Wednesday, 3 December 2014


My days seem to be taking on a regular rhythm: start at Huk and fail to see anything other than the refugees and then to Hengsenga to try to improve my photos and sound recording of the Sibe Chaff. Seeing as how I managed to lose the lens protector today I will be back there again tomorrow but with an additional objective for the day.

After the early morning mist burnt off it was sunny today but the sun doesn't rise high enough at the moment to hit the reeds where the chaff is. The light was however much better than yesterday so I succeeded in improving my photos and also got a slightly improved sound recording so a success on that score.

The chaffchiff was fairly easy to find due to it calling every now and then and the call being very distinctive and far carrying. Today it was quite far ranging and went into trees where at some range it looked far more like the original bird from a week ago. So maybe, as would be most likely, there has only been a single tristis. Also looking at my photos I think it is also likely that bird on 26 Nov which I dismissed as a western chaff last week could also be the same bird. My experiences today both in the field and photos confirm how the colours can morph.

The bird showed very well today approaching me to the near focus limit on the camera. I was taking pictures at f.9 which is the lenses sweet point and this meant an ISO of 1600 so there is still much room for technical improvement but I am pretty happy with todays output.

Siberian(tristis) Chiffchaff - note lack of yellow, brown ear coverts
slightly out of focus and the bird looks a lot paler and greyer

again the bird looks a lot paler

 This video shows briefly, distantly and out of focus the bird plus a couple of call notes

yet again not exactly the best sonogram but it shows a pretty straight line at the right frequency for Sibe Chaff

the yellow on the underwing coverts stands out and shows that there is no yellow elsewhere


And now for something entirely different:

Cormorant (storskarv)

its a surprise the wings don't just fall off

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