|(Coldharbour Cricket Pitch)|
The Two-barred Crossbill had been seen Saturday afternoon at Leith Hill Surrey. This bird is not easy to connect with having tried several times recently. But it still remains a Surrey VC tick for me therefore some more effort was required if I was going to add it to this list!
I got up at stupid o'clock to make it to Leigh Hill for dawn. The weather was going to be sunny with a brisk NW wind which was encouraging. There had been rain the day before which would mean plenty of puddles for thirsty Crossbill to drink from. Would this be the fly in the ointment with so many options open for them!
There was a surprising amount of Pheasant and a few Red legged Partridge along Coldharbour Lane. I later learn't there was a shoot and birds had been released for this purpose. No wonder they were keeping their heads low!
On arrival I staked out the area around the cricket pitch but only heard a couple of single Common Crossbill flying over. The wind was beginning to bite so I decided to go for a walk to warm up. I made my way through the gate and down towards post G on the green trail. As I did so I heard a Firecrest calling from the scrub. I went in search of this bird sneaking around only to realize it was a recording having come across a run of mist nets!! Back to the Crossbill hunt then!
The remainder of the morning was spent staking out various points in the area. There was a large movement of Wood Pigeon in the area along with several other regular species. I returned to the car having covered the area. At around mid-day a few more birders turned up...Had there been news!
Another wander around the area later it was time to depart empty handed! Well I didn't expect it to be easy as the area is vast and the regular points this bird is seen is all part of a bigger circuit for it! No doubt it will be seen in the week when I'm at work but hey thats birding for you!!