After our reasonable success with the Parrot Crossbills at Santon Downham, time to try our luck with the other flock at Wishmoor Bottom on the Surrey/Berkshire border. As we walked down to the heath we were informed that there had been 20 birds present at 9.00am, but that they had all gone off on their circuit at 10.0am, but would probably be back by the time we got there. Wrong!!!
We arrived at the site where about 20 birders were looking around aimlessly for the returning birds but to no avail. In fact it must have been half an hour later that I saw two birds fly back into the top of one of the pines without calling. One of the birds went deep inside, but the other bird, a cracking male Parrot Crossbill, perched right on top for at least 15 minutes allowing a number of shots to be taken.
It then dropped into the tree and for the next 20 minutes there were only glimpses of the male and the other bird, a female, as they fed on the cones but largey obscured. They then flew off and were never seen again. So what different fortunes from the two different sites. At Santon Downham the birds were always present and it was a trade-off between distance and light, whereas here we got close up to a single bird in superb light for just 15 minutes and nothing else. However, mustn't grumble.
Here are the shots I managed.