In my opinion you cannot say that Spring has sprung until a certain migratory bird has returned to sing in our woodlands. The Chiffchaff is a small brown warbler with a creamy yellow breast which declares its name loudly from the tree tops at this time of year and on into the summer. For me this little bird is the ultimate harbinger of Spring. Today I heard my first of the year and it had the same effect as ever, bringing an instant smile to my face.
I often hear my first of the year in my parents’ garden in rural Herefordshire but despite listening fervently to the dawn chorus every day while I was home over the Easter weekend, it was not to be. Instead I heard it in my village in Cambridgeshire. I have yet to tempt one into my own garden but less than a mile from home is close enough for now!
I didn’t take this photograph today but thought I’d share it with you anyhow as I have a soft spot for it. It reminds me of a beautiful day out in the Spring sunshine and seeing this Chiffchaff amongst the blossom topped it off wonderfully. This morning however, I did record some of the wonderful birdsong I was experiencing on my walk around Lady’s Wood. You can hear the Chiffchaff quite clearly along with some of the other woodland birds. I also heard a Tawny Owl calling but didn’t manage to capture it on this recording.
The countryside is also bursting with colour as fresh greens of new growth appear in the fields, hedgerows and woods. The bluebells which were so tentatively budding in February are really beginning to bloom well now, the carpet of colour is being woven in the woodland to accompany the tapestry of birdsong. The season is definitely gathering pace and there are plenty of invertebrates out taking advantage of the sun’s warmth. Here are a couple I came across today.
Have you heard your first Chiffchaff of the year? It won’t be long before other migrants arrive too. Spring has indeed sprung but summer won’t be far behind!