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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Crossbill today Boat of Garten Wood, Speyside (1 Viewer)

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Please excuse the poor quality of photos, managed by holding my cracked mobile phone over the scope, but I played N20 Scottish Crossbill excitement-type calls this morning at the cross-tracks at Boat of Garten Woods, and photographed 3 birds. This male seems to have a large bill but there are Scotsbill and Common in these woods. Not sure but I think its a Scotsbill, and the female and streaky juvenile also surely must be Scotsbills?

But ...............................??
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
One of those threads where I learn, but I identified the Crossbills with such a large, square, parrot-like bills as Scottish Crossbills when I saw them in Scotland many years ago. Among other places in the Boat of Garten Woods.
Thank you for bringing back memories!
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
I am more confused than ever. Yesterday I had a pair responding to Scotsbill excitement calls and calling as well, and I am fairly convinced it was perfect. A sort of soft Choo-choo-choo (and no it wasn’t Thomas the Tank engine).
These 2 birds had rectangular-ish shaped bills but nothing exceptional.

These birds today however, have confused me as I am told the bigger confusion is separating Scottish from Common but I wouldn’t have any of these down as Common. Furthermore Boat of Garten woods is said to be excellent for 'Scotsbill' but Common is here too, but I’ve never seen Parrot reported there (e-bird etc). These could be either Scotsbill or Parrot for me, especially the female and juvenile.

When I get home later this week I’ll attach better quality photos. The lower mandible in these surely rules out Common I would have thought.

I’m still intrigued by them and wish Lindsay Cargill (Loxiafan) was still around to comment. He is such a font of knowledge regards Crossbills but understandably probably bores of birder queries like these.
 
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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Not of great help but many years ago I would have gladly gone home with that as a Scottish Crossbill on the basis of structure alone. Not bull necked enough for Parrots imo
.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Not of great help but many years ago I would have gladly gone home with that as a Scottish Crossbill on the basis of structure alone. Not bull necked enough for Parrots imo
.
Same opinion as me, thanks Pyrtle.

Going back out tonight and then one last bash tomorrow.

Slightly better (? questionable) zoomed in photos of the birds in question: -
1 and 2 Same bird (female)
3 juvenile
4 male
5 female and juvenile together
6 male again

The male has a large upper mandible and flat crown giving it something of a 'Hornbill' look. But the lower mandible is smaller from the front, but then the same bird looks to have a large lower mandible in the last photo. I think this is a Scotsbill as it and female responded to my Scotsbill excitement calls.

The female and juvenile baffle me - having great big upper and bulging lower mandibles. The crown on the female is raised giving it a different look interestingly from the male. These are either large Scotsbills or Parrots IMO (humbly so).
 

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PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Postures, silhouettes and physical features are so variable and I recall listening to a conversation between two of Norfolk's finest birders whilst watching and listening to Parrots at Holt Fountry Park a few years back. The second set also shows a couple of good candidates, though one appears very bull necked, the bill is not quite massive and " Romanesquely" starting from the top of the forehead.
Cheers.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Postures, silhouettes and physical features are so variable and I recall listening to a conversation between two of Norfolk's finest birders whilst watching and listening to Parrots at Holt Fountry Park a few years back. The second set also shows a couple of good candidates, though one appears very bull necked, the bill is not quite massive and " Romanesquely" starting from the top of the forehead.
Cheers.
Absolutely bang on, they can look so variable in stills, especially when you zoom in.
Appreciate your thoughts mate
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
I agree Bis.
Thx mate.
Plus a very obliging juvenile Common.
 

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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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