Wednesday 13 April 2016

Iberian Chiffchaff at the Lizard, Cornwall

With the change in weather this week to a south easterly bias, the first important "southern"rarity of the Spring was found at Little Treleaver, Lizard by John Foster.  A singing male Iberian Chiffchaff was found on the 11th April, corresponding with another Iberian Chiffchaff in Shropshire. 

The Cornish bird is the county's 8th record.

Previous records:

2000: The first Cornwall record was on the 12th May 2000 at Dunmere Woods, Bodmin. 

2004: A singing male was found at Windmill Farm in May 2004. 

2011: The third was at Kenidjack on 24th April 2011 and again at Nancherrow Farm on 28th April. 

2011: Another singing male was found on Military Road, Rame from 11th-15th May 2011. 

2012: A singing male was found at Kenidjack by the engine shed on the 28th May and was seen by many observers through to mid June. 

2013: A singing male Iberian Chiffchaff was observed near Soap Cove, Kynance, at Jolly Town Farm on the  20th April 2013 and sonograms recorded.  Another male was singing 100 yards south of B3315 at St Loy in woods by the public footpath, though this record hasn't been submitted.

2016: A singing male at Little Treleaver, Lizard 11th April.

To date there are 37 records in Britain and one in Ireland. The species (Phylloscopus ibericus) is endemic to Portugal, Spain and North Africa, west of a line stretching roughly from the western Pyrenees via the mountains of central Spain to the Mediterranean.

Video of the Little Treleaver male singing, courtesy John Chapple.

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