The great parrot hunt...

When I first set up a blog the intention was always to help improve how I write, at the time it helped me write more than three words, some of them even ended up making sense. Moving on to what is now 5 years on and the difference now is even though I could write something, my blog rarely gets an update and I sit staring at a blank page wondering what on earth I'm going to write, then today happened and my fingers started tapping the keys!

November, December and the early part of January were filled with lots of birding, strange recces mapping sites for the January bird race, it also coincided with an odd obsession developing with Crossbills, this mainly down to the developing influx of Parrot Crossbills first into the Northern Isles and latterly with small flocks turning up at favored sites for Common Crossbill. I certainly had no expectation to discover anything new, it's all be done before and very well I might add by the Sound Approach. With a love for sound recording blooming I decided it was time to look for some of the different types of Crossbill described in Dutch Birding and The Sound Approach to birding (one of my favorite books I should add) 

The biggest task this winter has actually been finding Crossbills, I've bumped into various small flocks here and there in Dorset - agonizingly I missed the biggest flock found over in Wareham Forest by Ian Ballam, a little bit of free time over the next few days may see me venture that way again! 

Eventually though I tracked a few birds down and although I didn't find any Parrots I've so far encountered different Common Crossbill types; Phantom (Type D) Wandering (Type A) and Glip (Type C) The most frequently seen so far has been Phantom but in such a poor year for Crossbills I'm sure this means nothing. Below are some of the recordings I made at a site in Wareham Forest.

A lot more work and a lot more to learn but it's been fascinating to take apart a species and find such variety in it by using sound, it's also been great to record something I can actually see! More on this and a few other bits over the next few weeks, hopefully with a few more recordings and photos.