Its amazing how the body form varies in warblers. Its often quite confusing. I was out yesterday, concentrating on macro photos for my Macro Photography Website when out of the trees burst two chiffchaffs fighting with each other in mid flight. One of them came and sat right above my head. Luckily, my birding setup was still intact on the SLR (I`m testing the macro setup on my bridge camera). Anyway, that gave me my first close up of a chiff chaff. You can see its been involved in a fight, as some feathers are out of place and a few strands of the other bird are still stuck in its beak.
Anyway, as you can see from the above shots, the bird has a very elongated form. Half an hour later, we saw another chiffchaff, sitting in the trees and singing away. This one however has a more rounded body structure. If I hadn`t known better, Id have said its two different species!
Perhaps, its just they way they ruffle their feathers, but this variation always has me confused. Well, with the amount of confusion going around…with people reporting that one can even imitate the calls of others, I wouldn’t even be surprised it was two different species. meanwhile here`s a guide to differentiate between chiffchaff’s and willow warblers from the birdwatch.co.uk website (Click for link):