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.
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.
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.