Saturday 21 March 2020

Well I didn't Hear a Chiffchaff

I've been out today, gosh for about 3 hours in total, but of course away from people other than those I passed while out walking; I believe that staying active like this is a good course of action, and should we lockdown further I hope we follow the example of Belgium which is still encouraging people to cycle and exercise on their own.

Well I do everything on my own other than play cricket - sadly all activity in that regard has been iced until July at the earliest I suspect - so I don't violate those terms and conditions. Rumbles has now closed even for take outs, but I was still able to get a cup of tea in the market and walk around with it.

I've been listening out for chiffchaffs, turning off my radio in wooded areas and seeing if I could hear one of the little blighters.

No joy in this regard, but instead I actually saw one!

These dinky little warblers, not even the size of a blue tit, are incredibly hard for me to spot normally. For a start they are tiny and brown, and then they are also incredibly adept at throwing their voices. They are never where their call seems to be coming from.

However the chiffchaff I encountered wasn't singing. It was flitting about in low branches over the cycle track drainage ditch, and at first I thought I was looking at a goldcrest, waiting to see the yellow mohican at any point. But I never did, and when I clocked the pale eye stripe I knew what I was actually looking at straightaway.

Far too early for willow warblers, so it had to be a chiffchaff. Only the second one I've ever seen in the flesh - or feather rather.

Stay safe all.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 21.03.20

1 comment:

  1. Glad you managed to spot one. I didn't hear any yesterday either, which was odd because in the same area the day before there were several. Keep safe and healthy.