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It’s been three years since I saw a Siberian chiffchaff, though one or two seem to appear in the county almost annually these days, blown off course as they move from their Siberian breeding territories to their usual over-wintering grounds south of the Himalayas. I first spotted this one in early February and thought it a Common chiffchaff but a more expert local birder did tell me then that he thought it had the look of a Sibe about it (the Siberian birds look rather grey and have darker legs). Almost a fortnight passed until that same birder saw the bird again and, more importantly, heard it call, because that is the clincher when it comes to these birds. Though it has been very elusive, I’ve managed two further sightings but have yet to hear that distinguishing call.

230223 siberian chiffchaff