Tuesday, 17 April 2012

17th April 2012 Apuldrum

My recollection of Iberian Chiffchaffs heard singing at Portland and near Norwich is of a constant, rather vibrant 'chief chiaf, chief, chiaf, sweep, sweep, sweep, tr-tr-tr-tr-tr'. Whilst I've not yet had time to research whether there is any variation in the song delivered by Iberian Chiffchaff, or subsong (it was cold and windy this evening), I am aware of a number of mixed songsters and/or presumed hybrids that have been heard singing in the UK in recent years delivering songs atypical of Iberian Chiffchaff despite containing some Iberian Chiffchaff-like phrases. In the 90 minutes we were present this evening, very disconcertingly, the song of the Apuldrum Chiffchaff didn't remind me of the birds heard at Portland and near Norwich, was variable, the initial sequence very close to Common Chiffchaff (at which point it sometimes terminated), often faltering and I never heard it give the central 'sweep sweep sweep' motif described above. Whilst it was apparently heard giving the typical Iberian Chiffchaff song up until just prior to our arrival by a number of experienced observers, here are a few recordings of its odd song from this evening with Baggers on backing vocals: