Let me qualify a statement I made on the first post since my return from holiday. (Had I mentioned that I had been on holiday - forgive me if I had let that little snippet pass by).
"I refuse to believe that Crossbills actually exist".
Many birders have a bogey bird, the bird that they really should have seen by now but haven't. Not the kind of bird that you go to a specific reserve to see as the chances of seeing it away from it are slim (Stone Curlew type of effort). Now I have seen lots of common birds, a fair few rare birds and some nice looking and some dull birds. I have been to many differing types of habitat, and have often found the birds there that one would expect to find there. However, I have never ever seen a Crossbill. It is my bogey bird. Loxia is obviously some Linnaean joke about fictitious species to wind up the unwary.
Ever been to Wells next the sea? Tis mighty purdy. There is a great big stretch of PINE TREES FFS that should be interesting to birders. They even have a little sign at the entrance to tell you what an interesting place it is for birders, with a picture of a Redstart on it. With lots of pine trees around you would expect to find some birds that specialise in eating fucking pine cones. Well, you might dear reader, and in my folly I thought that I might too. Twat. Ever been to Holkham? It is especially lovely when the tide is out and the children are at school. It is the other end of the large stretch of PINE TREES that is at Wells. Thought that I might bump into a Crossbill there too. Twat. Ever been to Thetford forest? It is a big forest that is full of fucking pine trees. So much so that Mrs Thing and I got lost because all we could see was PINE TREES! I really thought that I would pick up a Crossbill there. Twat. In the many visits to these places, I did see birds. Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Siskin, Brambling, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Treecreepers etc etc. The list goes on but there is no entry for Crossbill.
This is not a new thing for me - I have been to Thetford forest many times over many years and I have been many other places that a half decent birder would reasonably expect to find a species that specialises in living in that area. Twat.
And we are at the tail end of an irruption.
Avocet's arse to 'em.