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Sunday, 12 January 2014


Seemed like a good day for Crossbills today so I headed South, I started at Rufford CP arriving just after first light and had a couple of brief sightings of Hawfinch in the first half hour however as the sun began to rise two birds started showing fairly well and although remaining at the top of the trees they looked really good in the morning sun. Happy with that I then headed off to nearby Budby Common for the first of my main target species, Parrot Crossbills and as luck would have it they were feeding in a conifer close to the first crosstracks this morning, bumped into Chris and Ollie a couple of other York birders who were also having a Crossbill day, one or two birds had been dropping down to the frozen puddles as I arrived but were back in the tree before I got into position, I spent some time with them and eventually several birds showed really well perched right up on top, there were a few common Crossbills nearby as well, plus a Green Woodpecker flew over and afterwards I had a little wander around searching for the Great Grey Shrike but to no avail. After lunch it was a trek back up to Broomhead Reservoir north of Sheffield for my next target and third species of Crossbill, the Two Barred which have been present since last August, again luck was with me as the birds were in view as I arrived in fact two or three had dropped down to the edge of the Reservoir to drink and had I been a bit earlier I would have got a better photo opportunity however they showed very well in the Larches opposite for half an hour or more and I saw at least four males and two females, I ended the day at Pugney’s CP hoping for a Smew but it had disappeared however the local Gull watchers got me onto a Yellow Legged Gull for a bit of recompense.
Hawfinch in the morning sun

Parrots at Budby

a couple of lucky flight shots

Two Barred at Broomhead

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