Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Iffy Chiffy still present

The Safari went back out to Patch 1 twice last night to listen for the Chiffchaff with the aberrant song but it wasn’t heard so we assumed it had done one. The first visit, at tea time, didn’t give us much at all other than a good view of both a Whitethroat and Speckled Wood. The later visit was perhaps half an hour too late with only the clackings’ of Blackbirds settling in for the night.
This morning Frank was full of the joys of spring and chased a Grey Squirrel past the last of the houses into the Butterfly Zone. It was while we were retrieving him that we heard the Lesser Whitethroat in the distance and then the iffy Chiffy very close by. Time to set the camera to video mode and get a sound recording. We even got a bit of a look at the bird although without bins and against the light all we could tell was that it was probably a warbler!
Not much else happening in the park, our first juvenile Woodpigeons of the year and a couple of Blackcaps singing were the only highlights.
Back at the Butterfly Zone the iffy Chiffy had moved to the sunny side of the scrub and was singing away but hidden in a Hawthorn bush so we got a couple more sound recordings.
Patch 2 was a useless and very disappointing after yesterday’s haul of good stuff all along the coast. All we saw was a Shelduck heading south, not a single tern of any species.
As soon as we got back in the office we had another listen to Xeno-Canto and compared the song to our recordings – if anything they sounded more similar than yesterday when we could only remember what the song was like! Nothing for it but to email the smallest file to BBRC committee member and Fylde birder CB. Later in the morning we got a phone–call from CB who had listened to the recording and was more than happy with what he heard, so we twitched our own bird and met CB on site an hour or so later and waited for the posse to turn up.
Result!!! Iberian Chiffchaff (170) the 1st for Lancashire and only somewhere in the region of 25 accepted UK records, needless to say it’s also a Lifer, and on Patch 1 too!!! – well chuffed, in fact beyond well chuffed.

So chuffed in fact we needed to celebrate and what better way than to take a late lunch and twitch the Wood Sandpiper not far from the nature reserve which one of the twitchers turning up told us was still present this morning. A little distant, right at the back of the pool but still a Wood Sandpiper is a Wood Sandpiper (171), not a common bird in this area. Far to far for a pic but as luck would have it Stu over at the other end of the continental land-mass took some good pics of the same species today in Japan.
Also here were a few Teal, a pair of Moorhens, a Shoveler and a Shelduck, and more Rabbits than you could shake a stick at!
Where to next? Wonder if we’ll have a chance to go for the Kentish Plover just up the coast?
In the meantime let us know what’s got you celebrating in your outback.


cliff said...

Very well done finding your Iberian Chiffchaff Dave. A well deserved rarity given all the time you put in. I bet your local patch could be a tad busier than usual for a while.

Oh, & thanks for the texts, I was too busy working to escape for a shufties (or for a listen).



Anonymous said...

Yeah, a big well done Dave. Not only a first for the patch, but a first for Lancs. "Chuffed to bits", i bet that`s an understatement.

Warren Baker said...

Great sighting Dave ( or listening!) Nice when you get visited by something unusual :-)

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Thanks guys - According to RBA only 16 accepted UK records - - double yikes!!! Didn't realise when I first heard it it was that scarce thought they were just like tristis or abietinus scarce but not impossible!



Peter Fearon said...

A'rite chief!

Sound's like an ibericus to me! Did you manage to get good visuals to check for primary moult?

I reckon that tristis are a lot more common than is credited. I was talking to a friend from Portugal and there is a suggestion that the majority of the Chiffs in the UK in Nov/Dec are tristis.