The dictionary describes “Twitching” as to move jerkily or spasmodically. Twitching as a bird watcher means to go into pursuit of a previously located rare bird. And this can best describe what happened today.
The plans for the day was for Kathy and myself to go look at new cars, which as anyone can attest can be a pretty stressful task. Then at 11:01 am, I received a text from birding buddy John Marvin. “Spring Grove? Red Crossbills….” WHAT THE….! Life birds are becoming harder to find in this part of Southwestern Ohio. an to have a new lifer drop right into my lap, kinda, needless to say caused quite a distraction. Trying to focus on new cars was difficult, however the plan was to meet John at the cemetery as close to 4:00 pm as possible.
I pulled into the cemetery at 4:10 pm, which I thought was pretty good time. I gave John a call to ask where he was. A few moments later I was able to locate him. The birds where originally located in section 52, and that was where we ended up standing, looking into the Hemlocks and other Evergreens in section 53.
We were there no more than 5 minutes when John said that something just flew into the taller tree up at the top. and it looks kind of pink. (The taller tree in the above picture was the tree in question) The Sun was in our favor as it lite up the tree top. 2 birds, one disappeared behind, and the other stayed perched on top. The Sun really showing off the red color of the bird. We moved to the side because we had to get a better view to see if it had black wings or wings with a white stripe. Black wing. Red Crossbill. And it stayed there for several minutes as we got great looks to make sure we saw what we saw. Unfortunately in my hurry to get home and grab my gear for the long drive, I left all my digiscoping gear at home, so no picture. And it would have been a great shot to.
The remained of the time we wandered around section 52 and 53 in search of some White-winged Crossbills which were reported here as well. As the Sun get lower and lower we decided to call it quits and head home. SUCCESS!
Congrats on the lifer! I know what you mean when you say lifers are hard to come by. I’m in the same position here in Ottawa, having seen almost all of the regularly occurring birds. Even if you didn’t get any photos, at least you got some great views of the crossbill!
Awesome! I’m planning on going there Thanksgiving morning, so hopefully I’ll get something.
The rumor that I have heard is that one of the first British listers had a nervous tick, and so the name came about that people who chased after rarities were “twitchers”