Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Crossbill and about time too.

I'd never seen a Crossbill before in fact it was top of my list of birds that "everyone else had seen but not me" Well this all changed for me on Friday and I was able to get a life tick but the day did not start well.

I'd planned to meet up with Kath (some of you might know her as the Nuneaton Model) in the car park at Whitacre Heath where we hoped to see and get some shots of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that had been seen there recently.However after an hour of waiting patiently in one of it's favoured spots we'd seen nothing and I'd only got a shot of a Wren for my efforts.

We then gave up and decided to have a look in the feeder hide but as we walked there with another miss on my mind I was convinced I was becoming the Fernando Torres of the birding world missing loads of shots.I should not have worried because a Saviour was at hand.No not Jesus Christ but Dave Hutton.We met him of the path to the feeder hide and when we complimented him on his recent excellent Crossbill shots he offered to take us over to the spot on Cannock Chase where he got the shots.What a star!!!!

We parked up and set off on a "short walk" which was like a huge hike to me but just as I thought we were going to cross the border into Scotland we arrived at the spot.We joined another birder and squatted  down on some tufted grass near a small pond which was where it was hoped the Crossbills would drop down to have a drink.

About 10 minutes after we arrived about 30 Crossbills arrived and perched high up in a tree about 70 metres away.Yipppeeee!!!  I'd seen a Crossbill and got a life tick.Here is a shot of my first view of some Crossbills.

For the next hour they did get a bit closer but were always high up in the trees and they only threatened once to drop down to the pond.So no decent shots but for once it was enough to see these dazzlingly coloured birds for the first time and not get any great shots.

Shortly after when they had flown off we decided to leave but then I had to get up which is a problem when I have been crouched down on my haunches for over an hour especially when I'm on uneven ground.My tactics of rolling to the left and getting up on one knee was a bad move because pains in my back and left knee started to scream out then my camera lens crashed into my right knee as I tried to straighten my right leg.More pain.I then lurched alarmingly to the right twice as I struggled to get upright battling with the uneven ground ending up 3 metres from my companions.They were all staring at me wondering what an earth I was doing.

I didn't care I'd seen some Crossbills.Thanks again Dave.You are a star.


Dave Hutton said...

No Probs Max!! enjoyed showing you & Kath the birds...

Max Silverman said...

Cheers Dave.