Sunday, 24 November 2013

Two-barred Crossbill finally bagged!!

Another Sunday was upon us and there was only one place to go Coldharbour Cricket Club Leith Hill Surrey. Would the Two-barred Crossbill grace me with its presence! This was to be my ninth visit and fourth full days stake out but would my efforts be rewarded!

The weather was cloudy and the wind was slight but chilly. As I walked past the pavilion a group of eleven crossbill flew towards me but changed direction on seeing me and disappeared out of sight. Oh no that was bad timing! As a result of the flock deviation I tucked myself well away from the pond and the now famous oak trees and hoped the flock would return!
(Two-barred Crossbill)
I waited for around an hour and fellow birder “Dougal” joined me in what was turning out to be a regular meet at this site. Within around fifteen minutes I saw a small group of Crossbill in the pine opposite the pond. I didn’t see them arrive but began checking each bird through my telescope. Then a female bird turned sideways and “Yes!!” there were two distinct white wing-bars. I got Dougal onto the bird and I then rattled off a heap of pictures trying to contain my excitement as I did so. The bird then dropped down towards the pond out of sight. The flock re-grouped and headed towards Dukes Warren with the Two-barred en tow.
(Two-barred Crossbill)
A few handshakes later and I said my farewells to “Dougal” who explained that he gained the nickname from the magic roundabout. Couldn’t see the likeness myself but we were both happy that this elusive bird had finally been bagged!
(Great Northern Diver)
My next port of call was Papercourt GP’s where a Great Northern Diver had been present for around two weeks. I had seen a few in Surrey but had heard this bird was quite obliging in front of the camera. I was not disappointed after a walk to the far end of the main pit the bird came within ten metres of the bank and once again the camera captured the moment.


  1. Glad you got it in the end, mate. Funny how some birds are really difficult for some birders rather than others. I got it pretty much at the first go, my third separate siting for Two-barred this year. Yet, can I locate a Dartford Warbler this year in Surrey? Not a thing.

  2. Thanks mate. It was beginning to test my patience slightly..! Dartford's are very rare in Surrey these days. If I hear of a site I will let you know.

  3. Lol good to see that you finally got it. Great work and great article. Share more good stuff, looking forward for the great future posts.