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Crossbill ID. Northern Scotland

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Old Friday 10th July 2020, 14:51   #1
wokka
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Crossbill ID. Northern Scotland

Afternoon all,

I had these Crossbills this morning in Darnaway Forest, Moray. The female in particular looked interesting. Could this possibly be a Parrot?

Any thoughts either way would be very welcome.

Cheers

Pete
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Old Friday 10th July 2020, 23:14   #2
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They do look good for Parrot, yes!
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 04:43   #3
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So Parrot Crossbill is now breeding in Scotland?
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 05:20   #4
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The spectrogram as it is is not very helpful. Could you attach the original recording? The photos look promising...
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 07:05   #5
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
So Parrot Crossbill is now breeding in Scotland?
For donkeys’ years Andy, it’s what many people tick as Scottish Crossbill
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 07:21   #6
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Quote:
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For donkeys’ years Andy, it’s what many people tick as Scottish Crossbill
I was going to ask if, the bill proportions here, are within what is currently considered 'Scotbill'?
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 07:46   #7
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I live in Moray. Been birdwatching since April, but I haven't seen any Crossbills yet, though I know they are relatively common between Moray and the Cairngorms.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 07:47   #8
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
I was going to ask if, the bill proportions here, are within what is currently considered 'Scotbill'?
That would definitely be a borderline size (or for people that can’t decide between Common or Parrot )

While I agree the bills (especially on the female) look large and both birds could well be Parrots, there’s something a bit ‘off’ with the images that may be distorting impressions so I am more cautious - there’s a lot of foreshortening which could be making the heads seem more bulkier than maybe they are? The posture of the female is very hunched (so difficult to assess neckj and the complete profile of the bill can’t be seen. Do the bills look that large relative to the heads, are the lower mandibles that curved/deep is the general profile of the forehead sloping enough or doesn’t it look rather steep? These are only questions I’m asking, not answering!

Compare the comparatively shallow upward angle of the distal end of the lower mandible in both images with the much more obvious (to me!) Parrots here
https://markavery.info/2017/12/22/ti...ot-crossbills/

and compare the sonagram here (note 4E?)

https://www.the-soc.org.uk/content/b...rot-crossbills

Personally I’m not sure whether its only the ‘extreme’ individuals at either end of the spectrum that can be identified on the base of bill size with everything else in between only safely ID’d on call.(and even then, isn’t there quite a lot of variations and overlap? The Commons I see regularly round here are clearly Commons (rarely Parrot although we did have a group about 3 years ago), in Scotland, I’ve only identified them as clearly Parrot or clearly not Parrot!)

I agree with Carey, a clearer (and longer) sonogram image is needed (and/or a loxia fan like Lindsay Cargill)
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Last edited by Deb Burhinus : Saturday 11th July 2020 at 12:34. Reason: add links
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 09:59   #9
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For donkeys’ years Andy, it’s what many people tick as Scottish Crossbill
And a pair or two raised young in Norfolk about six years ago after an influx. Near Holt, North Norfolk. Look okay to me too,
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 10:06   #10
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And a pair or two raised young in Norfolk about six years ago after an influx. Near Holt, North Norfolk. Look okay to me too,
I think that was the year we had them in Notts too Pat. went to see them near Clumber park, full house, World, WP, UK and Notts.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 12:00   #11
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It may be the angle of the photographs but there seems to be a step from the bill to the forehead, would Parrots not have the bill smoothly meeting the forehead. And yet the bills seem too big for Common. Scottish? Though these things are probably not safely identifiable on photos alone.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 15:46   #12
wokka
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The recordings I took weren't great. These were the best I could get, from some of the small flock flying over, not necessarily from the perched pictured birds.

https://avesrares.files.wordpress.co...ll-types-1.jpg

Pete
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 20:34   #13
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For donkeys’ years Andy, it’s what many people tick as Scottish Crossbill
Yep! Since at least the 1980s I believe, and who knows, perhaps much longer. Got to wonder if the bird shot by Harvie-Brown in 1870 and named 'Loxia scotica' by Hartert in 1904 wasn't one too . . .
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Old Saturday 11th July 2020, 20:42   #14
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.... Scottish? Though these things are probably not safely identifiable on photos alone.
They can't be identified by sonogram (or sound) either, because neither Harvie-Brown nor Hartert ever obtained a reference recording for Loxia scotica . . . . and given they can't be proven from DNA either, "Loxia scotica" cannot be maintained as a valid species with any scientific credibility. High time it was ejected from the World Bird List
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