According to the rare bird alert, the Crossbills had been relocated at a garden shop across from the Richmond Nature Park. They'd travelled a few kilometers from near the Fraser River to central Richmond.
I arrived at the site in the morning and looked for them. There were none present, so I decided to see if they were in the Nature Park. I did not see them but had a good look at my first Purple Finch of the year.
Purple Finch - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC - 2018 Bird #99
Overhead in the trees was a Mourning Dove, another first for the year and #100.
Mourning Dove - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC
2018 Bird #100
Another birder had joined me and was heading across the street to see if the Crossbills had shown up. I asked him to text me if he saw them and he agreed to do so.
Richmond Nature Park has numerous nectar feeders which attract Hummingbirds and photographers. It's in a bushy area with opportunities to catch the hummers perching on branches.
A female Rufous Hummingbird appeared, another first for the year.
Rufous Hummingbird (F) - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC - 2018 Bird #101
As I was watching a squirrel in one of the caged off feeders my phone buzzed. The Crossbills had shown up.
Douglas Squirrel - Richmond Nature Park, Richmond BC
I hurried across the road and joined the fellow. The birds were quite high up, so it was difficult to get a clear shot of them at first.
White-winged Crossbill - Westminster Hwy, Richmond BC
They were feeding on the seeds in the large cones with gusto. This shot shows the white crossbars on the wing.
The females have less gaudy colouring but are still quite attractive.
This close-up shows how they got their name.
This winter is unusual with the number of White-winged Crossbills that have shown up in the Vancouver area. We more frequently see Red Crossbills here, but they were scarce this winter.
However, Crossbills tend to go wherever the cones are abundant, and we seem to have them this year. The other thing about cone abundance, it can spark them to go into a breeding cycle regardless of the time of year.
Interesting Species and great to get my lifer in late 2017 and see them again this year.