I was looking for a White-winged Crossbill. It is a somewhat uncommon visitor to the region — and one I had been challenged to find. I did find one, but, one somewhat obscured by branches.
This crossbill doesn’t actually have white wings, but white bars or stripes on otherwise dark wings.
Then I encountered something, other than a crossbill, with white stripes on a dark background.
Seen first was a White-winged Crossbill sitting in a black hawthorn bush.
As I watched in trees for white stripes on birds, I glanced at the ground and found I was being watched by something else with white stripes. A skunk was eyeing me from only metres away.
The arched back and raised tail were a warning to me.
The skunk quickly decided that I posed no threat and merely wandered off.
What was this normally nocturnal animal doing out at midday? It was probably looking for a mate; this is the skunk’s breeding season.