Mainly due to the weather , I haven't got out much recently , apart from a couple of quick visits to Sydenham Hill Woods , almost under the Crystal Palace television transmitter , where two Firecrests had been seen off and on . The only trouble was that they were on whilst I wasn't there , and off when I was , so all I managed to get on the visits was cold . I would have loved to have got out yesterday in great weather , but we were coppicing material for the hedge that we are laying , starting next weekend . So I was pleased to similar weather this morning , so I made an early start to visit the Old Lodge Reserve on Ashdown Forest , hoping to find a Parrot Crossbill or two , as 9 had been reported over the last couple of days . I was second car in the car park , just beaten by a local birder , and after a quick chat , decided to go round together in the hope that four eyes would be better than two . We went left at the gate , searching alongside the road to the old house , where the last reported sightings had been made . No luck there , so we made our way down the very muddy diagonal track towards the stream , once again without any luck . Heading up the boundary fence with the MoD land , we noticed that the dead tree just inside the Mod land , favoured by the Great Grey Shrike in previous years , had succumbed to one of the recent gales . The horse paddock at the top held a good number of Redwing , with new arrivals dropping in at intervals . We met another birder who had walked the track under the wires to where we were , and he hadn't found any signs either . He set off the way we had just come , whilst we took the other path back down to the stream . Over the stream and up the hill , towards the area favoured by Common Redstarts in the Summer , and just beyond found a small group of birders , with optics and cameras pointing towards the top of a Pine . We joined them , and soon after , we were looking at some of the Parrot Crossbills .
On the way home , a quick stop in the car park on the Common , where a good number of Fieldfare
And finally , a poor shot of a Redwing in poor light in the garden , but it was feeding on berries of a
5 hours ago