Crossbill conundrum!

Reports of various Crossbills recently have prompted us to look at a few of the photos and the more we have looked the more confusing it has become! We have focussed on some excellent photos taken of a group of birds that have been present at Upper Hollesley Common in Suffolk. The following shots were taken by John Richardson and show several individuals with rather large bills that certainly hint at Parrot Crossbill

And this shot by Sean Nixon

To our eyes these look very Parrot-like with some birds showing parallel bill sides and a very deep bill base. These seem to have been never claimed as anything other than Common Crossbills though! 
Contrast these birds with this female bird in West Sussex a few weeks ago which was claimed and generally 'accepted' as a Parrot Crossbill. 

This one looks more like a Common to us!

All goes to show we still have a lot to learn about the crossbill complex. Where Scottish Crossbill fits in here is anyone's guess. Maybe certain authorities such as Lee Evan and the UK400 Club are correct in dismissing Scottish as a species and all crossbill bill sizes are variable??!!   

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