Thursday, December 15, 2011

White-winged Crossbills

In the past month, we have encountered White-winged Crossbills here at Moorecroft Regional Park, on two occasions, and we had another small flock on a rowing trip offshore to Gerald Island. It seems odd that we have not heard other reports from elsewhere on Vancouver Island. Maybe people just don't recognize the call of this species as being distinct from Red Crossbills?

Today we had 6 White-winged Crossbills calling from tall firs in the NW part of the park. Because they were high in the tops of the firs, it was impossible to photograph them. As tomorrow is the Nanoose Bay Christmas Count, maybe I'll have to record the calls in order to confirm them? Maybe not. Nobody seems too interested in this species anyway. Too bad. They are very beautiful, and their distribution in BC is a fascinating subject.
Nothing else but the expected birds today I'm afraid. We did have a Rhinoceros Auklet fly past, a Black Oystercatcher in the bay, and a Fox Sparrow up at the beaver pond. None of these birds is terribly easy to find here at Moorecroft at this time of year. Other than that, just another beautiful day here in the park.

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