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Sunday, 7 October 2012

garden Warblers - on 7th October, 2012

Yes, that's "garden Warblers" rather than "Garden Warblers"...... Most years, in spring or autumn, we get a warbler briefly visit our garden. Until now, I've always reckoned on these being Willow Warblers, as opposed to Chiffchaff, based on size and colouration (I never hear them utter a note) - our visitors are usually of a decent size, and have a distinctive yellow colouration underneath, which I believed indicated young Willow Warbler.

Today, amazingly, whilst reading a post from my good friend Paul Riddle about his first ever garden Chiffchaff, I glanced out of the window and saw a warbler. I quickly broke off reading Paul's blog, and grabbed the camera. I only managed some very poor record shots before the bird departed, one of which is below. 

Chiffchaff - our garden
Having put a 'comment' on Paul's blog, I saw that the bird had returned. At first I didn't manage any better images, but I was able to note that, 1.) it wasn't as yellow underneath as the warblers we have seen in our garden, and, 2.) it was considerably smaller than a nearby Goldfinch. I came to the conclusion that it had to be a Chiffchaff - a 'garden first' for me too! However, I'm still a little worried about my identification because of the yellow colouration and the relatively pale legs. Please let me know if you disagree

Later the bird returned again, and I was able to stand outside and get some rather better images, as shown below.





Chiffchaff - our garden
 From further examination of my images I came to the conclusion that the primary projection length was considerably less than the length of the tertials - diagnostic of Chiffchaff - but I stand to be corrected! I'm also wondering if my previous sightings of Willow Warbler in our garden were, in fact, Chiffchaff!

16 comments:

  1. I love it, and I thinks it's a Chiffchaff, great photos too.

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    1. Thank you Bob. Yours is the first vote!

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  2. Great pics Richard, I would agree with Bob

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    1. Thank you Alan. I rather like your own recent Chiffchaff image - and the Green Woody!

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  3. Superb images Richard, they make me want to go and delete my effort!!! I too would say Chiffchaff.

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    1. I reckon yours is pretty good Paul. They are difficult though, aren't they! They just don't stay still. I was lucky that mine returned - twice! - and the last time I was ready for it!!

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  4. Beautiful photos - I don't think I've ever seen a Chiffchaff before.

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    1. Thank you Sue. They're quite common in these parts but, unless you look for them, they're more often heard than seen.

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  5. Hi Richard

    Can't help you with the identification but you really nailed it on the outing into the garden.

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    1. I was lucky Christian as this bird was too interested in picking off insects to take any notice of my presence!

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  6. Lovely images Richard, each year about August through to October, I get a visitor, a Chiffchaff or a Willow Warbler, never quite sure. It is always just one bird.

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    1. Thank you Linda. For a novice like me it can be a bit hard to tell a Chiffchaff from a Willow Warbler - unless they are singing!!

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  7. Hi Richard,
    On Mike Alibones blog/bird reports there's a post titled Phylscopy (I might have spelt that last word wrong). It concerns the identification of Chiff Chaffs and Willow Warblers. I would say Chiif Chaff. www.northantsbirds.com is the site address

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    1. Thank you Douglas. That's a useful post:- http://northantsbirds.com/2012/09/01/phylloscopy/

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  8. Brilliant!
    I manage this one once or twice but not as close!

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    1. Thank you Noushka. I was lucky that this one was too busy to notice me!

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