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Red Crossbill at Albany Pine Bush ©Christine Glade

Wishing Made It So. Red Crossbills

We improved a trip to Albany today with a walk around the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. We’d already been graced en route by the sighting of a Northern Harrier as we drove by the Alfred Z Solomon Grasslands.

As we pulled into the parking area I silently wished to see a Horned Lark or a Red Crossbill. (I might have used the conjunction “and” not “or” in phrasing my request but right now I’m choosing to recall it with less greediness.) This tactic of summoning birds started “working” for me last spring. I don’t question it. It’s like wearing a lucky hat or repeating a novena. Last spring I swear I successfully summoned Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Towhees and Magnolia Warblers. This winter the Snow Buntings arrived when asked, though they refused to pose for photos. I do offer a practical note on this method: don’t ask to see birds that would not possibly be there. Oh, and this tactic apparently does not work with owls. Don’t bother. 😉

Anyway, about 20 minutes into our walk we did in fact watch a large flock of a dozen Red Crossbills land high in the pine treetops. What a treat! And yet another Lifer Bird for yours truly. They were pretty far away and hard to photograph, even with a 600mm, lens but here are a few images of these intriguing birds.

Ps. I regularly checked my phone for Bluebird egg action back at home. Alas, not today.