Whilst the Crossbill were vocal and plentiful they were never accessible preferring to stay in the highest confiers feeding and calling.
If you were a Sparrowhawk/Goshawk you would just love male Crossbills wouldnt you?
Reaching the area the Shrike was supposed to be in I found a snall tree next to the track, parked myself and started to scan the clearfell. Thirty seconds later, bingo, Great Grey Shrike, I spent an hour at two different vantages, but it wasn't particularly active and never came anywhere near close. I was downwind and it did call a couple of times, 'trrrrrh trrrrh' the occasional tail flicking, but never made any hunting forages or caught anything in the time I was there.
Calling in Image 1, distant in both.
One or two of the Siskin were more confiding than the Crossbill, dropping into smaller bare branched deciduous treess occasionally. After I walked out I headed for the Gibbet, the parking layby was full of strange looking blokes sitting in the car, as I passed a pair of Crossbill dropped onto the gibbet, the male drinking (?) from the gibbet stone. It was only after turning did I realise that the strange looking blokes were in fact the full author team of 'Birds New to Britain 1980-2004' I spent a few minutes catching up with TC/AP as a procession of Common Buzzard tried and failed to turn into anything more interesting but after two mornings of almost total solitude a little crack was worth its weight.
Siskin, Harwood Forest, Northumberland