Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Chiff Chaff

Someone mentioned the Chiff Chaff the other day. Was this really the proper name for an English bird? I found out that the Chiff Chaff is a kind of Leaf Warbler which breeds throughout the temperate parts of Europe and Asia.

And then yesterday as I was looking at the BBC web site, I found a most interesting page about the Dawn Chorus. I have never been able to recognise a bird by its song. This is one of those subjects where I do not feel that I have a starting point and so I began to learn how to do it. "Want to identify a dawn chorus bird? Hear the songs of eight of our most common, and listen to naturalist Brett Westwood explain how to identify them by their looks, songs and behaviour"

The best thing about this web site is that you can do three things at once. You listen to the bird singing, you can listen to an interview about the bird and at the same time you can read a fact file about each bird. This would be impossible without Broadband.
Now I have a starting point to build on. And by the way, Chiffchaffs are active birds and constantly flick their tails and wings while feeding. They are one of the earliest migrants to arrive in the UK, appearing in mid-March and often staying into October. And you can hear the Chiff Chaff sing and read more about it if it has not yet arrived in your part of the country.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If the name chiff-chaff is imitative or onomatopoeic, as the dictionaries tell us so many bird names are, then why do Germans call it the Zilpzalp - can their hearing be that different?

Why do the French and Spanish respectively have to content themselves with Pouillot véloce and Mosquitero Común?

It's a mystery to me.

Paul P.