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Monday, 3 June 2013

Is this an Iberian Chiffchaff?

Possible Iberian Chiffchaff at the Garrison?

   Yesterday, in the late afternoon sun, I had my first walk around the Garrison in two weeks! Approaching the Elms next to the tennis courts, I could see a Chiffchaff feeding. I had already had 4 Chiffchaffs and a female Blackcap. However, when I put my bins on this chiff, I immediately noted the pale base to the bill and the long off white supercilium.In certain light it appeared more yellow before the eye.  A quick look at the legs, and yes, they were plum coloured! The breast and throat seemed pale. The rest of the bird looked like a Chiffchaff. I never heard it and after taking a few pics, it flew off towards the dead pine walk, where I lost it. I informed other birders and a few that saw the pics of the bird, agreed that it look good for a possible Iberian Chiffchaff. Unfortunately, unless heard, then it's one that got away.

  Today, Fran Hicks discovered a singing male GREENISH WARBLER in his fields at Cove Vean. Only the second Scilly June record.

In this side on shot, it appears to have a long primary projection.

Note in all the above images the bird shows a pale base to the bill and plum coloured legs. The two bottom images shows yellow soles. I know that Chiffchaff can show this, but if you combine all the other characteristics on this bird, is this a good feature? The male at Lower Moors in April, also showed yellow soles.

Any opinions on the this bird are most welcome

Last week this False Black Widow turned up in my room. Only my third one I've seen on Scilly

Up to 7 Black-tailed Godwit were at Porth Hellick last week.

Also at Porth Hellick, this male Mute Swan was having a stretch

This male Linnet was on the Garrison

There were a family of 4 juvenile Stonechat on Samson being fed by this male

This Shag took a liking to the coastal path at Bar

Wooden Shjips perform "Flight" live in the KEXP studio. Recorded 8/27/2011. Wooden Shjips (pronounced 'ships') is a space rock/psychedelic rock  band from San Francisco, USA. Their sound has been described as experimental, minimalist, drone rock, and "spacey psychedelic rock". They have been compared to Suicide, Loop, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, Soft Machine and Guru Guru. They are currently signed to Holy Mountain records, whose artist roster also includes Six Organs of Admittance, Om, Mammatus and Daniel Higgs. Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson also plays in a side project, Moon Duo, formed in 2009 with Sanae Yamada. They have so far released one EP (Killing Time, 2009 [Sacred Bones]) and three albums (Escape, 2010 [Woodsist]; Mazes, 2011 [Sacred Bones]; and Circles, 2012 [Sacred Bones]).


  1. A brave call with no song, i along with most others do not have either the experience or the balls to give an opinion worthy of noting!

    All the best to Higgo.........Tell him it's still cr@p up 'ere altho his old patch did score with a Summer-plumed SpotSand a week or so ago!

    Laurie -

  2. I also know diddly-squat, but an interesting bird. Higgo asked for your phone number so he can contact you.


  3. Must be to do! He has been known to grace us with his presence every now and then - will dig it out, i can never remember the bloody thing otherwise he can email me at - i know he is a fervent Luddite but even he must have an email account.....

    ATB Laurie -

    PS - do'nt bother with the 'Orphean'.

  4. Hi Spider

    Your bird looks like a standard Willow Warbler to me on both plumage and structure: it also looks like it has the 3 emarginated primaries of Willow, rather than the 4 of Chiffchaff (including Iberian). If this is the case (photos not great to asses this), then bird would certainly be WW.


    Steve Mason

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