Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | January 17, 2011

Success! – Crossbills at 7p!

Yes, I did it again! I chased a bird!  (and yes, it was the white-winged crossbill (WWCR)- again!) But alas! this time was a success.

I woke up nice and early and headed over to 7p for 8:30AM – and I was not alone. There were birders left and right, carrying scopes up and down the parking lot in search of the white-winged crossbills, but sure enough, they were right in their usual spot!

As a few of us were searching the tree lines for movement on pinecones, something caught my eye. 2 birds flew down from the WWCR’s favorite tree. I think I may have run as fast as my fastest 5k. Sure enough, it was them!

We all got such a great look at the birds! I even took the equivalent of bird surveillance (with my cellphone through the scope.) I am proud of my photo because, sure, anyone can take great photos with all the fancy cameras that were down at 7p today, but no one has my interpretation.   8)

Just the way I remember it... through the scope!








So there I am, completely fulfilled with my glimpses of the two birds, and I set afternoon plans with my birding partner, Linda for a trip to Sandy Hook, and I decide to keep watching the scene – as the birds snatch pinecones, pick them clean on the ground, head back up to the trees, etc…  more people came and went, scopes, bins and cameras in hand, and I just stayed warm and waited.

civilized birding 101- note the "overzealous" people laying in the snow snapping photos outside the gate.

But then, there I was, sitting in my car, enjoying the heat and hot cocoa, and I realized something.. there were no longer 2 birds there… in fact, there were 5 by my distant count. I swung the car around, and more people arrived, including a bevy of photographers, Linda Mack, Scott Barnes and Tom Gilmore, president of NJ Audubon (with a huge lens camera.)

the scene on Ocean Ave, Long Branch

By final count, there were 7 White-Winged Crossbills (of various ages and sexes) and 2 Red Crossbills. The birds, who are native to Boreal Canada, and have probably never seen humans were not afraid to land right in front of everyone. In fact, photographers with large lenses were complaining, “they’re too close.” Truly another exciting moment for 7 Presidents Beach!

white winged crossbills at the fence less than five feet from me.


ww crossbill on the fence


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