Crossbill corner

On 12 January I returned to my tetrad for the River Thame Conservation Trust survey; I am required to make two visits between November and February.  It was a grey morning and I had no expectations.  But I had two good experiences.

On the day of my last visit, 11 November 2018, I reported to Buckinghamshire County Council that Stokenchurch footpath 86 was not marked out over the field as required by law.

3 not reinstated

Unrestored footpath 86 goes diagonally across the field, 11 November 2018

Now it has now been sprayed and is clearly visible across the field.

stc fp86 marked out after my complaint

The second good thing was that I saw a female crossbill.  She was on the top of a fir tree outside the house which is on the bend of the road down Kingston Hill from the A40 (grid reference SU745973).

Prominent beak
The light was poor and I couldn’t see the crossed bill, but the bird had a prominent beak and so crossbill was my obvious conclusion.  I hadn’t seen a crossbill since 7 February 2010 when I was doing the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) bird atlas survey in Cowleaze Wood, so this was a rare treat for me.

crossbill

Crossbill

It was also a treat for the River Thame Conservation Trust.  Nick Marriner, who coordinates its bird surveys, got in touch when he saw my entry on the BTO website.  It was a first for this project, and when I sent him the photo (above) he confirmed it as a crossbill.

As I walked back to Stokenchurch along the A40 I looked over the fields to where the crossbill was and could see the coniferous wood behind, into which it flew.

crossbill tree marked in red

Crossbill tree is in the group in the red circle

About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
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