Iberian Chiffchaff

Grimston, East Yorkshire, June 2010

To compare. Getting a head around variation in wacky singing Chiffchaffs, so-called mixed singers and real (and variable) Iberian Chiffchaffs has proved testing (again) this spring. Having been asked to comment on birds in Sussex and Cambridge and still being an early stage learner myself, I revisited this bird. Found by Tim Isherwood at Grimston, East Yorkshire in June 2012, it represents, I suppose, the ideal, or at least, easier vagrant Iberian Chiffchaff. Looks and sounds the part – both song and call- without too much head scratching; indeed hearing one burst of song seemed to nail it.

The last bit of the Cambridge bird’s song here reminded me of what I recorded as ‘conflict’ song for the Grimston bird- given in response to short burst of ‘pishing’ (see sonagram and recording 5 below). The Cambridge bird clearly has elements of Iberian song ( I have only listened to the video,) no news there but there is lively and increasing illuminating discussion on this channel. The sobering comments by sharp (and annoyingly young) Spanish birder, Dani V are well worth a read.

The Sussex bird seems even less appealing and an analysis of sonagrams by David Cooper points more to variant Common Chiffchaff on that one.

Another thing? The Grimston bird at one stage called repeatedly in response to pishing-  the downslurred note of  Iberian (‘song and call’ below). Worth a pish next time?


Iberian Chiffchaff normal song one – You can listen to the song <HERE>

(above) Iberian Chiffchaff normal song one

Iberian Chiffchaff normal song two – You can listen to the song <HERE>

(above) Iberian Chiffchaff ‘normal song’ two

Iberian Chiffchaff song and call – You can listen to the song and call <HERE>

(above) Iberian Chiffchaff  song and call (call is present as on sonagram but a little quiet)

Iberian Chiffchaff, song variation – You can listen to the song <HERE>

(above) Iberian Chiffchaff, song variation

Iberian Chiffchaff, presumed conflict song – You can listen to the song <HERE>

(above) Iberian Chiffchaff, presumed conflict song- given in response to ‘pishing’


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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