Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The First Of July

Last weekend saw hints of an early irruption of both Siskins and Crossbills from their summer breeding haunts in Scandinavia. So far, the migration had occurred on the east coast, the part of England closest to Scandinavia. 

“24 June - After an amazing 327 Crossbills at Scarborough, South Cliff, Yorkshire yesterday (23 June) blown away by an incredible 610 Crossbills between 0430-0700 this morning together with a supporting cast of 601 Siskins” 

“25 June - Another day on Scarborough South Cliff dawns & incredibly, even more Crossbills on the move! Over 1200 flew south this morning (with 1100+ in first two hours)." 

Would the change to July bring some of these birds here to the west of the Pennine Hills that divide Yorkshire and Lancashire? As expected we’d had a couple of low number catches during June but with a definite autumnal feel to the week gone by we felt that July might bring change.

This morning I met Andy at Oakenclough to a dull, mizzly morning. Full of optimism and imaginings we added Crossbill to our autumnal bird callers and laid a tray of water in the net ride nearest the confer plantation. It’s said that because Crossbills feed mainly on dry conifer seeds, they are always thirsty and that a good supply of water is really important to their survival.

Gradually the mist and drizzle cleared before the sun finally arrived around eleven o’clock. Needless to say, we caught no Crossbills but we did enjoy an unseasonable adult male Siskin amongst our catch of 17 birds - 5 Willow Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 2 Robin, 2 Great Tit, 1 Blackbird, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Siskin.

Apologies for the not so good pics today, most taken at ISO1600 in the drizzly light of 0630 to 1000 hours.

Siskin - adult male 

Willow Warbler - juvenile 

Garden Warbler - adult female 

Blackcap - adult female 

Meanwhile, the captions for Caption Contest continue to arrive for my last post of Friday 26th June. 

Kestrel chicks 

Thank you everyone for your topical, inventive and funny captions. And for those readers yet to enter the competition, it is not too late.

Read the captions so far and just enter your suggestion in the comments box of this or the last post of Another Bird Blog.

Back soon with more news and views. And ......................



............... keep eyes and ears open for those Crossbills.  You just never know.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday and Anni in Texas.


Tanza Erlambang said...

time fly so fast, now we are in July...
glad to read about migration birds during summer season.
Crossbill looks so unique...great shots

Rhodesia said...

I have never seen a crossbill :-( Looks like a reasonable amount of ringing though. The owls are around daily again but no sign of a youngster!!! Keep well Diane

Mike Attwood said...

I get excited over a sparrow in my garden, I havn't seen a starling for 2 years, I have more wildlife after dark and you talk of birds by the hundred. Some people have all the luck. Still, stay safe and keep making me jealous. Mike.

Elkes Lebensglück said...

Very interesting to read again about these flocks of birds! Great the owl cubs!
Have a good weekend!
Greetings elke

Mae Travels said...

I wonder if your crossbill is related to the ones I've seen here. So often the birds with the same names and appearances have evolved separately into the same niche.

Nice photos despite the weather!

be well...mae at

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Phil

What a great variety of birds. I love the pretty Siskin, Warblers and the Blackcap. The Kestrel photo is adorable. I would love to see the Crossbills here, I have seen 1 or 2 Crossbills in Maryland over the years, they are not a common bird in my area. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, have a great weekend! PS, thank you for the visit and comment.

Adam Jones said...

I was in Norfolk last week and I heard Siskin, which was odd because it just wasn't their habitat at that time of year. It was on the coast at Sheringham and others reported them too, but now I know that it was part of a larger movement. Very interesting. The Crossbills near me in Macclesfield Forest have done really well this year. Lots of young and in large flocks. Hope they are joined by some more from the near continent.

RedPat said...

Such huge numbers of Crossbills. I don't think we get them here!
Love the pic of the Willow Warbler.

Calendula said...

Love these fluffy krestel chicks!

Powell River Books said...

I've only seen a crossbill once. I went up the stairs to the outhouse on the cliff and could hear birds in the nearby tree. Fortunately, I always took my camera up with me to document the rare sighting. - Margy

Stewart M said...

Irruptions like the one you describe are remarkable. We sometimes get them from the dry interior down to the cooler, damper parts of Australia.

Hope all is well - Stewart M - Melbourne

Anni said...

Amazing photos...not bad images at all. In fact, the numbers expected are astounding!

Thanks so much for allowing us birders to drop in and enjoy your photos from I'd Rather B Birdin'.

Wally Jones said...

With our high heat and humidity it is difficult to get into an "autumnal" frame of mind around here.

Those Crossbill and Siskin numbers sound incredible! Fingers crossed for Crossbills for you.

Despite the less-than-comfortable conditions, we've been out and about quite a bit. Lots of new bird families but not many willing to pose for photos. I am left with groveling in the grass for publicity seeking bugs.

Plague insanity continues unabated. I suspect once our election season ends, so will concerns about our infecting each other.

We hope your new week brings good times - and Crossbills.

Jean said...

Wish I could take low light pictures that turned out just half as good as yours did. Hope you get your Crossbills soon.

Lowcarb team member said...

You've shared another great variety of birds... thank you.

Have a happy July.
My good wishes to you and your family.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello again Phil

This one is for you :)

All the best Jan

PS Have a good new week

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

beautiful collection of birds today

Veronica Lee said...

So fascinating to learn about these birds, Phil!

Incredible photos as always!

EricaSta said...

A lovely Post. I enjoyed reading.
Stay healthy.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I'm happy to hear about the large numbers of Crossbills you observed. Beautiful photos, too.

Lena (Vorstadtgeflüster) said...

So lovely!

Happy WW :)

Fun60 said...

I didn't realise the siskin is so brightly coloured.

Angie said...

Phil - you do not need to apologize for the photos - I would love to take such beauties! Crossbills - you made me wonder why I have not seen ANY crossbills so far this summer - I must check my notes to determine when they have been frequent visitors. Our big birding news is that we have a swallow's nest in the peak of our roof that we thought we had blocked off when the flickers were banging away. Best laid plans of mice and men ...

NCSue said...

Still love the photo of the barn owl babies!!
Thanks for joining us at

Ludmiła Jabłońska said...

Krzyżodzioby! Raz były przelotem w moich okolicach i akurat usiadły na mojej brzozie. Miałam szczęście!
Zdjęcia cudowne!

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