Posted: 2017-12-07 20:34
Many chiffchaffs now stay in Britain for the winter and are found in hedges and bushes, often near water. There are more than a million pairs of these little greenish birds nesting here in the woods in summer, with their loud “chiff-chaff” song. The wintering individuals rarely sing, but they are quite noisy, sometimes making almost continuous bright “tweet” calls as they move about. Birdwatchers are looking out for Siberian chiffchaffs, which do indeed come here all the way from Siberia. They are not easy to identify, but generally they are much more brown and buff than the other chiffchaffs, while in a different light they look grey and white. Their call note is fairly distinctive, however. It is a dull, plaintive note, not unlike a weak bullfinch call, and it has given the bird its scientific name of tristis , the Latin for “sad”.