Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Overwintering Chiffchaff at Solva

I went in search of Firecrests at Solva's sewage treatment works, where I have found them in previous winters. I only found a group of Long-tailed Tits and a bunch of busy Goldcrests, one of which was showing a beautiful splayed crest and chasing what I presume was a female. The sun was shining and the temperature hit 18 degrees - too warm for a jacket and enough to get the bird life singing.

More interesting was the hyperactive Chiffchaff. It was notably large and long-tailed with absolutely no colour evident in the strong sunlight except for a slight lemon wash under the tail. I think it was probably a Siberian but it was completely silent. The only real doubt I have was that the eye stripe was subdued compared to the one I saw at Milton last year.

If anyone wants to go hunting, it was at centred around the gate where the railway enters the treatment works moving west to where the trees overhang the fence and eastwards towards the lowest of the pines and some elders. It was very mobile and moved up the hillside into the pines and birch and even popped over to the southern side of the valley for a while. Too mobile for me to get any pictures, unfortunately.