Sunday, 21 December 2014

Siberian Chiffchaff

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) is, as the name implies, a common summer visitor to Britain. These birds are recorded throughout the country during the summer months, with a several birds also over wintering. Today I saw a couple of these at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Carr Vale reserve, whilst I was looking for a much more uncommon bird, the Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita tristis). Again, as the name implies, this subspecies of Common Chiffchaff originates from much further east, and is an annual, but scarce, winter visitor to the UK.

Telling these two birds apart is very difficult in the field, but one of the main identifying features is the over all grey tones of the Siberian Chiffchaff. Today's bird showed quite well, if somewhat briefly, and was noticeably greyer than the accompanying Common Chiffchaffs. I managed to grab a very poor photograph, which I heavily cropped.

Siberian Chiffchaff (honestly!)
To see some much better photographs of other Siberian Chiffchaffs see the Birdguides website here.

As this bird is still a subspecies of Common Chiffchaff it can't be added to my Year List.

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