Here’s the answer
Besides a guess for Two-barred Crossbill, some guessed the mystery undertail coverts belonged to congener, the Pine Grosbeak. No, it’s a crossbill sp. No worries if you got it wrong- best way to learn! Photographed in the Scottish Highlands and I agree with the photographer, it looks like a male Parrot Crossbill. I’ve not seen one in Britain since the early 1980’s. Do you remember the breeding pair at Wells Wood, Norfolk and the little warden’s caravan?
I often think one might be easily overlooked in a flock of Crossbills as I am very rusty. I would want to get sound recording, though I hope if I found a male that looked like this in the Sheffield area I would be pretty pleased! Hopefully sooner than later…
Male Parrot Crossbill, Highland, Scotland, June 2011 All photos © David Darrell-Lambert (www.birdbrainuk.com)