Sunday, 13 October 2013

Parrots in the rain

I was prepared for today. I'd looked at a number of weather forecasts, with all saying it was going to be grim. And it sure was and typically, with my waterproof jacket that probably hasn't been waterproof for the last decade, I got extremely wet. Fortunately though a small group of Parrot Crossbills - four of them in all - decided to bed down last night at Gunner's Park, Shoeburyness, Essex and because of the abysmal conditions were still about this morning. Two males and two females about, getting blown about in the seafront pines - extremely showy, so even in the poor conditions managed a couple of average shots.

male Parrot Crossbill, Gunner's Park 13th October 2013
Must admit that structurally, they were really bull-necked and all birds seemed to show a relatively meagre 'crossed-bill' so all pro-Parrot features. Being a London birder, Crossbill isn't a species I see often at all so regular experience would help - though I was slightly underwhelmed by the smallish lower mandibles and actual bill size. Though the deepening kink towards the bill tip was pretty unique on these smart birds. I'd have liked to have watched them for longer, but with me and optics thoroughly soaked enough was enough.

Yesterday, with just the morning to play with, I headed out to some local spots. There was a 1st-winter Arctic Tern at Woolwich Ferry at high tide, while Crossness produced an adult Little Gull off the golf centre and an Arctic Tern that flew through mid morning could feasibly have been the same as that at Woolwich.

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