Territories already being claimed on the Cliff

25 Mar

One of the early summer migrants to our shores is the Chiffchaff – a small warbler which has flown up from southern Europe already.

A number of males have taken up residence on the cliff and are singing their hearts out both establishing their territories and attracting a mate. The male Chiffchaff is highly territorial during the breeding season, with a core territory typically 20 metres (66 ft) across, which is fiercely defended against other males.

The pictures below were taken on Sunday 25th March on the cliff in Sherston.

The Chiffchaff’s English name is onomatopoeic, referring to the repetitive chiff-chaff song of the European subspecies while the Welsh name is siff-saff.

It has a very distinctive call so next time you are walking around the village keep your eyes open for a small brown bird with a distinctive call – but only for the next 2 – 3 weeks as the males will stop calling when they find a mate.

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2 Responses to “Territories already being claimed on the Cliff”

  1. Irene J March 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    I know it’s not about Chiff-chaffs but just heard our first cuckoo in central Western Freance on the evening of 28th Maarch. We wonder how the tagged birds from Norfolk are doing.

    Pete & Irene Johnston

  2. sherstonwildlife March 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Hi Pete and Irene, that’s really exciting – hopefully they will be here in a couple of weeks at the latest. Any sign of Nightingales?

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