Parrot crossbill

 

Michael Hunt found the first Parrot crossbills in Berkshire for about 30 years at one of my favourite sites, Wishmoor Bottom

This is where to find them:  Park at the top end of Kings Ride, Camberley: 51.351201, -0.744468 is the Google maps link to their favourite tree. It can be muddy getting there. They are pretty unpredictable (I know this after about 30 visits) and it always makes me smile when I get there and am told what they usually do. They can spend the entire day in the north-east corner of the common or show no sign all day … or anything in between. A visit is a lottery. However, I would say that it’s worth getting there at first light

If they are not there, what to do?
Option 1: wait
Option 2: Try Surrey. They haven’t been found anywhere else on the Berkshire side of the Wish stream. They have, however, been seen in Surrey. Cross the stream and check the pines beside the power lines up to Saddleback Hill – a favoured spot for about a week in December. Then try “Poors allotment” – an area of heather and isolated, large Scots pine north of the radio tower (visible from anywhere on the site) …. and feel lucky!

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