Bored by the rain I headed up to Pilling Lane Ends this afternoon for a butchers at the long-staying Iberian Chiffchaff.
The bird was singing from the copse between the car park and pool and after a few minutes of restless zipping about, settled down and performed very well.
I even managed a video clip of the bird singing away, which you can watch on YouTube here – I know, I know, kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
I was interested to compare the Pilling Iberian to a bird that was singing from the top of the poplars at Dempsey Towers on April 19th.
That bird looked like a fairly coventional, if bright Chiffchaff, despite an intriguing song that wasn’t normal, but didn’t quite fit Iberian.
Here’s some pics of that one – I didn’t manage a recording unfortunately, but think it was “mixed song” Chiffy…
Unlike the goggled-up bird above, today’s bird was singing textbook Iberian (at times a perfect match for the Collins Bird Guide app recording) and showed the lovely yellowish breast, longer paler bill, dark eyestripe and bright supercililum.
The wings and tail looked long too – half Willow Warbler, half Chiffchaff.
In the shade of the canopy in the rain it looked very green, and a bit scruffy, but when it came out of the shade to sing on the edge of the copse the subtleties of its plumage were more obvious.
Different contact call and brown, rather than black, legs when it came out of the shade, but it did pump its tail occasionally like a normal Chiffy.
A thoroughly educational afternoon then.
It’s been awhile since I watched one at full throttle down in Coto Donana, or tried to enjoy the grotbag at Potteric Carr as it struggled to make itself heard over the roar of motorway…