Monday 22 July 2013

A second bite at the cherry

Having dipped on the Cley Two-barred Crossbill last Saturday I was a little miffed on getting back from East Wretham Heath yesterday evening to find that more Two-barreds were being reported from Lynford Arboretum and Kelling Heath. I had walked around Kelling Heath on Saturday evening looking for Turtle Dove and Dartford Warblers, it never crossed my mind to check the larches for tasty Crossbills. I'll blame it on hunger and tiredness.
Not one to pass up on a second chance, I packed my gear as I was leaving the house this morning and kept one eye on Birdguides all throughout the day. The reports from Lynford Arboretum seemed to stop around 1.30pm but I was going one way or another. Just after 5pm, I had my laptop shut down and my desk tidied up, I slipped out quietly and headed out into the heat! It was still 33oC as I hurried out to the car park. The hottest day so far!
Twenty minutes later I was turning into the car park at Lynford, a quick change of clobber and I was all set. This time it was a lot better than Cley. Ten or so birders were staring up into the larches at the entrance, clearing watching something.

Two-barred Crossbill twitch - Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk - 22 July 2013

A flock of Common Crossbills had just departed the area leaving behind two (maybe three) juvenile Two-barred Crossbills and an adult female. They were pretty high up but through my optics, the broad white wing bars were plain to see. One kind birder gave me a look through his scope where you could see a lot more detail. One juvenile appeared to have small patches of yellow on the nape and flanks but was otherwise quite streaked. Sadly I didn't see the adult female.

Juvenile Two-barred Crossbill - Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk - 22 July 2013
When the birds turned the right way you could also make out the strong white tips to the tertials (as seen in the photo below).


White-tipped tertials prominent on Juvenile Two-barred Crossbill - Lynford Arboretum, Norfolk - 22 July 2013
It was clear that any photos would be record shots at best. The birds remained at the very top of a tall larch tree. The top of the middle tree in the photo below was where they stayed mostly so it'll give you an idea of height and distance. But views were good, so if you decide to travel bring a scope and a thick neck!
All that aside though, after dipping in Cley it was nice to enjoy a successful outing.

Craning our necks for the TBXB

With the species added to my list, I moved around a little to try and get some better shots. After an hour I called time. Well worth the short trip and a great bird to have seen.

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