Diary notes for 17th March 2022.
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Lots of us are by now are getting excited! hoping to see the very first Chiffchaff of the year. Well they are here, there and everywhere with records turning up daily, maybe a few days earlier than the norm. But Andrew, the Burton News Editor had one calling a few days ago from behind the footpaths which go up by the Royal.
Coming through early eg before the 25th can be very dangerous for Chiffchaffs, but only if frost appears in them initial days. As we are all aware they are insectivores but frost can make the little birds go down to the floor in search of food. In one year (about 8 years) we had a entry number in Burton of about 33 pairs birds but within a fortnight this number had depleted to about 16 pairs. Because they came through so early and frost had taken over by the time they arrived here and there just was not any available food for them.
I was worried at the time to a almost panic and I contacted Peter Lack at the BTO, and he sort of reassured me that this was fairly normal in some years (one in ten approx), but then went on to say that they would make a speedy recoverey and sure enough he was right within about three years their numbers were back to normal.
We have some strange Chiffchaffs, I say strange, but there calls are different if you look at my map above and look into Lancelot Clark Storth, you will see one I named "Miss A Note" who sort of missed notes out every now and again and then we had another again in Lancelot which sang fast, really fast "chiff chaff,chiffchaff and never came up for air, I called him "Speedy Gonzales" or maybe should have called him Roadrunner.
I have named them all with WARM names that sound great just like our Archie (from Orchard Close), Vicar and Victor (Glebe and Vicarage Ln), Mo from Mowbray, Hilda from Hilderstone and so the list goes on.
Its easy to tell Chiffchaff with their repetitive "Chiff Chaff, Chiff Chaff" thats the easy part, but try to learn their post breeding call which is a very gentle "hou whit" hou whit", but the call is very similar to its cousin the Willow Warbler.
In Burton we have around 40 breeding pairs of Chiffchaffs and if you look at the above map you will see just were they are located so why not have a walk and see if you can find them. All the hard works been done for you.
Thursday 19th November 2020 - Nice stroll or wander with fabulous wonders and my December copy for the local magazine - SEE BLOG BELOW THESE LINKS.....
CHECKING OUT SOUTHERN POLYPODY AND BLACK SPLEENWORT PLUS FUNGI, FUNGI AND MORE FUNGI - Click here
Another recent blog on"The best moments of vis so far this year - click here