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Common Crossbill, Forres, Scotland?

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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 12:04   #1
wokka
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Common Crossbill, Forres, Scotland?

Afternoon,

Came across a few crossbills near Forres in Scotland today. I think there were common but Parrot crossbills do live in the area. I have relatively little experience with these so any help would be great.

Thanks

Pete
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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 12:44   #2
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The size of the bill seems to put it in the 'Scottish' category?
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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 20:17   #3
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I'm inclined to think Parrot, at least for the male (can't see the bill in pic 2 too well!)
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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 20:50   #4
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He's another two pictures from today. Parrot would be a lifer for me, which would be nice.

Any other opinions gratefully received.

Pete
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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 21:08   #5
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Hi Pete,

You might find this useful https://www.the-soc.org.uk/content/b...rot-crossbills to understand the complexities of Crossbill identification in Scotland. For what it is worth I agree with Nutcracker that the first pic looks good for Parrot Crossbill. A classic Parrot Crossbill has a lower mandible that bulges downwards so in effect the lower edge of the bill angles downwards if the bill is held level and then curves upwards rather than gently curving upwards or being level at the base of the lower mandible. The diagrams on the SOC page show this. I am not sure if Scottish Crossbill can ever show this sort of curvature.

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Roy
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Old Sunday 12th January 2020, 21:40   #6
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Hopefully this photo of a Parrot Crossbill on Shetland will demonstrate what I mean. The lowest point on the lower mandible is midway between the base and the tip and from the base curves downwards to the midpoint - unlike typical Scottish and Common Crossbills.

Cheers

Roy
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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 07:56   #7
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Is the bill on the OP, particularly the upper mandible, really deep enough for Parrot?

I did consider Parrot I must say but was unconvinced given that Scottish birds are typically deeper billed than Common.
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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 09:56   #8
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Thank you all for your help. A really useful and interesting discussion for me.

I've just had a look at a video I took and grabbed a screenshot. The lower bill doesn't look as bulged on this picture. I've also attached a sound recording and a sonogram taken on my iPhone ( so pretty rubbish quality).

Cheers

Pete
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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 09:59   #9
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Does look more like Common on the new pic, tho' the head is still large
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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 10:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wokka View Post
Thank you all for your help. A really useful and interesting discussion for me.

I've just had a look at a video I took and grabbed a screenshot. The lower bill doesn't look as bulged on this picture. I've also attached a sound recording and a sonogram taken on my iPhone ( so pretty rubbish quality).

Cheers

Pete
Lovely to see a sonogram! However, it's a bit too grainy to do anything with. If you can change the 'window size' you should get a much clearer look at the calls. If you're using audacity there's some info here on how to change it.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j9ycbi188t...guide.pdf?dl=0
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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 10:41   #11
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An enlarged view, for what's its worth given the poor quality of the recording.

Thanks for the link to your guide, very useful.
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Old Thursday 16th January 2020, 14:31   #12
wokka
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Updated sonograms

Afternoon all,

Mark Lewis, very kindly had a look at my sonograms and tidied them up. The results are significantly clearer.

Does any one have any expertise with Crossbill sonograms? Because when I look at the link Mark sent me the closest looks to be a Parrot N21.

https://avesrares.wordpress.com/2019...lls-in-europe/

Any help on this tricky ID would be very welcome, and hopefully informative to others.

Cheers

Pete
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Old Friday 17th January 2020, 17:24   #13
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These are excitement calls (as opposed to flight calls) but might still be ID-able to species.
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