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Showing posts from November, 2013

Mega-flock of Two-barred Crossbills in Gloucestershire

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Saturday 16th November 2013
Sometimes things just come together in birding and you get one of those memorable days. Already heading for Woorgreens in the forest (despite gloomy conditions), exciting news came through from Lewis Thompson that he had located several TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS feeding in trees along the Gloucestershire Way beyond Kensley Lodge; in fact near the location Gavin Black originally found them last Saturday. I spent the morning watching what turned out to be at least 15 birds, possibly around 20. A small number of Common Crossbills were around too, but nearly all the Crossbills I saw were Two-barred. The Two-bars were predominantly feeding on the small cones of Western Hemlock and Larch, and sometimes seen taking buds, and were also reported on Alder. Lots of Siskins and Lesser Redpolls around too. An absolutely amazing experience, including hearing the distinctive calls including the piping 'trumpet' calls and song too. Oh, nearly forgot, a lifer too.
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Siberian Chiffchaff, Purple Sandpiper & Green-winged Teal at WWT

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Saturday 9th November 2013 First, some photos to ponder of the Siberian Chiffchaff at WWT Slimbridge this morning. Most of these were taken in bad light, the latter in light rain too. I would liked to have heard it call (or even sing!) but the features fit tristis and it showed a marked contrast to a Common Chiffchaff present.
Also on site, the Purple Sandpiper was still in the Rushy (again bad light!): ... and the Green-winged Teal was on the Top New Piece along with 3,500 Eurasian Teal (luckily I had good directions - thanks again Paul T.):