In search of a Spanish Visitor

A trip into London this week to visit Regent’s Park in search of an Iberian Chiffchaff, which normally breeds in Spain and North Africa. 1-2 birds find their way to the UK most years. It resembles the Common Chiffchaff, but can be told apart by its song, which is very different to the ‘Chiff-chaff’ or ‘Chiff-chaff-chiff’ of the Common Chiffchaff.

This is a video of Iberian Chiffchaff in Yorkshire in 2010
(Video by TheBaldIbis on Youtube)

This Spanish visitor to London arrived about 2 weeks ago and has taken up residence in an area in the park known as the Cricket pen, where he has been singing his heart out ever since in hope of finding a mate. So with a spare day, I decided to go and see if I could find him. The Cricket pen is full of dense vegetation and trees and so it was not long before I could hear him singing, but despite trying very hard I was unable to get a view. I knew roughly what area he was in, but the vegetation was just too dense.

Leaving the pen I continued around the lake. It is easy to forget just how good the central London parks are for wildlife and by the time I got back to my starting point, I had recorded 42 species of bird. Sadly the persistent heavy showers put pay to the chance of any butterflies of dragonflies.

Just as I was about to leave the park I did notice a very enterprising Coot couple who had built their nest with a roof included! Great for keeping out the rain and the predators too.

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