Crossbills eat the seeds from pine cones. The only time Mrs L and I have seen crossbills was on St. Kilda. There are no trees on St. Kilda, the birds were stripping the seeds off grass shoots.
Today we headed off to Upper Hollesley Common in Suffolk where a flock of 30 Crossbills had been reported for the last few days and some cracking photos had been posted on the internet of them drinking from a puddle fairly close by the car park. An early start got us there before 9:00 but we weren't first there, a couple were already in place, seats set up and cameras on tripods pointing at the puddle and they'd already had sightings.
I decided to join them, got a folding chair out the car and made myself comfortable. Mrs L passed on the chair, preferring to stand and have a wander. This is a bit of a role reversal for us, I'm normally the one wandering round while Mrs L prefers to remain still and let the birds come to her.
So Mrs L's off on a wander at 9:30 and the birds start gathering in a nearby tree, then fly closer to the puddle, but a mountain biker scares them off before they visited the puddle, but I got few decent shots of them in the tree, but Mrs L missed them.
10:10 and Mrs L's off to the loo when a single male stops off at the puddle. I got few decent shots but Mrs L missed him.
10:30 and she's still not back I wander off to find her, but meet another birder who's spotted the flock heading our way. I resume my position and the flock flies into the trees around the puddle just as Mrs L turns up. They stay in the tree for a while, then come down to drink. By now there's maybe ten birders enjoying the show - including Mrs L, well worth the early rise.