Iberian chiffchaff, Granville Nature Reserve, 24th April 2016

Taking a trip to Granville nature reserve in Telford, Shropshire, we were hoping to see a rare bird, the Iberian chiffchaff.

The weather was not on our side. If there weren’t rain showers, we were battling with blinding sunshine. This bird is often overlooked as it is almost identical to the common chiffchaff except it has cleaner green upperparts, yellow breast and a whiter belly. We were relying on hearing the song as we walked through the woodland as this would be the only way we could identify this bird. We were lucky enough to hear him. A song with a quicker ‘chiffchaff’ than the common chiffchaff, followed by fast stammering notes and drawn out whistles.

Taking a photograph of this little bird amongst the leaves was almost impossible, but John did manage to get some video footage…

This bird is endemic to Spain, Portugal and North Africa and must have been blown off course. I did feel sorry for him. He was singing his little heart out in hope of attracting a mate. I wonder who is going to be the one to tell him that the chances of another Iberian chiffchaff, of the female species, being not only in Britain but in Granville nature reserve in Telford, Shropshire are pretty slim.

Wildlife spotted at Granville Nature reserve

  • Plenty of birds at this reserve especially good for jays and blackcaps.
  • jay
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