Crossbills are characterized by the mandibles crossing at their tips, which gives the group its English name. Using their crossed mandibles for leverage, crossbills are able to efficiently separate the scales of conifer cones and extract the seeds on which they feed. Adult males tend to be red or orange in colour, and females green or yellow, but there is much variation.
After so long away from home, it was nice to get out in the Forest of Dean this afternoon. The sun was shining and there were a good number of insects on the wing. This is one of three Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries seen today, along with Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Speckled Woods, Common Blue, Large Skipper. The highlight of the dragonflies today was a Golden-ringed. Woodlark still singing, Tree Pipits still displaying and a Cuckoo still calling. It’s almost like I was never away!