October, and still they chiff and chaff…

It has been nearly two months since I last posted, and I’m not going to make the mistake of again saying “Okay, I’ll get better at this I promise”. But if anyone is still reading, I’m writing a few posts in one go here, so there’ll be stuff the next couple of days.

We’ve finally been and checked out the local nature reserve, and as long as you time it to avoid the fishermen (and girls, boys and women), it seems promising. We got several lovely views of kingfishers, and I’m going to go back one morning soon and get the camera set up in hope/expectation.

In the garden, there has been plenty of action. Tomorrow I’ll be talking Goldfinches, but today I wanted to mention the warblers.

We’ve actually been lucky here, with the Chiffchaffs we saw earlier in the year either hanging around still, or being replaced by their young/migrants. Whatever the source, it’s mid-October and we still have singing Chiffchaffs around. Even better, they’ve popped up in the garden:

Chiffchaff in the garden

Chiffchaff in the garden

It’s a very yellow bird, and you could at first glance think it was a Willow Warbler. But the dark legs give it away, as does the fact we have heard them doing the distinctive “chiff-chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff” song. I took these pics in mid-September when they reappeared, and they are still around three weeks later. So the question is, how long will they stay?

Normally you’d expect them to be on their way South by now, but warmer weather longer into the year means there is still plenty of food around in terms of insects. That’s where we see them, frantically hopping around pulling insects off the underside of leaves. So we’ll keep an eye, and an ear, out for when they go.

Couple more pics:

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This entry was posted in Birds, Ethology, Phenology. Bookmark the permalink.

I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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