Friday, 9 April 2010

Singing COMMON CHIFFCHAFF with some Spanish notes in its dialect


Another beautiful, warm spring day, continuing the theme of yesterday. Little in the way of visible passage but more and more summer visitors arriving, particularly warblers. Temperatures again reached 59 degrees F, with long spells of sunshine and clear blue skies.

(1500-1700 hours)

In remarkably warm conditions, Steve Rodwell and I spent a long period studying and listening to a singing male COMMON CHIFFCHAFF in Willows and shrubs close to the Buddleia clearing. This was no ordinary chiffchaff however in terms of vocalisation as it repeatedly threw into its repertoire, one note which I only associate with Iberian Chiffchaff (brehmii/ibericus). In fact, when Steve and Vicky first found it, it gave all four loud notes that ibericus frequently finishes its song off with. Later, it reverted to more typical collybita conversation, and showed field characteristics akin to that species.

The woodland yielded three further singing male Common Chiffchaffs, 1-2 male WILLOW WARBLERS, 2 male Blackcaps, 5+ Goldcrests, a LESSER REDPOLL and several Coal Tits, as well as several Peacock butterflies (Steve had also seen a TREE PIPIT briefly, two pairs of MARSH TITS and two singing FIRECRESTS).

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