Sunday, 1 November 2009

Scottish Crossbill

A nice portrait of a 1cy Scottish Crossbill male, one of two I caught along with two Parrot and two Common Crossbills on Deeside on 12 October:

This bird was identified as a Euring 3 ( 1 cy) by the presence of 4 juvenile greater coverts and a few juvenile type median coverts - the lesser coverts had been replaced with adult feathers. The bill profile and depth is typical for scotica.

It was also the first time I have been 'out-flanked' by a crossbill during its release ( though I still got the call !) :

"A Sky installation engineer attempts to shake hands with a Scottish Crossbill"

The recent wet and windy weather has scuppered all crossbill ringing plans for a bit. Two weeks ago today I was 'enhancing' a crossbill drinking site when all this rain started. I would be amazed if that pool has survived and has not been washed away. Until it dries out many birds will drink opportunistically at any puddles near to where they are feeding, and it will possibly be some time before they return to the habitual/ritualistic sites.

So, efforts are now focussed on fixing holes in nets, cutting nets down into 2 and 3 shelves ( which is ideal for crossbills) and making up colour rings ( to use on Waxwings if and when they arrive).

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