Yesterday I was able to get much better recordings of this intriguing bird and while it doesn't give a classic Siberian chiffchaff call it certainly appears to be well within the range of variation.
I also got some better looks at the warbler and as it was often joined by two common chiffchaff the plumage differences were more than apparent.
Jeff Butcher got a couple of shots of it and one can see just how pale it is, with no hint of yellow in the underparts (bottom picture).
I managed a few iffy record shots this morning too (attached) and it's amazing how different it can appear in varying light conditions. It does, however always appear pale and washed out.
When seen against a dark background (such as feeding on unvegetated earth) it looks almost grey and white with some notagble olive tones in the wing, rump and tail - almost Bonelli's warbler-like!
Similarly, when in grass or perched in brambles etc, it can seem all plain pale browns.
Of note; yesterday it called frequently, especially when it was on its own whereas today when it was mostly with the two collybitas it called just twice in a 2.5 hour period.
General consensus is that it is indeed a Siberian chiffchaff. Thanks to Chris Batty & Pete Marsh for their comments.
|Pic by Jeff Butcher|
A kingfisher perched in the hedge by the flooded cycletrack was another addition to the yearlist.