Walking beyond the plantation, with views over Romney Marsh, again not a great deal to report - one pair of Buzzards took to the air. I continued to watch and and listen intently from the plantation edge. With another hour ticking by, I was resigned to a poor mornings' birdwatching but then to save the morning a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker burst into call close by. Frustratingly, I couldn't locate the bird. Keeping to the mean spirit of the forest the Woodpecker was never to call again. Still, the one call was enough and adds a new location for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker within the forest, painting a picture of a bird holding its own in numbers and distributed thinly and wildly across the forest. So at last, a good find for the morning.
As I walked back to the woodland entrance with my car in sight, two plump finches flew from the top of a large spruce in front of my feet. They followed the path and landed high in an oak above my car, disappearing into the canopy. As I walked towards them, I couldn't relocate them and thought they'd flown away. But as I arrived at my car I checked through the tree canopy once more, and refound them. A fine pair of Crossbills and, even better, so close that I could see the female carrying a beak-full of twigs in her bill. I think this is a 'Eureka' moment as I now have evidence that Common Crossbills are attempting to breed in the forest.
|Looking down on my car, a female common Crossbill|