28th July 2009
Do you suffer from wind? I do, and I guess most birdwatchers are affected by it one way or another. It can be your best friend when it comes to carrying migrating birds to our shores or bringing pelaegic species to the landlocked counties of the Midlands. It can also be your worse enemy when your trying to keep your optics still and making your eyes water, or as happened to me today making it difficult to hear anything. I managed to get to Bentley Woods which is about as far as I can drive at the moment. The wind was getting up and whistling through the trees. I wouldn't be able to hear any Crossbills or anything else unless they were practically overhead.
As it happened the Crossbill flock (159) was quite noisey and quite close as the birds flew from one group of pines to another, so I didnt have too much trouble locating the flock. There about 20 birds, mostly males. They were also flighty and mobile soon flying off to an area of the wood with no access. I guess I was lucky as they didnt reappear for at least an hour while I looked for butterflies and moths along the paths. Found Small Copper and Painted Lady as well as the commoner species. There has been a large influx of Crossbill into the UK so they may well turn up in other local woods with pines, particularly if they have spruce and larch.