Friday, 12 February 2016

So far this winter,I believe only three individual Reed Buntings have visited the garden,A male and a female both with rings and one female without.So far I have only managed to catch the female with the ring.She proved to be a bird I first caught in the garden on the 24 01 2014.Last winter was also poor for garden Reed Buntings (2014/15),which was also mainly mild throughout.

Unusually so far,I have not seen any Blackcaps in the garden.

This morning I caught an interesting Chiffchaff in the garden.The upper parts were brownish with greyish tones and the under parts and supercilium were whitish.Leading me to believe it might be a P.c. tristis bird (Siberian).

I know that P.c.tristis should have some buff on the flanks and in the supercilium.In my bird whilst in the hand these areas looked mainly white.Although in the hand held photo`s there does seem to be some buff on the breast area and part way along the flanks.Also the supercilium looks less white than the underparts and the ear coverts also look warm buff  this along with no olive on the upper parts are all characteristics of tristis.(subtle colours can change under differing light conditions).

It was seen again feeding in the garden during the afternoon and photographed.

The bird was seen in the garden again on the 27th,of this month.


  1. Hi Alan, I had a very similar looking bird on the East Malling site last week, got a couple of very good but brief views. No calling, but as with your bird very grey-brown, lacking warmer tones. Had to put it down as nominate but now I have seen your bird I wonder if we have few inland tristis!

  2. Hi,yes they do turn up at inland sites.I had a singing tristis in winter 2009 at Holborough marsh (song was very different from collybiter).