Monday, 15 April 2019


There are certain sounds and sights that for the naturalist are a sure sign that Spring is here. Orange-tip butterflies are my favourite Spring sight, but for the sound it has to be the call of the Chiffchaff.

It has been a few weeks now since I heard my first Chiffchaff calling this year, but now the sound of them are everywhere.

Today I went for yet another walk over the local South Downs hoping to see a build up of Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak, but once again the cold wind kept all but a few butterflies in hiding. Just a few Brimstone, Peacock and Comma were seen, although I did see my first Large Red Damselfly of the year.

All along the valley I was listening to the Chiffchaff call and at the point where I planned to turn around to head for home I came across a particularly showy individual. It was a good excuse to try the new camera with the small 300mm lens. I have to admit I was mightily impressed with this combination, even with a converter fitted. It wasn't quite good enough to read the details on the leg ring that the bird was wearing though!!


A distant Oil Seed Rape field adds colour.

Chiffchaff  calling on Blackthorn.

Chiffchaff showing off the ring.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. Like hearing the first Cuckoo, first sighting of a Swallow, the Chiffchaff is up there too. Nice to see you also had a Large Red Damselfly. The warmer weather should see a few more species emerge soon.

  2. They throw their voices like mad, I'm never able to locate one from the song!