After what seems like one of the wettest winters for years the clouds finally parted long enough to make the trip up to the upper Derwent Valley and a search for Parrot Crossbills.
I’d like to say I’m 100% convinced this is a male Parrot Crossbill but I’m not sure. However, it certainly looks a better candidate then a lot of the iffy photographs being posted online. The fact that the Crossbill was feeding in Pines rather than the Spruce’s and Larch is another encouraging sign. Likewise it was with approximately 6 other birds unlike the larger flock of 30+ Crossbills higher up the slope on top of the hill.
Meanwhile on top of the hill the Common Crossbills were almost outnumbered by the twitchers. Over the previous few weeks the Crossbills had been drinking from a deep puddle on the edge of the plantation. Several birds flew over but with an inconsiderate photographer less than 20ft away perhaps unsurprisingly they weren’t keen on coming down.
Cladonia polydactyla or the Bengal Match Lichen. One of our more common lichens found on a rotting tree stump in the moorlands above Howden Reservoir.
If there’s something a little bit familiar about this view then you’re probably old enough to have seen “The Dambusters.” The upper Derwent valley reservoirs were used for the practice runs of Barnes Wallace’s infamous Bouncing Bomb.
A classic Second World War film that recreates Operation Chastise when the RAF’s 617 Squadron attacked the Möhne, Eder, and Sorpe dams in Nazi Germany with Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bomb.
The inspiration for George Lucas and the scene towards the end of Star Wars where Luke Skywalker takes out the Death Star ?