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.