|Siberian Chiffchaff – a call please!|
have two tall trees in our garden. One of them is a pine in the front
yard. Birds that visit it on a regular basis are Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus,
Eurasian Magpie Pica
pica, Western Jackdaw Corvus
monedula, Carrion Crow C corone, Eurasian
Blue Tit Cyanistes
Great Tit Parus major
and Common Blackbird Turdus
merula. Less frequent
are Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia
decaocto, Great Spotted
major, Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri,
Eurasian Jay Garrulus
glandarius, Goldcrest Regulus
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos
caudatus, Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus
collybita, Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla,
Eurasian Wren Nannus
troglodytes, European Robin Erithacus rubecula,
House Sparrow Passer
domesticus and Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs.
2016, when we moved in, I have recorded Common Firecrests R ignicapilla
on seven days. But the best bird of all was a Yellow-browed Warbler P
inornatus, which spent a couple of minutes in the tree on
2017. The identification of that bird was straightforward, as it was calling loudly.
|On 18 December 2019, while videoing a Rose-ringed Parakeet, I noticed a Phylloscopus warbler high up in the tree. It looked interesting, so I immediately pointed my camera at it. Depicted below are some of the images I captured.|
bird looked like a classic Siberian Chiffchaff P tristis, showing
relatively little yellow or green in its plumage and a faint wing-bar.
The contrast between the greenish-edged flight feathers and the pale
grey-brown upperparts was reminiscent of bonelli’s
bonelli / orientalis. In the shade, the plumage gave a
much more greyish
impression. Unfortunately, the bird disappeared after less than three
minutes, without calling.
Although I had no doubt that the bird was indeed a Siberian Chiffchaff, I was disappointed not to hear it call. After all, the safest way to identify this species is by its voice. So over the next days, I tried hard to relocate it. I looked in every bush and every garden. I checked every corner of our neighbourhood. Then, on 26 January – 39 days after the first sighting – the bird finally made a re-appearance. Again, it visited the pine in our front yard. Yet again, it moved on quickly without a sound...
|To me, this is yet another reminder of just how many good birds will go unnoticed. They can be wintering right under your nose but, despite your best efforts, still elude you. However, I have not given up hope to pin down this bird and hear it just yet. It may still be around for another 10 weeks, before migrating to its breeding range. One call, is that too much to ask for!?...|
|Published 31 January 2020|