Siberian Chiffchaff

at the edges…

A quick update on the Dorset (PC World) Chiffchaffs reported here.

While 2 individuals looked to be straightforward ‘tristis’, one of the birds fell into the category of ‘interesting and worthy of careful study’. In the field, appearing to show Siberian-esq characters, it was certainly no straightforward ‘collybita‘. We held back from calling it more than a ‘possible Siberian Chiffchaff’. No call was heard. Grey and olive above, with very Siberian-like head pattern it also has quite a lot of yellow across the breast. These features were evident in field and in hand.

Thanks to enterprising local ringers, this bird was trapped a couple of weeks back (17th Feb. 2013) and with necessary permissions, feathers have been sent off for DNA analysis. A further twist in the story is that it’s retrap which wintered at the site in 2009. With grateful thanks to Marcus Lawson and said Dorset ringers. This is a very interesting scoop and will no doubt provide learning for all.

Here’s how it looked close up on 17th February:

ringed poss tristis Chiffchaff 17th Feb 2013 014

ringed poss tristis d Chiffchaff 17th Feb 2013 014.

ringed poss tristis e Chiffchaff 17th Feb 2013 014.

and when we saw and reported it in the field on 31st January:

tristis type ringed bird 2013-02-14_062403

tristis type ringed bird 2013 strip(above 4 photos) Possible Siberian Chiffchaff, Poole, Dorset, 31st January 2013 by Martin Garner. This, Bird Two is the ringed bird. With extra olive above and yellow below it’s not straightforward though watching it live it certainly gave off a Siberian air’; an individual worthy of further careful study and recording.


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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