I took a ride down to East Shore Park (New Haven) Sunday morning hoping to find a Red Crossbill. I didn't have to look very long. As soon as I entered the park, there were three birders standing near a coniferous tree. Two of the birders had binoculars focused on the tree top and the other was holding up a parabolic microphone attached to a stand. They had located the recently reported Red Crossbills. I was able to get an excellent view of the male which was at the very top of a fairly short tree. It was great! I could see the crossed bill so clearly and the bird had a nice bold red coloring. I was so absorbed in viewing it through the binoculars that I lost the opportunity to get a photo. A female was present, as well, but I did not get a very good view of it. I had a quick word with EJ, Nick, and Luke. They had recorded the bird's song in order to be able to determine the origin of its location before they were off to check on more rarities.
Red-breasted Nuthatches, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, White-throated Sparrows, and Brown Creepers were very active at this location. I was able to get the photo of the Brown Creeper just before it started snowing but the lighting was very poor. The most important thing is that I was finally able to see a Red Crossbill. That was a lifer for me. It also broke a dry spell of not finding any of the irruptive species that everyone has been talking about. Whenever on a fishing trip it's pretty well agreed amongst the fishermen that you have to catch that first fish before you start to have some success. Now that I've seen the crossbill, I'll feel more confident in finding redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks, Evening Grosbeaks, Bohemian Waxwings, and Boreal Chickadees. I probably won't find all of them, but if I can find two or three of them before winter is over, I'll be happy.