunting and c20+ Goldcrest.

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