Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Click to enlarge. (You'll have to, to see it!)

I quite lidderally am over the moon!

I've noticed a strange visitor to the Lime tree (and vegetable bed once) over the last fortnight or so, but until today, couldn't positively identify it (though I had my suspicions).
It is drab, almost nondescript, silent, never still and never stays that long.

Today though, it stayed long enough for me to get a pair of binoculars on the little bugger, and then take its photograph (from inside I should add).

Its an overwintering Chiffchaff!

The Chiffchaff is a drab"leaf warbler" which normally returns to Britain (from south of the Sahara) in early March (its one of our earliest summer visitors), breeds, and returns across the seas in September or October (its also one of our latest leavers).

There are a few though (nobody knows how many as far as I can tell - certainly not a lot) that overwinter in the UK.

Climate change?
You've guessed it!

I just feel very fortunate indeed to have this relatively rare visitor right outside the window! I don't remember ever having seen an overwintering Chiffchaff before...

I should point out at this point that Blue-Grey is my "diary" if you like, whereas the "New Warren" is my online photo album - reserved purely for photographs of mine that are of a certain quality.
Whilst I am made up about the Chiffchaff, I am less enthused about the photograph I took of it! The photo above WILL NOT be entering the "New warren"!

See if you can spot it in the photo above, anyhoo.
I'll give you a clue - it has a couple of white primary wing feathers on its left hand (wing?!) side. Please also note that these white feathers are not normally there. The Chiffchaff is literally one of the drabbest little birds in Britain.

But who cares! Its on the Lime tree. IN JANUARY!!!

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