Thursday 6 April 2017

Iberian Chiffchaff at Seaton

Iberian Chiffchaff at Seaton.

On the 3rd April i called into Seaton gravel pits to try and see the recently reported Iberian Chiffchaff , i haven't been to this area for a good couple of years and normally when i do visit it's in the winter months as it has held many wintering ducks over the years.

Loyal to one area.

I parked up and walked across the field hearing and seeing a Blackcap near the style.

Male Blackcap.

I eventually reached the area where the Iberian Chiffchaff had been seen and instantly heard it and then i saw it quite high up in it's favoured tree , plumage wise there are only very subtle differences between  Iberian and Common Chiffchaff , slightly pointer thinner bill & longer primary projection plus the face has a more primrose wash to the supercilium, however the main identification feature is the call which is quite different to Common Chiffchaff.

Iberian Chiffchaff.

I have heard & seen two Iberian Chiffchaffs before (Walderslade 2010 & Margate 2016) and this bird although very similar in appearance the song it made was not the full song like those ones , it seemed to have more Common Chiffchaff song in the mix , which i believe is in the correct range for Iberian Chiffchaff so all is good with this bird !!!


I decided to have a walk along the river and was pleased to see a Kingfisher plus a female Bullfinch flew across the path , both were new birds for my year list.

Collard's  & Grove Ferry

I received news that there was some Little Gulls over Collard's lake so i headed there and although very distant i managed to see at least 3 Little Gulls which were also new for my Stour valley list.

On my way home i called into Grove Ferry and saw an Oystercatcher from the viewing ramp.


  1. I'd never be able to tell them apart!

    1. They are very tricky Simon , the call/song is really the only way to be sure.


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