At 14.22 a text came through to say that there was a male Two-barred Crossbill on the beach, east of the car park at Cley. Knowing that this wasn’t a bird that was going to hang around in this location I said ‘lets go’ – Jane on the other hand was insistent that we wait until she’d finished preparing a huge batch of courgette chutney! Ten minutes later and we’re on the way along the coast road to Cley NWT following someone who, very correctly, sticks to every speed limit! We swing into the beach car park, say ‘Hi’ to Mark G, standing by the pill box, and he says ‘you need to be down there by the fence’. A knot of birders is straining to see over/through the fence to a patch of thistles in which the bird is supposedly residing. Seconds later it pops up on a thistle-head, close to the fence and I get a chance to take in this ‘tango orange’ male, with it’s distinctive white wing bars and tertial tips. A few seconds later and it’s off, flying across the Eye field towards the hides and beyond, to Cley village. No pictures of my own I’m afraid but here is a great shot, courtesy of Mark Golley:
This was the first Two-barred Crossbill in the ‘Cley square’ for over forty years – a Norfolk tick for me and a ‘lifer’ for Jane – pheew that was close!