Monday, 4 December 2017

Surrey Vice County - Parrot's Cross the Border!

I have had a crazy year both on my patch and in the Vice County of Surrey (SVC). The last three Beddington rarities Sabine’s Gull, Cattle Egret and Twite, have also been new species for my SVC list. The year is now in its last month and yet another MEGA has graced Surrey with it presence.

A group of sixteen Parrot Crossbills have been doing some cross border feeding at Wishmore Bottom where a stream divides the counties of Berkshire and Surrey. I trip with Geoff Barter last Friday proved fruitless after walking through world war 3 army exercises in an attempt to locate the flock. The flock were seen on this day in the vicinity of the radio tower but all we had to show for our efforts was a flushed Woodcock and Fieldfare.
Parrot Crossbills are a new species for me which added an extra flavour to this little venture. Therefore I would be happy to see them on either side of the stream but I had my fingers crossed that I would see them in Surrey to add to the years SVC new species total.
I returned today with Paul and Colin from Canons Farm and waited on the Berkshire side with fellow Surrey birder Dave Carlsson.
The area at this time of year is pretty devoid of flying birds and the noisy flock were easily located as they flew into the area and made their way to pines that were on the Surrey side of the stream. A short march to the tree ensued and identification of male and female birds was confirmed.

Not a bad couple of days for Paul and Colin as a Sunday afternoon spent at the Farm saw another addition to their total in the wintering Twite.
I was slightly excited on the way home it’s not often you get a life bird in your home county. Woo hoo!!