What wildlife to look for in May 2018
Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Wood Warbler
Late April / early May is synonymous with the dawn chorus and bird song. The Chiffchaff and Willow Warblersong is a component of this chorus especially where there is woodland or maturing scrub. Both species arerelatively easy to identify by song.
Chiffchaffs are a dull green above and pale yellow below, with an off-white belly and a short eyebrow stripe. Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs are very similar, olive-coloured warblers, so are best identified by their song: Chiffchaffs sing ‘chiff chaff chiff chaff’. Willow Warblers have pale legs, while Chiffchaff legs are dark grey / black.
Dull olive green upperparts
– a short pale supercilium
– off white underparts with
– variable yellow tones
Primary projection only half the length of the tertials
Song short and disyllabic – repeated Chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff
Constantly flicks its tail
Pale legs (not always)
Pale grey green upperparts
– a strong yellowish supercilium
– and white belly
– yellowy white throat & breast
Primary projection equal to the tertial length
Song fluid and descending notes Flicks tail every so often
Which one is the Chiffchaff and which is the Willow Warbler? Answers below!
(Answer: Chiffchaff on the left and Willow Warbler on the right)
Send all sightings to: Ian & Keith Davison, The Bungalow, Branton, Powburn, NE66 4LW Or by email to email@example.com
If you have wildlife queries you can email them to redsquirrel@alnwickwildlife group.co.uk – and they will be forwarded to an appropriate member who will try to answer them. No promises, mind – none of us are great experts!