Saturday, 3 April 2010

More Chiffchaffs have arrived.

With a hint of blue in between the gathering clouds mid morning I headed for Stoke Meadows to check for any new arrivals.
Very high water levels at the weir after the overnight rains.
Very little to be seen across the water meadows apart from the usual Canada Geese, all paired up.
Treading carefully across the boardwalk whilst being bombarded by the constant calls of Wrens and Great Tits. 
On the lake were Mallard, more Canada Geese, Coot, Cormorant and one Great Crested Grebe. No signs of any Martins or Swallows today but the path-side vegetation filled with the constant calls of Wrens and the measured but forceful notes emanating from a number of CHIFFCHAFF singing from the highest perches having just returned from their wintering grounds around the Mediterranean and North Africa.  
I patiently waited for one to descend lower but with two individuals trying to out-sing each other that was not going to happen so both these shots are heavily cropped.
One decided to take a brief rest from singing but still kept an eye open for intruders.

On my journey back to the car I heard and then located a Willow Warbler (first for 2010) and a newly arrived male Blackcap flitting about within a small patch of mixed woodland, but neither species made themselves available for a photo-call.  No birding tomorrow, apart from through the car window, as there is a gathering of Anita's family at a restaurant in Hampshire to celebrate her mothers' 80th birthday.  FAB.


  1. Hi Frank,
    Looks like the birds do not know that the weather is not that nice... They are still coming to their spring place. Nice for you thought, you can get pictures of them... you got a nice birding day and enjoy the family birthday tomorrow ;-)

  2. Really a nice bird. I have not seen one of these here in Ohio where I live. But this is a nice post too.

  3. Hi Chris. They don't have a satelite forecasting service to tell them what the weather is at their destination!

    Hi Abe. Chiffchaff is a Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus collybita) so you are very unlikely to see one in the US as your warblers are 'New World' (Parulidae).

  4. Once again some really lovely pictures. Happy Easter

  5. Nice series, Frank! I really like the Canada Geese shot.

  6. Absolutely fabulous photograph of the chiffchaff......lovely detail.

    Could I ask you a favour....I believe I had a Reed Bunting in the garden today and would love if you could confirm it.....don't worry if you have not got time, quite understand.

  7. I'm still waiting to see Willow Warbler this year. Most things are a bit thin on the ground I'm afraid.

  8. Phil and Mandy. Cheers, hope you are having a good Easter as well.

    Mona. You are just soft on the CG!

    Cheryl. Thanks but hope to get a sharper shot of a Chiffy soon.
    ID for the Reed Bunting is spot on.

    Phil. I'm sure it won't be long before they get to you, especially with some southerly winds.

  9. Sounds a pleasant outing - well done on the Chiff Chaff - not easy. It seems only a couple of weeks ago when we got excited to hear one Chiffy - now they seem to be everywhere.

  10. Yes Tricia, now we wait for the rest of the 'armada' to arrive.


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