Wednesday 30 March 2016

The First Chiff Chaffs are Singing

I was in the Sconce Old wood today, and while looking around amongst the treetops for anything interesting, heard the most distinctive songbird call of them all.

"Dwoop-dweep dwoop-dweep dwoop-dweep".

The song of the tiny little chiff chaff, the warbler who's call is a true herald of spring. It wasn't just one either, there were at least two in there, and as I scanned the trees looking for them without any expectation of seeing them - they are expert seemingly at throwing their voices - I found myself seeing not one, but two!

They were fighting as well, two males spiralling out of the trees almost to ground level.

When the apparent victor came back for another sing-song, I managed to get a not terribly good shot of him. Still, it's my first ever shot of a chiff chaff.

The remarkable thing, is that according to my twitter feed, today was the day all over the country when they decided to start singing.

It was a bounteous sunny, if chilly day, for suddenly all manner of insects took to the air. Sadly, still a bit too cold for this queen buff-tailed bumble.

Moving round to the library, and hairy footed flower bees were busy in the gardens, albeit too fast to photograph. But this hover fly was rather more amenable to a macro shot.

Then, atop one of those strange yellow shrubs I can never remember the name of, I saw this insect. I have no idea what it is, other than it may be a species of solitary bee. Any ideas anyone?

Bonus time! I looked down and a bee fly was feeding off nettle with its wonderful long proboscis. Not the best shot, sadly.

Finally, in a hedgerow surrounding a flower bed, there were more 7-spot ladybirds to be seen than I saw in the whole of last year. Glad they are having a good start to the spring.

A really productive day of photography, as I hope you can see and there's more to come. I may not have seen a brimstone yet, but I think the chiff chaffs have decided that today was, genuinely, the first day of spring.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.03.16


  1. Some lovely insect shots there, still waiting for my first Chiffchaff,
    your mystery insect could be a drone fly.

    1. Thinking from what I've seen it might be a yellow dung fly

    2. ops-sorry I was looking at the photograph above Tapered Drone fly.

  2. Stunning photos I especially like the first photo of the Buffed tailed Bee, what a great day..
    Amanda xx

  3. Thanks everybody, hoping to find some good stuff when I'm out this afternoon!

  4. Funnily enough Si, I thought I heard a chiff-chaff when i took Tess for a walk after lunch. It is a lovely day here - the first real spring day we have had.

  5. Some lovely insect shots Simon - I haven't seen a Brimstone yet. In fact, I only saw my first butterfly of the year yesterday - a Small Tortoiseshell.

  6. So glad you have finally found your first Chiffchaffs of the year Simon, they do seem to have all arrived at once this year!

    Loved seeing all the insects too, and I am super envious of the Bee-fly as I have yet to see one this year :-)

  7. always lovely to hear the first chiffchaff of the year! I heard mine a few days ago