Chiffchaffs

Not the most colourful bird you are likely to see, often referred to as lbj’s (little brown jobs).  This is the Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita).  The song of the Chiffie, where it repeats it’s name from the tree tops, is to me a herald of spring.  Now in autumn you will be attracted to it’s ‘hweet hweet’ call.

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Chiffchaff in hawthorn against a glorious autumn sky

These are hyperactive little birds only 11cm (4 inches) long.  They dart about the trees and bushes looking for insects often catching them in mid-air, always flicking their wings and dipping their tails.  This tail dipping is one way to id this bird from other very similar (and rarer) members of the Phyllosc clan.

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Searching for lunch

On Wednesday after a very misty start the day could have been straight out of mid-summer, glorious blue skies and temperatures into the 70’sf.  It was in the garden that I watched up to three Chiffchaffs.  These birds need to fatten up as they will soon be heading south, or will they?  More and more Chiffchaffs are now over-wintering in the UK.  Warmer temperatures have helped, but we still get very cold spells so the Chiffies will tag along with mixed flocks of Tits to look for insect food.

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Chiffchaff in the weeping willow. Will it head south or stay the winter?

 

23 thoughts on “Chiffchaffs

  1. Beautiful photos Brian. As a kid I read a cartoon ‘suske en wiske’ (Belgian..) and there was talk about a chiffchaff. Never saw the bird until now. So glad I know at last how the birdie looks:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool bird and thanks for introducing it to me. It may not be the most colorful, but it has a lot of interesting feature that blend together perfectly. Like the darkened eye line, the dual toned bill and the yellow/buff/white medley on the chest give it a unique look. Well aware of how difficult it is to get these caffeine hopped birds in the tin much less at the stellar crispness you got. Really like the composition in the last one with the head between the branch V. Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These ‘Phyllosc’ warblers are so alike Brian unlike your multi-coloured beauties, they are interesting yes, all birds are interesting when looked at closely. As for photographing them lots & lots of burst shots when they briefly flitted into view, I managed only about 10 decent images in nearly 2 hours! good fun though!

      Liked by 1 person

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