Saturday, December 6, 2008

Two-barred Crossbills!

I went to the Holden Arboretum (Lake County) to look for crossbills in their huge conifer collection today. This is near the corner of Sperry and Kirtland-Chardon Roads. I knew it was going to be a good day when I stepped out of my car and immediately had 3 White-winged Crossbills (or Two-barred Crossbill as the Brits call them) fly over heading south. After a little bit of searching I found a nice flock of 12 WWCR in one of the spruce trees. They occasionally switched trees and eventually flew south. This was seconds before Jim and Bret McCarty showed up. It turned out alright since the next 2 hours yielded over 50 more WWCR allowing fantastic views. At one point a small flock landed in the spruce tree that we were standing next to. Here is a breakdown on the flocks:

7:45am - 3 (flying south)
8:00am - 12 (mostly males; feeding in tree and then headed south)
8:45am - 1 (single male landed on top of a spruce and continued south)
9:40am - 21 (two flocks - landed, fed for a while and headed south)
10:00am - 25 (one flock - landed for a couple seconds and continued south)
10:13am - 1 (flying south)

This is what the conifer section looks like from Google Earth
They occupied the spruce tops, feeding for the majority 
of time. There are at least 8 individuals in this photo.
Finally, here is a poor shot of a male that teed up for a minute.
Now where can I find some Red Crossbills...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Ethan -

NICE. Glad you ran into a good flock that you could actually WATCH CLOSE. I have yet to get ace looks at WWXBills this year. The 150+ birds I've seen have been flyovers and quick 'tee-ups' on white pines. How many new state birds are you at for 2008??