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Regular visitors will have noticed a decrease in posts to the HEMEL NATURE
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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Wintering CHIFFCHAFF at KLAS Kings Langley Fishery

Had a quick look for the Possible Siberian Chiffchaff (tristis) & Scandinavian Chiffchaff (abietinus) between Kings Langley Fishing Lake & the Grand Union Canal this morning to see if I could nail the 'Siberian', & get somebetter shots of the 'Scandinavian', because as Samuel Perfect rightly pointed out, the abietinus race has not actually been proven to be present during Winter in the UK despite being likely. I had no luck with either, though I did manage to photograph one of the regular British-type CHIFFCHAFFS (collybita) Wintering there.

This bird appearing more like what I'd expect for a regular Wintering Chiffchaff, note the cheeks are quite dark & close in shade & hue to the crown, & if you squint or look from further back the bird appears to have a dark head. The breast, flanks & belly are closer in shade to the nape & mantle giving the bird a pretty uniform overall appearance. The eye ring is very obvious against the darker face, the legs brownish-black, & the supercillium (eye-stripe) narrow & clearly green-yellow even in dull, grey light conditions. Even the green-yellow streaking in the breast & flanks is obvious in the dull conditions. Compare these features to the birds photographed yesterday & the differences become more apparent, though there is a variation in individual collybitas.

Regular collybita CHIFFCHAFF Wintering at KLAS Kings Langley Fishery

One of the friendly ROBINS at KLAS Kings Langley Fishery

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