Winter birdsong
Slaley, Northumberland
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Male crossbill in winter plumage

The bright and warm days of this week, 4 -11 December, have stimulated mistle thrushes into song. The somewhat lonely and far-carrying song can sound cold and a little like a warning unlike the warmth of the spring song which fills you with expectations of longer days and flowers.

Red male Crossbills are singing to the green females although they are all still in flocks at the top of cone laden trees. Crossbills can cling like parrots, anchored by one foot whilst grasping a cone with the other and extracting the seeds with its bill that has been perfected for the job over thousands of years. Thanks to Raymond Craig for the photograph.

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