Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Pre Christmas present - Siberian chiffchaff

Whilst working at the broad dyke in a boat today with Matt I was very aware of a call which I thought sounded very good for Siberian chiffchaff. I managed to ignor it for 20 mins as I was working, but then had to give in and see if  it really was a sibe chiff and not an over excited dunnock. After landing the boat I soon saw the bird making the call..... It was indeed a chiffchaff! I signalled to Matt to get his camera to get some record shots as I did not have my camera. The bird showed every now and then but was very flighty and sculky. I did get several good views of it, at first I thought it was not the usual grey tones I was expecting, it was quite bonellis like in some ways. It did have a very prominent supercillium though, far stronger than on a normal chiff. Subsequently I have seen on Martin garners website that some sibe chiffs can indeed show a slightly bonellis like colouration... But that call seals the deal! No shots achieved but I did make a couple of sound recordings, not easy in the wind! I'll try to get shots tomorrow morning, but the way it was moving about I'll be surprised if it is there in the morning, however it is the first time I have walked past the sluice area in a week so I have no idea how long it has been there, fingers crossed it will be seen again. Slightly disappointed that it's just 2 points on the patchwork challenge list, but this year they are 2 very useful points.... Poor year for many patches it would seem.
To top it all off on the way back down the river two waxwings flew over the boat, giving me another year tick, my fourth of the month and most probably my last, I think that puts me on 148 species for the mid yare so far this year.

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