Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

The Chiffchaff is a small olive- brown warbler which often flits through shrubs and trees, with a distinctive tail- wagging movement.  It is one of the first Spring migrants to return back to the Common when it returns in March from its wintering grounds in Africa.  They are present on the Common until September/October.

The Chiffchaff is very similar looking to its relative the Willow Warbler but a Chiffchaffs’ legs are dark grey/black where as a Willow Warbler tends to have paler legs. But it is better to separate these two species by their song.  The Chiffchaffs song is a series of repetitive chiff chaff chiff chaff notes and it is from this the bird gets its name.   An example of its song can be heard by clicking on the following link:

Chiffchaff Song