A Plethora of Warblers

The Yeovil Country Park Riverside Walk is full of Chiffchaffs at the moment, and more seem to be arriving every day if their all-pervading sound is anything to go by. Some of them have been there all winter (a sign of global warming I suppose, although I wouldn’t exactly call it tropical at the moment!), but the rest have been arriving over the last month or so. In the last week or two they’ve been joined by a good few Blackcaps, with their beautifully delicate song, which I’ve seen and heard but not yet photographed, and apparently Willow Warblers, with their very recognisable descending trill, but so far I’ve neither seen, heard nor photographed one. I’ve also seen Whitethroat down there in the past, and the Countryside Team say both Reed and Sedge Warblers have been seen there, presumably in the reed bed in the middle of the walk. Then of course there are the two (or possibly three) Yellow-Browed Warblers, a local rarity, that have been there since late last October or so, and which have in turn quite dramatically increased the walk’s population of twitchers.

A rather grainy shot (it was a good way away) of the Yellow-Browed Warbler from January.

The Chiffchaffs are my favourite of the walk’s Warblers though I think, mostly because you always know where they are from their ‘chiffchaff’ call, but also because most of them seem quite unconcerned with cameras being pointed at them, or dogs crashing around below them. There must be dozens along the walk now, varying in colour from light beige (some of which may or may not be Siberian Chiffchaffs) to almost Willow Warbler yellow. The most amazing thing though is that the Riverside Walk is on the edge of the town, sandwiched between a sewage works and an industrial estate, but still all these birds make their home there.

Anyway, these are a few Chiffchaffs that I manage to photograph today.


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