Thursday, 24 April 2014

And now: The Warblers

Following hon, ladies and gentlemen, from blackbirds, robins, wrens, chaffinches hand song thrushes we now proudly present, in the Dawn Chorus, - THE WARBLERS.

This family of little insect-eating birds includes 14 species that breed in the British Isles.

The ones we are most likely to hear at our DAWN CHORUS WALK ON SUNDAY 27th APRIL (weather permitting) are the blackcap, the chiffchaff and the garden warbler.  

The Chiffchaff is one of the easiest to identify and remember. It repeatedly says its name, "chiff chaff, chiff, chaff, chiff, chiff, chaff." But sometimes it puts in an extra chiff or chaff or even the occasional chuff.

Chiffchaff
 
The Blackcap has a loud fluty song like a blackbird without the form and rhythm.  It just burbles along with no introduction and finishes without a finale.

Blackcap

The Garden Warbler is a bit similar but is a contralto to the blackcap's soprano, and not quite so pure. The warbles are a bit more scratchy and hurried.
 
Apparently the blackcap and garden warbler songs are so similar that the two species respect each other's territories.  Here's a short video to help you sort them out.
 

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