Chiffchaffs of Burton In Kendal – Arriving from 12th onwards


Diary notes for 17th March 2022. 

Full Blog Index below (scroll to bottom of page)

Lots of us are by now are getting excited! hoping to see the very first Chiffchaff of the year. Well they are here, there and everywhere with records turning up daily, maybe a few days earlier than the norm.  But Andrew, the Burton News Editor had one calling a few days ago from behind the footpaths which go up by the Royal.

Coming through early eg before the 25th can be very dangerous for Chiffchaffs, but only if frost appears in them initial days. As  we are all aware they are insectivores but frost can make the little birds go down to the floor in search of food.  In one year (about 8 years) we had a entry number in Burton of about 33 pairs birds but within a fortnight this number had depleted to about 16 pairs.  Because they came through so early and frost had taken over by the time they arrived here and there just was not any available food for them.

I was worried at the time to a almost panic and I contacted Peter Lack at the BTO, and he sort of reassured me that this was fairly normal in some years (one in ten approx), but then went on to say that they would make a speedy recoverey and sure enough he was right within about three years their numbers were back to normal.

We have some strange Chiffchaffs, I say strange, but there calls are different if you look at my map above and look into Lancelot Clark Storth, you will see one I named "Miss A Note" who sort of missed notes out every now and again and then we had another again in Lancelot which sang fast, really fast "chiff chaff,chiffchaff and never came up for air, I called him "Speedy Gonzales" or maybe should have called him Roadrunner.

I have named them all with WARM names that sound great just like our Archie (from Orchard Close), Vicar and Victor (Glebe and Vicarage Ln), Mo from Mowbray, Hilda from Hilderstone and so the list goes on. 

Its easy to tell Chiffchaff with their repetitive "Chiff Chaff, Chiff Chaff" thats the easy part, but try to learn their post breeding call which is a very gentle "hou whit" hou whit", but the call is very similar to its cousin the Willow Warbler. 

In Burton we have around 40 breeding pairs of Chiffchaffs and if you look at the above map you will see just were they are located so why not have a walk and see if you can find them.  All the hard works been done for you.


If you want the most up to date blogs about birding and vismig and other stuff please click over this link:

12th Feb 2021 - Just starting to see new growth etc

Thr 11th February 2021 - Early movement and Spring Bird Migration over Burton In Kendal.

Tues 9th February 2021 - Intertwined

17th Dec 2020 - Finding a new Polypodium cambricum on HRoof Crags

Thursday 19th November 2020 - Nice stroll or wander with fabulous wonders and my December copy for the local magazine - SEE BLOG BELOW THESE LINKS.....


Another recent blog on"The best moments of vis so far this year - click here

 2020 Visible Bird Migration records 

"Strange Polypodium Interjectum found in Burton (17th Oct 2020)

Cloud and Sunrise photo blog - click here

The new Orchid book "Britains Orchids" by Sean Cole and Mike Waller - please click this link for details.

Varieties of our local Hutton Roof Gentians and the reason for the 50/50 Purple and White, plus my research survey results. Plus "Upland Enchanters Nightshade (circae x intermedia)

 More Autumn Gentian photos (2020) can be seen here