Two-barred Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
Hillmotts Farm Wood, Hedgerley - 27th January - 14th March 2003
Photos courtesy Mark Reeder - 6th March
Photo courtesy Nic Hallam - 8th March 2003
Photos courtesy Jim Rose - 2nd Feb
Photo courtesy Mike Collard
This male bird was first found by Paul and Mark McManus on 27th January and is a county first. It was seen briefly the following morning and despite regular visits by local birders, particularly on 1st Feb, is was not relocated until Sunday 2nd February when it showed well for at least 1-2 hours. The bird remained in the area until 14th March at least and was seen on many days, but it could be elusive. When it was present it was usually with a flock of up to 50 Common Crossbills, although the numbers decreased towards the end of the period.
One or more female Common Crossbills, showing two wingbars were also observed from time to time. The bars were very thin, tertial tips were not obvious and the size was larger than the male Two-barred Crossbill which was nearby. There was also a male Crossbill with rather obvious white wingbars which proved to be rather controversial, however the consensus was that it was a Common Crossbill.
During it's stay the bird was photographed by several birders. The selection of photos shown above hopefully show every important aspect of the bird. As the bird was usually fairly high in the tall Larches photography was not easy. Thanks to all of those who contributed photographs.