The First Of July

Last weekend had seen 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 mizzle cleared before the sun finally arrived around eleven o’clock. Needless to say, we caught no Crossbills but we did enjoy an unseasonal 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.