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ID of a Highland bird please

FireFire Posts: 17,307
I saw this little bird by a Scottish loch last week. It was tiny - about the size of a wren. There were thousands of them, flitting about in silver birch regrowth. I hear no 'song' but continuous 'cheaping'. I suspect it is some kind of warbler, but there are many kinds. Any ideas? Thanks


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,988
    I think that’s a willow warbler. 
    A chiffchaff is similar but with a shorter stripe above it’s eye (supercilium) and darker legs. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,225
    Hi @Fire,

    I'm really no expert whatsoever .... but perhaps a snow bunting?

    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • FireFire Posts: 17,307
    edited May 2022
    Thanks. There were hundreds of willow warblers in the area and their descending song is quite distinctive. Maybe the pictured bird wasn't a warbler as I was with them for an afternoon and never heard a 'warble'... ? Just a 'cheap, cheap, cheap'.

    Grey belly and distinctive long eye stripe. A very, very small bird, like a goldcrest size.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,328
    I would agree with @Dovefromabove, either a Willow Warbler , or a Chiff Chaff
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 1,002
    Going by your description of its call, it is more likely to be Chiffchaff.
    Sunny Dundee
  • FireFire Posts: 17,307
    edited May 2022
    Yes, thanks. I think they were chiff chaffs not 'chiff chaffing' - but giving their contact call. Mystery solved.

    Chiff chaffs are called Phylloscopus collybita - Phylloscopus meaning something like 'leaf-peerer' and 'collybita' meaning 'coin jingler' as its 'chiff chaff' song is said to sound like coins jingling in a purse. (The bird weighs about the same as a £2 coin).

    Good to know it was indeed a type of warbler not warbling. Thanks everyone.

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