Hempsted Forest - 0815hrs - mild, cloudy, rain later, s 3 - Had a run out to the woods with CP, MH and TG this morning to look for crossbills. It takes a lot to drag me away from the Marsh these days as I`m not a great fan of twitching, but as always on a jolly with the `olds` the `Craic was 90` with plenty of anecdotes and jokes en-route and we did strike lucky with the crow-bars.
It was the classic stake-out-and-wait type of birding scanning across a large clearing in the forest and waiting for crossbills to come our way. There was up to 20 in the area, mostly flying around calling, but after a couple of hours a small group settled atop a nearish pine tree for ten minutes. In bright sunshine, it enabled identification of two Parrot types complete with bull necks and bulbous, Hawfinch-like bills alongside their Common congeners for comparison. And that was about it really, although another larger flock settled way across the clearing but were too distant to do anything with. There was no sign of yesterdays Two-barred Crossbill.
Other birds of note included a singing Yellowhammer, 5 Bullfinches, small groups of Redwings, Starlings, Redpolls, Siskins, Chaffinches, Linnets, 2 Fieldfares and a Skylark over, Sparrowhawk, 5 House Martins, 4 Swallows, plus Green and Greater peckers, Coal and Great Tits, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and Robins.
By 1030hrs the rain started and with more twitchers arriving we called it a day.
RSPB - 1430hrs - With the rain easing off we checked out ARC where the Glossy Ibis was still present from Hanson along with Curlew Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Ruff, 2 Greenshanks, 10 Dunlins and a Redshank amongst the Lapwings and Goldies. From Screen hide a couple of surprises in the shape of a late Hobby over the pines and a Kingfisher briefly in front of the hide flying towards Hanson, plus 2 Greenshanks and a Great White Egret.
On Burrowes 3 Black-necked Grebes, Ruff, Barwit, Little Stint and all the usual wildfowl, where a Slavonian Grebe had been reported earlier.