Siberian Chiffchaffs

It’s still there! After Doug McFarlane had brief views, and managed a long range shot, of a greyish ‘Chiffchaff’ in the willows between the yacht club and the dam at Pitsford last Friday, I decided to have a look at the weekend – unfortunately to no avail.

Doug’s image, posted on Twitter the same day, did look pretty good for Siberian Chiffchaff, though. Fortunately, Bob Bullock rediscovered it in the same place only yesterday afternoon. This time it offered more prolonged views and allowed a closer approach, enabling some rather more detailed images to be taken. It still has yet to be heard calling, though …

Siberian Chiffchaff, Pitsford Res, 25th November 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Siberian Chiffchaff, Pitsford Res, 25th November 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Siberian Chiffchaff, Pitsford Res, 25th November 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Siberian Chiffchaff, Pitsford Res, 25th November 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Siberian Chiffchaff, Pitsford Res, 25th November 2015 (Bob Bullock)

Siberian Chiffchaff, Pitsford Res, 25th November 2015 (Bob Bullock)

One was also found by Gary Pullan in willows by the causeway at Ravensthorpe Reservoir on Tuesday (24th).  This race is still a rare visitor to Northants but it appears to be being seen with increasing frequency, with Ecton Sewage Farm a hot favourite for harbouring them among numerous Common Chiffchaffs in mid-winter. At this time the sewage farm outfall to the River Nene provides a slightly warmer micro-climate favourable to insects on which they feed. More about this, along with further images from Bob, here.

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