21st August 2013. Two-barred Crossbill. Broomhead Res.

We finally got the time to nip over the northern border of the county to South Yorkshire to try to see the flock of Two-barred Crossbills at Broomhead Reservoir.

Unfortunately we were chatting and did not read the map and drove a good half hour further north than we needed and got lost! After a bit of “zen navigating” we did arrive at the reservoir… there is not much parking here but we were lucky and people were going, maybe a good sign that the birds were showing? We walked a short way down the path and ran into Roy Frost etal, “don’t bother” was the advice “we’ve been here hours and seen nowt”  The crossbills wee very restless apparently. Of course we gave it a go.

Funny though we had been on site only five minutes before we heard a Two-barred calling and then saw it in flight! Hopes high were heard them several times over the next half hour then eventually 5 landed in a larch next to us. Most were juv’s etc but one fine male showed really well, but never posed for photo’s in view! They were heard to call, both the distinct “normal” one and the “trumpet” type calls.  We tried several times to call Roy’s mobile but there was no service…..

They showed for a while then flew off. Less than an hour later Roy and co arrived back… I really hope they saw the birds.

Interestingly this male seemed to have either lost some tertials or to have worn off the white tips to the tertials that are always quoted as crucial to ID…. Just look at the wing bars though, and the calls are great!

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