Sunday, 19 January 2014

Old Lodge (19 January)

The Swallow was flying around Newick Sewage Works between 08:30-09:00 when John King and I called in on our way to Ashdown Forest.  Also a Grey Wagtail.  A decent weather forecast and the prospect of several others looking made us feel it might be a good day to look for the Parrot Crossbills although with no sign of them by 13:30 I was beginning to wonder why I was bothering trying to see birds I had seen very well at the end of last year.  This feeling was magnified when I wandered off a second time to search the area I'd previously seen them and 15 minutes later as I was starting to return JK phoned to say two had flown over the metalled road and landed briefly in a tree near the cottage before dropping out of sight.  After another two hours of resisting the temptation to wander off JK spotted a single male perched in the top of a distant tree near the cottage.  It looked big and thick necked but it took an age to turn its head to show off a massive bill.  Two minutes later it to flew off.  By then it was a satisfactory view and I was pleased but I had hoped for more (9 more to be precise) and better views.  Singing Wood Larks were superb (probably my favourite song), a pair of Ravens were good too and we had reasonable but brief views of a flock of 5 Common Crossbills.  Nice weather, nice company and eventually nice birds.

distant Parrot Crossbill from the metalled road to Old Lodge
more impressive when its bill is more in profile

giving Shovel-billed Kingfisher a run for its money

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