Sunday, 1 November 2009

First Chiffchaffs of the Year

 

We were out cycling and enjoying the spring sunshine when we came across this tiny mystery bird high up in the trees.

Chiffchaff

 

It was flittering about from branch to branch and singing away restlessly.

Chiffchaff

I knew it was a warbler and warblers are really a tough group to differentiate. However, the dark legs were a give away and the call confirmed it (play below)

 

Chiffchaff

 

Did that sound like chiff chaff chiff chaff…..? I was looking at my first warbler for the year – a Chiffchaff.

Chiffchaff

Willow warblers look notoriously similar to Chiffchaffs, but the experts point out that the legs are paler in colour.

Chiffchaff

It is also more yellow, has longer wings and has no eye ring. However the most distinctive character is the different call.

Chiffchaff

For a moment the bird flew down to within a few feet from us and I thought I could get a good shot for my gallery, but unfortunately this branch was in the way! oh well, I`m sure I`ll be seeing more of them over the coming months.


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