White winged Crossbills...in my garden??

On Saturday I saw my life White Winged Crossbill in Salisbury State Reserve, MA during a mad rush to see as many species in as short a time as possible. The Crossbills landed in a Pine right next to us and we got good looks before all jumping back in the car and zooming off to the next destination. Yesterday we had a much more leisurely time with the Crossbills before heading back home. I figured that this would be the last Crossbill I would see for quite some time – not quite. This morning the weekends birding highlights were running through my mind as I filling up my feeders. I suddenly SNAPPED back to reality as a pretty decent flock of birds flew RIGHT over my head. The sound they made was unmistakable – holy...karamba (PG13 version) those are CROSSBILLS.

I sprinted into the house, grabbed my gear and headed over to the neighbors. Sure enough, there were the Crossbills munching on little cones (tree species anyone?). I managed to get some semi-decent pictures for the record before the Crossbills headed off to another tree. They flew around for another 10 minutes or so, although I couldn’t get any more pictures. Isn’t birding amazing? I travel all the way to MA to see Crossbills and then they show up in my garden……INCREDIBLE! I’m hoping that they’ll be back and that I’ll be able to get a little closer to them when they do. Regardless I have a new amazing garden bird to add to the list! I guess with birding, much like life it never rains it pours. Now if a Northern Hawk Owl or Snowy Owl shows up in my garden I will definitely have a heart attack. So be warned, if I suddenly stop blogging you know what the reason is.


Jochen said...

Holy Ship!!


Geez, seeing as I have NEVER EVER seen WWCs anywhere, let alone close to home, I should definitely STOP reading North American blogs for a while and allow my finger nails to re-grow and heal.

Neat in the most excessively fabulous way!

Owlman said...

Hey Jochen, great to see you around some more. I'm now on FULL WWC alert and hoping to bump into some more. Isn't it strange that I see them in New England and then they show up several hundred miles south. I can't imagine I just missed them all this time.....Maybe I need to start hoping for some Grosbeaks and Red polls!

My garden list is slowing creeping up the excessive list with some remarkable birds showing up. Thanks for popping in. I'll be posting about the weekend soon, so take care of those fingers dude.

N8 said...

No way!

Good thing you got Hawk Owl this weekend, other wise the trip would have been worthless since you're getting all the bird we saw in your yard.

Christopher said...

Great Audubon's Ghost!
I can't believe that you got your life bird and then as a yard bird within 2 days, and several states away from each other. I'm hoping they stick around for you and invite more of their boreal friends along!

My head is still spinning from this weekend. I'm so glad you were able to come up, and am looking forward to birding with you again - What a blast!

Patrick Belardo said...

This is unreal.

The tree is a Hemlock maybe?

Owlman said...

N8 if a Hawk Owl shows up you're all coming to see it!

Christopher, I'm having a terrible time concentrating today and honestly the Crossbills blew my mind. I was just outside watching them zooming around - crazy!

Patrick, no doubt. Can't be too many hanging around this county - although maybe they're all over now. I've even seen 3-4 small flocks crusing around at the same time.....

How am I supposed to get any work done under these conditions?

Greg said...

Your birding mojo is really working these days! In spite of the ice and snow in Missouri, I'm green with envy, seeing all the cool pictures and stories of your weekend. And then to have WWCRs in your yard. Talk about good karma!

Looking forward to reading the detailed Massachusetts blogs from all the you Bloggerhead Kingbirds out there!

N8's dad

corey said...

That is just too cool.

I must say I'm a bit jealous, but not as jealous as I would be if an Ivory Gull had shown up...

mon@rch said...

Stunning Photos of these Crossbills! Seems like I always see them when I don't have my camera with me but when I have my camera they are never around!

ramblingwoods.com said...

I think everyone in WNY has seen them..except me..but most of what I see is in my yard and I keep looking....Michelle..

Kallen305 said...

I have yet to see WWCs as well and I live in Massachusetts! I can't get over the number you had in your yard. Very nice

Owlman said...

Greg, we had a blast and it was fantastic hanging out with N8. I'll do my best to get some more posts up soon.

Corey, the Ivory gull is on the way.

Mon@rch, isn't it maddening when that happens.... I think the Crossbills I snapped in NE were even closer than the ones I took in NJ. I just need some time to get them processed and posted.

Michelle, keep looking apparently they're around. I actually heard mine before seeing them.

Kallen305, they seem to move around from tree to ree quite a bit so they can be tough to find. I'd suggest finding some good spots with cones and scanning the area thoroughly.

Thanks all for popping in, much appreciated.