Saturday, 21 April 2012

21st April, 2012 Ditchling Common and Apuldram

On the drive to Beachy early this morning a Nightingale was in full song on Ditchling Common near the Burgess Hill turnoff.

After Beachy, we drove to Apuldram to have further views of the Apuldram Chiffchaff. It was again singing almost non-stop and very similar to the song heard here on the 17th April. It was very active when singing and we spent over 2 hours watching and listening to it and I attach a series of photographs which I took this afternoon. During the 2 hours, the song became quite variable and at times included the normal Chiffchaff song. Both DC & RJF have recorded a variety of the songs during this afternoon and hopefully they will be posting some of these to their blogs in the near future.

Having had previous experience of 2 Iberian Chiffchaffs in the UK being the Portland Bill and Norfolk birds,   in my opinion the Apuldram Chiffchaff has a different song to these two birds. DC on his earlier blog described how the song differed in our opinion. What we don't know is how variable an Iberian Chiffchaff song is. In some previous web-site entries, some observers claimed a two bird theory, we strongly dis-agreed with this on the 17th and today confirmed this. Some observers also claim that they consider the song was very like recordings of Iberian. Both myself and RJF had recordings with us of various Iberian Chiffchaffs recorded at several locations including Spain, but to us, today's song had a number of differences, both in the structure and the tone.  With good recordings now obtained, it would be worth having sonograms produced.

As you will see from the following photographs some of the plumage details appear slightly browner to others. Some of these pictures were taken in good sunlight and others in cloudy conditions in shade, and this clearly illustrates how the light can alter the colouration. I have not altered the colouration on the pictures. 

 Apuldram Chiffchaff