Whos keeping an eye on me....

Friday, 29 November 2013

Parrot Crossbills.........

....... and a Velvet Scoter

A four hour journey to Norfolk to try and bag a new species. Chris, Phil and myself set off at stupid o`clock and arrived at Holt Country Park just in time to meet some sort of daylight. Along with around a dozen other twitchers we waited in anticipation of the quarry. Up to 11 Birds had been reported during the last week so we were hopeful if not a little anxious as an hour passed without sight or sound. Apart from the usual woodland birds a lovely Goldcrest kept us company for a short while, we were a long way from giving up hope however it was a brilliant sight to see the silhouettes of a dozen birds fly over our heads and land in some tall conifers sixty yards or so away. Sure enough we were onto our Parrot Crossbills. We enjoyed some fantastic scoped views for half an hour as they fed in a number of trees. They stayed fairly distant and with the gloomy skies and poor light they were well out of good image range..... it didn't really matter, some record shots were taken and as they flew off to feed elsewhere a happy bunch of birders left with them.

The Parrot Crossbill is a Scarce visitor to the UK mainland. 
This was my first sighting so it became my UK life bird # 233 and world Life bird # 1048
Record image of a female and male feeding on the cones



A better image of the male - taken by Phil (Cheers for this one mate)

Our plan was to enjoy the rest of the day along a part of the coast so we headed to Salthouse for a little sea watching. In the twenty minutes that we managed to endure the cold sea breeze we were able to see 2 Red Throated Divers a single Great Northern Diver around a dozen Common Scoter and another Scarce Visitor to the UK shores with a Velvet Scoter. This bird showed its diagnostic features very well and was easy to pick out against the common Scoters. Unfortunately it was too distant for any sort of record shots but it turned out to be a lovely bonus on this trip as it was another UK (#234) and World life bird (#1049) for me..... Happy Days.

We finished off the afternoon with a visit to Choseley Barns and the lovely Titchwell RSPB. I will save that report for another post.


Adam Jones said...

A cracking bird Dave. Glad you all got to see it.

tiptoethruphylsgarden.blogspot.com said...

I have always imagined these birds to be smaller,great photos!phyllis

Stewart M said...

Nice bird - I have only had distant views of cross bill in Scotland - and I think the name of that species has changed.

cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great -- congrats on the lifer! Interesting bird I guess the strange bill makes it easier to crack seeds? I'll have to look that up.