Glip and Parakeet Crossbills


Gorgeous morning, crisp icy air on west side of Strines/ Hollingdale plantation. It’s a remote spot apart from tree felling going on in the distance. I went looking for Mountain Hare. Have seen them here before, but NONE. Have they gone the same way way as the Goshawk? It’s a Red Grouse shooting moor. The Hollingdale Plantation used to be THE spot for Goshawk- all gone I think. I also found a spring trap in a random spot in the middle of heather moorland habitat on man-made little ‘animal bridge’ with cage. What was that there for? (See photos below).

Did see up c20 Crossbill in different flock. Recorded calls including definite Glip Crossbill and I think Parakeet Crossbill- but need to check as I have much to learn, and feel like I am starting over. It’s a complex subject!.

Also ring-tailed Harrier (presumed Hen but very brief views) and a handful of Bullfinch on the moors which I would like to see better. It also has a history of Great Grey Shrike records- no sign of Homer from Blacka Moor though today!

Crossbills, Glip or Parakeet? over Strines Moor, 26th November 2010. I did find a Two-Barred Crossbill here in 2002; the one below. Will keep looking- ya never know!

Two-barred Crossbill, Strines September 2002 Garry Taylor (no permission needed- Garry is always very generous!). In heavy wing moult which caused a bit of controversy at the time.

Crossbill habitat. A couple of small plantations of  Larch and Scots Pine beyond the larger Hollingdale Plantation. Some Bullfinches in here too that warranted another look.

Vermin Spring Trap. Seemed a bit bizarre in the middle of wild heather Moorland. No rat infestation up here. Something sinister going on? Amazingly while I was there a piece of wood fell from above onto the pad and sprung the trap leaving no injured animals!

Fires lit just as I was leaving. Smoking out the Crossbills?

7 thoughts on “Glip and Parakeet Crossbills

  1. Mark

    Re: The spring trap. I once found a Badger snare not too far from here. Nasty looking thing fastened to a couple of logs just small enough to allow the trapped animal to drag them along gradually choking it to death. Also a few larsen traps that mysteriously disintegrated freeing the captive magpie 😉


    1. AndyD

      Re Mountain Hares: I was nearby on Weds and was surprised to see two keepers in an ATV actively hunting Mountain Hares. They shot and retrieved 2 in the short time I was watching. No wonder there aren’t many around. The trap is probably targetting Stoat.

      1. Martin Garner

        Hi Andy

        Did think it was odd not to see ANY. Unbelievable really.
        Found this on a Hare protection website re Mountain Hare in Scotland:

        “While the mountain hare is persecuted directly for sport it is also snared and shot in large numbers because it allegedly carries a tick borne virus which kills grouse chicks and is therefore seen as a threat to the grouse shooting industry. The Habitats Directive requires member states to ensure exploitation of Annex 5 species is: “compatible with their being maintained at a favourable conservation status.” Since there are no official records of the number of hares being killed it is difficult to see how this requirement can be met. But anecdotal evidence of culling levels strongly suggests that EC wildlife law is being broken in Scotland.”

  2. Gary Woodburn

    Hi Martin

    Your trap looks like the sort that moorland keepers regularly use to trap mustelids, they are commonly used on most grouse moors. Usually they are either buried, covered with vegetation, placed in holes in walls, or nailed to planks to form crossing points over ditches etc.

    Not very nice but it’s quite legal and a very common practice on the moors, I did find a little owl in one that had be put through a hole in a wall once.

    Very useful blog btw, thank you !


  3. Mike Watson

    I agree with Gary. Traps similar to this can be found on grouse moors in Bowland and are intended for stoats and weasels. I have seen some disgusting sights on the fells around here. It is also worth checking the base of large rocks for any incongruous looking piles of stones as the gamekeepers often construct a chamber for their traps and bait them with hen’s eggs. Heaven forbid we should have a balanced ecosystem in our uplands. Br, Mike

    1. Martin Garner

      Hi chaps

      thanks for the responses- much appreciated. I think what seems remarkable to me is the amount of genuine wildlife that is intentionally killed- Goshawk, Hen Harriers, other Birds of Prey, Stoat/ Weasel- anything that ‘threatens’ the Grouse stock- all killed so that the Grouse stock can be kept artificially high (much reduce biodiversity) high so that they can be… killed. Bizarre. I guess, in the end, its all about money.

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