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Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-04-08
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 70-200F/4L + EF 1.4x II, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-07-19 6:31
Viewed: 4011
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I was originally going to post this image to find out the ID of the bird, bit it's been so long that I've since found out myself, it's a crossbill, and this was the only time I've ever seen one, let alone photographed one. It was taken at the RSPB head office and nature reserve at Sandy, Beds. Recommended if you like birds and have a long lens! This was originally woefully underexposed due to me using manual exposure and repidly moving clouds, but RAW has come to the rescue again!

General info about the species, courtesy of RSPB:
Loxia curvirostra
AKA: Common crossbill, Red crossbill (N America),
A chunky finch with a large head and bill which is crossed over at the tips. Most often encountered in noisy family groups or larger flocks, usually flying cloe to treetop height. It feeds acrobatically, fluttering from cone to cone. Adult males are a distinctive brick-red and females greenish-brown.

Where does it live?
Most usually found in Scots pine, spruce and larch trees, especially mature forest or old plantations.
Similar to breeding habitats.
Where to see it
They are an irruptive species and may be numerous and widespread in some years, less so in others. Established breeding areas include the Scottish Highlands, the North Norfolk coast, Breckland, the New Forest and the Forest of Dean. It regularly comes down to pools to drink.
What does it eat?
Seeds from conifers.
What does it sound like?
A loud 'chip chip' call; a warbling, twittering song.
When to see it
All year round. In irruption years, birds will arrive from the Continent from late summer, often staying to breed.

patrickb, horia, Fisher, aido, manyee, coasties, sAner, marhowie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Andy, great shot. I like the effect of the water in the BG. I can clearly see why he is called a “crossbill”. Maybe a little dark on his side.
Great composition.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-07-19 6:57]

Very nice picture, Andy.
Splendid colors, excellent sharpness and a very good POV. The small waves of the water and the way they reflect the light make a superb BG.
Well done. Bravo and TFS

usualy, this bird may be found in highly threes, but you catch it in water. Good focus on the bird, good colors, TFS.

Hello Andy excllent colors, Bg, POV DOF Perfet details, very crisp, excllent Photo, TFS Kyle

HI Andy,
Just time for a very quick visit.
Nice shot. Thanks for posting.

Hi Andy,

I like contrast and colors. The glow on the water is very nice. Well done and useful note, TFS,

Hi Andy,

Excellent capture and composition. Beautiful colors.


  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2006-07-19 10:54]

Il n'y a pas que les humains qui aient chaud ces jours-ci.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-07-19 11:37]

Hi Andy,
Nice shot and excellent PP work. Good composition and excellent colours, detail is good as is DOF. what I find really interesting about this though is the water, it's mesmerising :-) Amazing patterns and colours in there. Great work.

Hi Andy, this is one of the nşcest crosbill photos i ve ever seen. Not only as a bird photograph but also as a real artistic photo it is. Colours and composition are just great. TFS

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-19 19:38]

A beautiful bird you have captured here, Andy.
The colors are just gorgeous.
Great POV and sharp details.
I really like the patterns made by the water, though they do make a rather busy BG.
Great shot and TFS. :)

Hi Andy

Great shot. Well done on the composition, POV and sharpness. :-)

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-07-21 5:17]

Hi Andy,

I can honestly say I have never ever seen this bird in my entire life! Look at that bill, it looks so funny. :) I think this is a marvelous picture. The pattern in the water looks just wonderful and the bird is really sharp. I like the DOF, with the oof foreground a lot aswell. Maybe, just maybe the side of the bird is a little dark. Nothing serious at all though. Good post! TFS!


Hello Andy,
Very good shot! The colours and BG are great, like the pose of the bird too. The POV and framing is very nice too.

Great shot Andy.
I like the framing and POV alot..
Great detail and I like the interesting visual effect of the water here. Excellent notes,
Well done and TFS!

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